The National Stakeholders Planning Committee of the 2023-2024 National Bushfire Prevention Campaign, has selected Nsawam in the Eastern Region as the venue for the national launch on November 23rd.
The event under the auspices of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), is on the theme: ‘Sixty years of GNFS existence: Bushfire prevention is key to sustaining our natural resources and food safety.’
The Committee at an emergency meeting in Accra, attributed the change of venue from Odumase Krobo to Nsawam, to operational challenges, ground work hiccups, and other mobilisation issues.
GNFS Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) James Owusu-Agyei, who is also the chairman of the committee, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview after the emergency meeting, that the change of venue from Odumase Krobo to Nsawam was due to an operational hiccup encountered during the preparation.
DCFO Owusu-Agyei, who is also GNFS Director of Rural Fires, apologised to traditional leaders, school authorities, and all other stakeho
lders in Odumase Krobo for the change of venue but assured that after the national launch on November 23rd at Nsawam, a special event would later be organised in Odumase Krobo.
He said the planning committee had started vigorous groundwork at Nsawam, involving stakeholders in Nsawam, including traditional and religious leaders, heads of educational institutions, social clubs, farmers, and other strategic parties, for their total support and cooperation in hosting the event.
DCFO Owusu-Agyei reiterated that agriculture remained the largest employer of the country’s population; ‘for that matter, all must be done to save the forests and vegetative cover that support agriculture and other economic activities.’
He said the agricultural sector served as a national treasure that must be protected through vigorous and sustained anti-bushfire education, stressing that ‘We are appealing to all Ghanaians to join us in our fight against illegal fires.’
Traditional leaders must safeguard their territory from bushfires
He emphasised the need to strengthen fire prevention volunteerism among the youth.
DCFO Owusu-Agyei also entreated traditional rulers and the clergy to support pthe campaign to educate the public on the need to protect the nation’s land and natural resources as sacred assets.
He emphasised that the service would require the following items: Wellington and Combat Boots, Fire Beaters, Cutlasses, Nose Guards, Motor Bikes and Bicycles, Torchlights, Dungarees, Megaphones, and Whistles to fight against bushfires.
‘GNFS doors are open wide for support,’ added DCFO Owusu-Agyei. You can give at any of the GNFS’s national, regional, or district offices, or you can call, and we will pick up the things. Cheques should be made payable to the Ghana National Fire Service.’
He said both state and private entities must view the fight as a corporate social responsibility initiative, citing bushfires as ‘not only destroying the habitation, but our very survival is at stake.’
As part of the nationwide launch, the GNFS Re
gional Commands would conduct and use community radio shows, community durbars, volunteer and peer education, and door-to-door communications to emphasise the importance of putting out bushfires.
He said the launch would proceed a series of activities, including a float, football gala, an inter-second cycle quiz, and climaxed on November 23rd at Nsawam.
As part of the national launch, the GNFS Regional Commands would also embark on and use community radio programmes, community durbars, volunteer and peer education, and door-to-door messages to drum home the need to stop bushfires.
Source: Ghana News Agency