The youth in the Sissala East district in the Upper West region through a taskforce which was set up on Tuesday, with the support of the police has arrested seven persons for harvesting rosewood in some communities in the area.
On the first day of operation, the taskforce visited Nabugbelle, Dolibuzon and Yagantu where the merchants instead of carting away rose wood that were lying in the community per the license that was issued by the ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, were seen harvesting fresh rose wood.
Bawa Ayamga a member of the task force who spoke to Starr News revealed that, the team has confiscated the rose wood from the loggers who initially took to their heals when they saw members of the task force.
He said, “At Nabugbelle some residents told us that some people were in the bush harvesting rose wood so we rushed there but when they saw us they run away. However, when we got back into the market square, we saw them resting under a tree so with the help of the community we arrested them. They were four people”.
“Later we were told three others were arrested inside the Gbele Game reserve and also taken to the police station before we got into town,” Mr. Ayamga added.
He told Starr News that the decision to form the task force was borne out of the fact that, they felt the leadership of the district had failed the youth in terms of protecting the environment.
He said, “We the youth are not happy with how things are handled by our leaders so we have decided to take our destiny into our hands. We will drive all the merchants out of our district”.
Government placed a ban on the harvesting of rose wood in 2016 but licenses were given to some merchants two months ago to cart away rose wood that was lying in some communities of the Upper West Region.
The insurance of the licenses was greeted with anger by residents in the region, leading the Regional Coordinating Council to set up a 14 member task force to lead in the carting away of the rose wood in the communities.
The task force, however, has not been seen carrying out its mandate and this prompted the youth in Sissala East to take the decision to handle the problem themselves.
The seven arrested persons appeared before the Tumu Magistrate Court on Wednesday and the case has been adjourned till 27th of November, 2017.
Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Musah Lansah