The Upper West Regional Director for the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Mr Ahmed Mustapha, has made a passionate appeal to residents in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region to halt the indiscriminate bush burning, which, according to him, was becoming a norm in the municipality.
The director lamented that the indiscriminate burning of bushes, especially along the highways, was becoming rampant and posing danger to motorists and other road users.
Addressing staff of the organisation in the region and other stakeholders at an end-of-year meeting in Wa, the Director appealed to the stakeholders to join the NADMO to sensitise people on the repercussions of indiscriminate bush burning and encourage them to put a stop to the practice.
“Bush burning has become quite rampant in the municipality. Even when people are not clearing the land for farming, they just set fire to nearby bushes immediately the dry season sets in, endangering lives and property,” he stressed.
The meeting afforded staff and management of the organisation the opportunity to take stock of last year’s activities and also brainstorm on future plans for it.
He emphasised that education was an overriding intervention that could help put the practice in check, citing that with the support of personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service, (GNFS), NADMO had, through constant education, managed to stop bush burning in some communities in other municipalities such as Lawra and Nandom.
He shared the view that some similar interventions would be rolled out in the Wa Municipality and called the support of other stakeholders, considering the pronounced nature of the practice.
He called on the Municipal Assembly as well as the Regional Disaster Taskforce to take a second look at the menace and devise workable by-laws that would be used to check the practice and punish offenders.
Touching on interventions by the organisation last year, the Director said the organisation, through the support of Pronet North, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) provided support to over 250 households that were affected by various disasters in the region.
He indicated that rescuing victims of disaster was incomplete if they were not provided with sustainable relief items and commended the NGO as well as other organisations that assisted NADMO to provide items to victims of disaster last year.
He also lauded the support of other stakeholders such as the GNFS, the Ambulance Service, the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Police Service for assisting the organisation to carry out sensitisation programmes on disaster management across the region.
“The year under review saw the promotion of 104 staff members of the organisation in the region as well the posting of 15 new staff members to some district offices to augment the efforts of existing staff,” he announced.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA