One of Ghana’s prime game reserves, the Mole Park, is under serious threat from the activities of certain illegal chain saw operators within the catchment area.
The situation reached a dangerous height after contractors working on the Fufulso-Dmongo-Sawla road were given concessions by the Forestry Commission to cut down trees that have been affected by the construction of the road.
Unfortunately, some illegal chain saw operators have taken advantage of the situation invading the wildlife and forest reserves to fell trees such as the Rosewood trees for transportation and export to China.
Even though the situation has gotten out of hands, authorities have failed to turn their attention to the state of affairs in order to find a lasting solution to it.
An ardent patron of the Mole Park, Mr. Robert Baidoo, has therefore waged a campaign against the situation and is challenging the officials in charge to find a solution to it as soon as possible.
Mr. Baidoo in an interview with the media said: “I as a citizen am extremely concerned and request that the press and other interested parties help in getting the authorities to take immediate action to address the issue because.”
He said the action is not only illegal but also extremely destructive to the wild life and the ecosystems of the reserves,” adding “this is a threat to the existence of Mole National Park, one of the prime tourist attractions in Ghana. The activity is not economically beneficial to the country or the area.”
Explaining the situation further, Mr Baidoo said the trees that are been exported to China cannot be replaced for years, if at all. According to him, only a few of the local chiefs and other leaders, who are in cahoots with the illegal operators are benefitting from its sales: “and for the amounts they are paid, it should be a treasonable act because no amount of money should be worth the destruction of our environment.”
He said a recent report by one of the media house indicated that the chiefs charge between GHS 1,000 and GHS 7,000 for a truck load of logs.
“As we have always experienced, the huge trucks that transport the logs to Tema for onward exportation contributes to, not only the destruction of the roads, but also traffic congestion and potential accidents,” Mr. Baidoo lamented.
To worsen the plight of the ecological park, Mr. Baidoo revealed that the situation has increased poaching in the area putting the protected species at risk. He said if no timely action is taken to rectify the situation, these activities will have severe economic and environmental effects on the region in particular and the nation as a whole.
He called on the governmental agencies responsible for the Mole Park to step up and take decisive actions to nib the harmful activities in the bud.
Story by Ghana/Romeo Adogla