GNFS entreats farmers to engage fire volunteers

Abesim (B/A)- Mr Ekow Blankson, the Acting Chief Fire Officer (ACFO), has called on farmers to engage fire volunteers whenever they intend to burn their farms to avoid fire outbreaks.

He said the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has trained the volunteers in fire fighting and urged farming communities to make use of them.

Speaking at the launch of the 2018/2019 National Bushfire Prevention Campaign at Abesim, near Sunyani, ACFO Blankson said besides the training, the volunteers have also been provided with logistics and tools that would enable them to work effectively.

The campaign is being held under the theme: Our Future Depends on Sustaining the Environment, Let Us Prevent Bushfire Now.

ACFO Blankson said the GNFS regarded fire volunteers as key partners in combating fire, thus the need to resource and motivate them to rekindle their spirit of volunteerism.

He said the service alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of controlling bush and domestic fires and called for concerted efforts by all to combat the menace.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister for Interior, said the country recorded 1,837 bushfires in 2016, adding that the figure, however, decreased significantly to 611 in 2017.

But this year the country has recorded 868 fire outbreaks, he said called on the GNFS to intensify the campaign to help control the outbreaks.

Mr Dery expressed regret that bush and wild fires were causing extensive damages to the vegetation cover in the Northern and Brong-Ahafo Regions, hence the need to intensify awareness creation efforts on bushfires.

He said governments flagship programmes such as the Planting for Food and Jobs has laid a huge responsibility on the GNFS to train more fire volunteers and take decisive action to deal with fire setters to sustain the programme to achieve desirable results.

Source: Ghana News Agency