GNFS records 573 bush fires this year
The Ghana National Fire Service has, so far this year, recorded 573 bush fires.
This represents a 27.5 per cent reduction in the 791 cases recorded within the same period in 2022.
The highest number of cases was recorded in January 2023, which is 227, while October had the lowest with three.
The Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Mr Julius A. Kuunuor, revealed this during the 2023/2024 National Bush Fire Prevention campaign launch held in Nsawam on Thursday on the theme: “60 Years of existence: Bush fire prevention- Key to sustaining our natural resources and food security.”
The campaign was aimed at reminding Ghanaians of their responsibility in preserving and protecting the country’s natural resources and heritage and securing the foundation of food resources.
CFO Kuunuor said through the collective efforts of the National Fire Service in sensitising the populace on bush fire prevention and control, the Service has recorded a decrease in bush fire cases by 218, representing 27.5 per cent in the first three quarters in 2023 as compared to same period in 2022.
He said despite the reduction in the numbers, bush fire continues to pose significant threat to the country’s environment and has destroyed vast areas of vegetation, wildlife habitats and farmlands.
“He said the consequences of these fires are far-reaching, affecting not only our natural resources but also our food security,” he said and added that Ghana relied heavily on agriculture and any disruption to the sector could have severe implications for the economy and well-being of the people.
He said as fire fighters it was their duty to educate the public about the causes, prevention and dangers of bush fires and pledged their commitment to strengthen collaboration with the other stakeholders such as the Forestry Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and other stakeholders to develop comprehensive strategies for bush fire prevention and management.
He said bush fire prevention was not a mere directive but a fundamental necessity to sustain the country’s precious natural resources and ensure food security for generations to come.
For his part, the Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery, said that the decrease was welcoming but indicated that the numbers recorded has not shielded the country from the wrath of bush fires as a considerable amount of food from farms, economic plants and wildlife have been lost to these fires.
He called on Ghanaians to allow the launch to awaken their sense of patriotism and collectively help to protect the forest from bush fires and other negative occurrences.
“Let us all do our bit to augment the efforts of the Fire Service and our dutiful Bush Fire volunteers who stand on the frontlines risking their lives to safeguard our,” he said and added that Ghanaians should eschew negative practices that lead to bush fires.
Prior to the campaign, there was a float on the principal streets of Nsawam led by Director of Logistics, Heroine Boakye, Deputy Director of Rural Fire Harding-Bruce and the Eastern Regional Fire Officer, ACFOI Jennifer Naa Yarley Quaye.
Three hundred and fifty personnel from fire stations in the Eastern Region participated in the float which was proceeded by a quiz competition among some junior high schools in the country.