Timber racketeers destroy Tindubu Hill Forest Reserve in V/R

Timber racketeers are now carrying out their nefarious activities in the woods at night at Tsyome-Sabadu, in the North Dayi District of the Volta Region, where they are rapidly depleting the rich vegetative cover on the Tindubu Hill Forest Reserve.

“With the trend now, our children and children’s children will only become survivors and not inheritors,” complained the assemblyman, Mr Amedor Senyo Dzamposu as he conducted the Ghanaian Times round the community on Saturday.

He said that some unpatriotic locals were also now conniving with the illegal chainsaw operators for paltry gains.

According to him, members of the ‘Timber Mafia’ transported their booty out of the reserve unnoticed in very devious ways before transporting them to the urban centres, where they sell them for a fortune.

Mr Dzamposu said that what was even more disturbing was that the criminals cut down the trees with impunity, “in the full glare of forest guards.”

He called on the government to intervene immediately and implement a vigorous afforestation programme to save the reserve from total destruction.

The assemblyman said that the chainsaw operators had now ‘destroyed’ the greater portion of Rosewood, Wawa and Odum in the reserve and as sometime last year; the hill was largely “naked,” with virtually no trees.

Worse, he said, the activities of local charcoal burners in recent time were further killing the soil in the reserve.

However, he said that with the recent rains, fresh trees were springing up again on the hill.

Mr Dzamposu insisted that there were enough young people in Tsyome-Sabadu to take part in the ‘Youth in Afforestation’ initiative, “and we intend to involve as many females as possible” in that undertaking to protect the trees in the reserve.

Meanwhile, the assemblyman revealed that the large population of grasscutters, antelopes, monkeys, wild pigs, bushbucks and other animals in the reserve were fleeing as a result of the activities of the ‘Timber Mafia.’

He maintained that the large presence of bees and snails in the reserve could be harnessed by the youth of the community as a highly lucrative livelihood.

“We urgently need help from the assembly in terms of appropriate farming methods and ready markets to produce honey and snails bountifully, without inviting foreign investors in that venture,” Mr Dzamposu told the Ghanaian Times.

He insisted that Tsyome-Sabadu was sitting on “gold” and that there was no need whatsoever for the youth to migrate to the urban centres to search for non-existent jobs, “once the government supports us to tap our own treasures in the community.”

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