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Bush fires: Ghana's forest reserves, wildlife threatened in Savannah belt

The harmattan or dry season has begun biting hard in the northern part of Ghana, and the menace of bush fire is rearing its ugly head again, thereby threatening forest reserves and wildlife in the region.

The northern part of Ghana popularly called the Savannah belt is endowed with rich natural resources and it is a home to vast array of amazing wildlife and other endangered species. Thus, the region is a host to one of Ghana's most populous National park called the Mole National park.

Apart from causing havoc to the forest and wildlife, research has revealed that, bush fires also impoverish the soil by destroying organic matter in the soil, and increase leaching, wind and water erosion

A visit to the Savannah region by revealed that, the bush fires are widespread, with personnel of the Ghana Fire Service finding it extremely difficult to bring the situation under control.

There are many causes of bush fires that have been identified and they include: hunting, land clearing, burning of fetish grass, fire festivals, and burning of crop residues and cooking on farms.

But, in the Savannah region, hunting has been the major cause of bush fires, as the hunters intentionally set the fire to be able to trap the animals.

Many ways have been employed to prevent bush fires which includes education, use of improved agricultural practices and enforcement of bush fire laws.

There is also the Annual Bush Fire Prevention Campaign by the National and Fire Service (GNFS), which has over the years provided great opportunities for the Service to sensitize the public on the devastating impact of bush fires and the need for concerted efforts to stop bushfires.

But, in the opinion of, the best way to permanently prevent bush fires, is to involve members of the communities where bush fires annually occurred.

It is therefore important that the neighborhood committee concepts to help prevent bush fires from occurring are strengthen, with members given the needed training and tools to carry out their duties.

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Bush Ghana Ghana Fire Service Mole National Savannah


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