Savanna Regional Minister Saeed Muhazu Jibril has appealed to the chiefs of the region to help protect the vegetation cover of the land.
Speaking at the Savanna Regional Environmental Consultative forum held in Damongo on Wednesday, 21 April 2021, the minister bemoaned the rate at which valuable trees are being destroyed for charcoal.
He said the development and growth of the newly created region largely depend on the natural resources God has blessed the area with and must be protected at all cost for future generations.
Mr Jibril, therefore, used the opportunity to ask the traditional authorities to remind their followers that in the next two weeks, the ban on logging and commercial charcoal burning activities will end.
He also noted that the task force put in place to help in the fight against lumbering will not spare anybody, no matter their status in the region when caught in the act.
On the issue of small-scale mining popularly known as galamsey, Mr Jibril said it will be done in a better way, instead of the usual ways where water bodies are polluted.
“Nobody is going to chase our young men away in illegal mining but they must do it in a proper manner and we are registering them as community miners for free,” he said.
He noted that there will be a concession for mining activities and individuals shall be registered within the region as small-scale miners and community miners in order to fish out people engaged in illegal mining contrary to the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The vice-president of the Gonja Traditional Council and the Paramount Chief of the Buipe Traditional Area, Buipewura Abdulai Jinapor (||), on behalf of the overlord of Gonjaland and President of the Savanna Regional House of Chiefs, Yagbonwura Professor Tuntumba Sulemana Jakpa Boresah (|), condemned the activities of galamseyers as well as all logging activities involving rosewood and the burning of charcoal for commercial purposes in the region and urged the traditional authorities to support the minister and his team to end the menace.
“It is sad and indescribable how the vegetation cover of the hard-earned kingdom is mishandled, especially in matters of illegal logging of rosewood and declared commercial charcoal burning activities in the kingdom”, Buipewura bemoaned.
The Buipewura added that the depletion of the Ozone layer has resulted in heavy rainstorms that have rendered many people homeless in the region.
He further noted that environmental degradation in the region is a result of illegal human activities going on in the area.
He, therefore, called on the paramount chiefs, politicians and key stakeholders in the region to, as a matter of urgency, join hands with the traditional council and government agencies to fight illegal mining activities, illegal rosewood logging and the burning of charcoal for commercial purposes.