Naa Asoleh Ganaa II, Paramount Chief of the Jirapa Traditional Area, Upper West Region, has appealed to the Jirapa District Assembly to enact bye laws against the felling of trees of economic value.
He said trees like Dawadawa, Shea, Mango and Ebony helped the people economically in times of food scarcity.
Naa Ganaa made the call during the celebration of Bong-Ngo Festival of the chiefs and people of Jirapa on Saturday.
The annual festival marks the lifting of the ban on the harvesting of the dawadawa fruit.
It was on the theme: “Preservation of the Environment – The Role of Culture and Tradition”.
Naa Ganaa urged the chiefs and the people to take a cue from the Bong-Ngo Festival, which seeks to protect the Dawadawa tree, and extend the same cultural attitudes and practices to cover other trees of economic value in the area.
He commended the Government for the rehabilitation two dams at Ul-Gozu and Duori under the Ghana Social Opportunities Project and called for the rehabilitation of similar dams in the district to promote dry season farming to help eliminate food insecurity and poverty.
Naa Ganaa appealed to the Government to rehabilitate the St. Joseph Hospital in Jirapa which would celebrate its 60th anniversary this year and yet had never seen any major rehabilitation.
He said the hospital needed a face-lift as the Maternity Ward was sinking and posing danger to the lives of patients and health workers adding that the new Out Patients Department, which was started many years ago but abandoned, needed to be completed.
Dr Ephraim Avea Nsoh, Upper West Regional Minister, applauded the chiefs and people for exhibiting their culture and called on them to revise some of their cultural practices.
He said cultural practices such as widowhood rites should be in line with modern practices and fundamental human rights.
Dr Nsoh said preserving the environment was paramount as humans depended largely on it for survival.
He urged the people to eschew illegal mining, bad farming and cultural practices, overgrazing, deforestation and bush burning.
“If society stands aloof and watches these and similar activities go on with impunity, it will lead to environmental degradation and endanger our existence,” he said.
Mr Paul Derigubaa, Member of Parliament for Jirapa, thanked the people for the support they gave him during the last election and promised to draw a development plan for the area.
He urged to the youth to get involved in the development projects of the district since they were going to benefit from such projects.