Upper West bans movement on rosewood

ALHAJI AMIN AMIDU SULEMANA,UPPER WEST REGIONAL MINISTER.The Upper West Regional Co-ordinating Council has banned the movement of Rosewood in and out of the region.

This  follows the expiration of the deadline given to selected companies to lift logs felled as a result of the construction of the Bui Dam.

The  security agencies in the region have consequently been tasked to seize all such woods being transported out of the region and the owners arrest the owners.

The ban, which took effect last month, is to check the indiscriminate felling of economic trees in the region and also protect its fragile ecology.

The Upper West Regional Minister, Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani, disclosed this when he addressed the annual meeting of the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) held here yesterday.

The meeting was to enable the council to take stock of its operations in the year, and  fashion out modalities to address shortfalls in its coordinating functions.

It was attended by the District Chief Executives and their co-ordinating directors, as well as heads of department of agencies in the region.

Mr. Sulemani said the deadline given to the selected companies had expired, therefore, it was necessary to ensure that they were not allowed to fell and transport the wood within the region.

He charged officers of the Forestry Commission to stand up to their responsibilities and protect the environment for the future generation.

On security matters, the Minister said in line with its mandate to maintain peace and security, the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and its counterparts in Gaou and  Sissili Provinces of Burkina Faso met on March 17 and came out with a communiqué to collaborate and check cross-border crimes.

He said in the wake of terrorist attacks in the sub-region, among other crimes like cattle rustling, armed robbery and motor stealing, it was important to promote collaborations.

“It is heartwarming to note that we have since exchanged suspected criminals and are working assiduously to maintain peace and security,” he added.

Alhaji Sulemani said apart from security issues, the region was also working hard to strengthen access to education, while promoting quality and equity management, as well as resolving gender issues bedeviling education in the region.

To that end, he said the region had received huge support from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) in the provision of educational infrastructure such as classroom blocks, teachers quarters and furniture, among others.

In addition, the region had almost eliminated schools under trees, and benefitted from the construction of eight community day senior high schools which were at various stages of completion.

In the area of health, Alhaji Sulemani said a total of 202 CHPS zones were operational in the region, while the doctor-to-patient ratio had improved to 1:2,803, even though it still remained the highest in the country.

On water, he explained that the region had a coverage of 76 per cent and was expected to reach about 90 per cent when the government’s flagship project at Jambosi was completed.

He noted, however, that activities of illegal miners along the Black Volta Basin was threatening the projects and if immediate action was not taken, it could derail the achievements made so far.

He directed the DCEs in whose areas these illegal activities were on going to work with the security agencies to halt them.

From Cliff Ekuful, Wa           



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