Business News of Sunday, 7 April 2013
The Forest Services Division (FSD) of the Ghana Forestry Commission has expressed concern about growing violent attacks on its forest guards and pleaded for support from the security agencies.
Mr Alex Boadu, the Director of Operations, said this had become commonplace in Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Central regions. He said they could simply not continue to be at the receiving end of the barbaric physical assaults, threats and intimidation.
The strong sentiments come in the wake of the murder of one of the guards at the Afram Headwaters Reserve at Kwapanin near Abofour in the Offinso Municipality. The deceased, 57-year old Kwadwo Wireko was shot dead by an unknown assassin whilst performing his duty of protecting the forest from encroachers on March 26. One person is reported to have been arrested by the Police in connection with the murder.
Mr Boadu, who led a delegation to console the bereaved family, spoke of plans to give adequate training and build the capacity of the guards to defend themselves in the course of the discharge of their duties. He underlined the need to step up efforts to stop illegal timber and gold mining operations in the reserves.
Mr Joseph Boakye, the FSD Ashanti Regional Manager, said forest offences was soaring and becoming more sophisticated and dangerous.