The King of Gonja Traditional Area, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Bore Essa I has placed a complete ban on rosewood logging and commercial charcoal burning in the entire Gonjaland in order to protect the environment.
The Gonja Traditional Area has been exposed to uncontrolled and indiscriminate cutting down of rosewoods, especially in the last six years by some illegal chainsaw operators for export to China. This in a large extent has resulted in the depletion of the forest cover and change in the climate condition in the area.
The lumbers who claim to have legal permits from the authorities for their operations have succeeded in cutting down almost every single rosewood in the Damongo, Bole, Bamboi, Mole, Daboya, Abromase, Busunu, Buipe, Yapei and other Gonja areas under the watch of the immediate past government led by John Dramani Mahama. Several fully loaded articulated trucks are always seen transporting the timber every passing day against the will of majority of the Gonja youth.
The trees are being cut without replacement and movements of forklifts, tractors and articulator trucks in the forest has degraded the lands and created several unapproved roads in the forest.
As if that is not enough, majority of the inhabitants in Gonjaland especially the women are heavily engaged in charcoal burning and fetching of firewoods in commercial quantities. They transport the charcoal to Kumasi, Sunyani, Takoradi and Accra and they indiscriminately cut down every tree as well as sheanuts and other commercial trees for the charcoal business.
However, the King of Gonjaland, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Bore Essa I has threatened to cause the arrest and prosecution of any person or group of persons who would engage in commercial charcoal burning or rosewood logging in the area.
Speaking at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Gonja Traditional Council at Yapei in the Central Gonja District of the Northern Region, the King called for the support of the various District Assemblies, the law enforcement agencies, the forestry commission, the traditional authorities and the youth groups to ensure the full implementation and enforcement of the ban.
The meeting brought together all the Paramount Chiefs in Gonjaland, queen mothers and other sub-chiefs to discuss diverse issues affecting the development of the area. It was also proffer solutions to the problems and also project into the future for the promotion of socio-economic development, education, agriculture, peace and security as well as water and sanitation.
The King of Gonjaland also promised to hold stakeholders’ consultation meeting to deliberate on how to stop the indiscriminate hunting of grass-cutters and rabbits in the Gonja areas, which mostly results in bush burning and environmental degradation.
He maintained that if something was not done immediately about the level of degradation through the activities of man and other natural phenomena, it would not only endanger the environment and its biodiversity, but also lives of human and animals in the area.
The Chronicle checks revealed that several communities in Gonjaland are also into small scale mining activities which are also affecting the environment in the area.
On his part, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr. Salifu Saeed passionately issued a strong warning in support of the ban placed on rosewood logging and charcoal burning by the Yagbonwura.
He drew the attention of the King and other Paramount Chiefs present to the increasing damage being caused to water bodies and the environment through the activities of illegal mining and logging in the Gonjaland.