GNFS records 27.5% reduction in bushfires

Source The Ghana Report

The Ghana National Fire Service has recorded a moderate reduction of bushfires by 27.5 percent between January and October 2023. 

This was announced by the Chief Fire Officer CFO Julius A. Akunnor during the launch of the National Bushfire Prevention exercise at Djnakrom in the Eastern region.

According to GNFS, bushfires destroy approximately 75,000 hectares of vegetation and forest cover in Ghana annually.

The loss of vegetation contributes to a 3% GDP loss, according to the fire service.

During the first three quarters of this year, there was a significant reduction of 27.5 percent, which equates to a decrease of 218.

From January to October 2023, 583 bushfires were recorded as against 791 for the same 10-month period in 2022.

CFO Julius Akunnor noted regardless of the positive effort achieved this year, bushfires still pose a threat to the nation’s natural resources and food security while enumerating statistics on bushfires across the country.

He pointed out that 60 percent of the country’s population relied on agriculture, hence disruption to the sector can have severe implications for the economy.

“Bushfires pose a significant threat to our environment, destroying vast areas of vegetation, wildlife habitats, and farmlands. The consequences of these are far-reaching, affecting not only natural resources but also our food security. Ghana relies heavily on agriculture, as sixty percent of the population is involved in it. Any disruption has severe implications on the economy and well-being of our people”.

Director of Finance of Administration Doreen Payin Annan, who performed the National launch called for collaborative efforts to continuously reduce bushfire figures.

“A nation that relies heavily on our forest and vegetation for food security, good weather conditions, foreign exchange earnings, health, and general wellbeing, we have no choice but to jealously guard against anything that will jeopardize this great source of our survival. The devastating impact of bushfires on our environment, our homes, and our lives cannot be underestimated. These fires have tested our resilience in the past years in spite of the enormous efforts put in by the Ghana National Fire Service and Fire Volunteers and Stakeholders across the Regions. Thankfully this year, the prolonged rainy season has aided in recording fewer numbers,”.

She called for the enforcement of the Control and Prevention of Bushfires Act – 1990 (PNDCL 229).

“I will further urge the Ghana National Fire Service to give life to the Control and Prevention of bushfires Act-1990 (PNDCL 229). Defaulters of this law do not have any more excuses after 33 years of sensitization and education for which they cannot be held responsible for their actions if they go contrary to the law,’ she said.

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