Ban on logging and charcoal production in Damango

BY: Mohammed Fugu

The Gonja Traditional Council in the Northern Region has banned commercial charcoal production and logging activities in the West Gonja District and its environs following the massive destruction of the environment by the activities of illegal loggers and commercial charcoal producers.

The decision to ban all logging and commercial charcoal production activities in the area was taken after the Youth of Damongo on Sunday, July 29, 2018 stormed the Palace of the Overlord of the Gonjaland, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Bore Essa I to lodge a complaint about the extensive destruction of the environment.

A statement signed and issued on Monday, July 30, 2018 by the Youth Chief of Damongo, Nyiribiwura Yakubu Abukari Jarga, said Yagbonwura upon a broader consultation with the youth and key stakeholders on Monday resolved to ban logging and commercial charcoal production in the area.

The statement said in order not to cause any inconvenience to all relevant stakeholders who were deeply involved in that business, the Yagbonwura had given a seven-day ultimatum to all the affected parties to convey their logs and charcoal from the West Gonja District forest.

According to the statement, the grace period takes effect from Monday, July 30, 2018 to Sunday, August 5, 2018.


“The youth of West Gonja District and the commercial charcoal producers and loggers as well as the other key stakeholders after the a meeting at the Jakpa Palace on Monday, July 30, 2018 resolved that, any issuance of receipt after the grace period is null and void, any vehicle found carrying charcoal or logs would not be allowed to pass through the district and a fine of GHC500 would be slapped on vehicle seen carrying logs or charcoal” the statement added.

The statement therefore appealed to all stakeholders including the security agencies and the traditional authorities to join forces and support the crusade to protect the environment.

Background

The Gonja Traditional Council during its extra-ordinary traditional council meeting at Yapei in the Central Gonja District last year resolved to ban rosewood logging and commercial charcoal burning in the Gonja Traditional Area.

However, the leadership of the rosewood logging and commercial charcoal production intervened for an extension of a month period to enable them to salvage what they had produced in the forest.

The Yagbonwura upon a broader consultation with the Council members granted them an extension a month period from April 24, 2017 to May 23, 2017, but the loggers and charcoal producers defied the orders by the overlord and continue to cause extensive destruction to the forest.