Lumbering banned in depleted Boumfum Forest Reserve

The Sekyere Afram Plains District Assembly has directed timber contractors operating on concessions in the district to suspend operations.

This is to allow for investigations into alleged illegalities in operations which have led to a depletion of the Boumfum Forest Reserve.

Officials say some unscrupulous individuals and companies are harvesting timber resources in the area to the detriment of the environment.

District Chief Executive, Fuseini Donkor has written to the Ashanti regional minister, the Forestry Commission and all concessioners, asking all logging activities to cease with immediate effect.

Mr. Donkor tells Nhyira FM several lands within the Transitional Forest zones have turned into deserts, affecting game habitation in the over 80 square kilometer Boumfum Reserve.

He says concessioners henceforth will have to validate their permits with the assembly.

“The Boumfum Forest was a habitat for most big animals that we have in the game reserve now. Talk of the Buffalos, antelopes and the wildcats finding sanctuary in the Bomfobiri reserve. But now as I speak to you, if you go to the Boumfum Forest, all the big trees, the Mahogany, Wawa, Ciber, Odum are all gone. It’s left with only the teak but now they have started harvesting the teak too, we don’t know what will happen in the next ten years,” a worried Mr. Fuseini Donkor complained.

Vegetation of the Afram Plains area is basically Guinea Savanna Woodland which falls within two agro-ecological zones; Transitional and Deciduous Forests.

The Transitional Zone for instance covers about 72 percent while the Deciduous Forest Zone covers approximately 27.8 percent of the total vegetation.

The area boasts the largest district in Ashanti region in terms of land area with fertile lands needed for agriculture production.

Officials fear the wanton destruction caused to the Transitional Forest zone which is already hampering food security with section of the district struggling without rains could escalate.

“The whole district is gradually turning into a grassy area. Food security is at stake and it’s because the rain pattern in the area has also changed. Now in half of the district, there is no rain and we can’t allow that to continue”. Mr. Fuseini Donkor said.

Meanwhile, checks at the Kumawu District Forestry office reveal the office is yet to receive copy of the assembly’s letter.

Story by Ghana/Nhyira Fm/Ohemeng Tawiah

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