Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Upper West Regional Minister, has expressed worries about the depletion of forest reserves and the rampant cutting down of rosewood tree in some parts of the Region.
He said a Regional Security Taskforce together with the Forestry Commission had been set up to monitor the activities of those engaged in the felling of the rosewood trees and bring them to book.
Alhaji Sulemana announced this at the annual Gandawi Nabahilime Festival of the chiefs and people of the Gandawi Traditional Area in the Sissala West District on Saturday.
He reminded the people to remain vigilant and report individuals who were engaged in the indiscriminate felling of trees to the authorities in the districts for action.
The Regional Minister instructed District Security Committees in the various districts to take the issue as a security threat and come out with measures to stop the negative practice in the Region.
Alhaji Sulemana also expressed concern about the negative cultural practices such as female genital mutilation, elopement, child betrothal and early marriages, which were still practised in some of the communities.
“Some of these cultural practices are not only dehumanising but are also against the fundamental human rights of the affected,” he said.
Alhaji Sulemana appealed to traditional rulers to condemn those bad cultural practices which were unacceptable in “modern day Ghana”.
He also pleaded with traditional rulers to take the lead role in the fight against some of those outmoded cultural practices.
“We should be bold to report people who are caught practicing and promoting these negative cultural practices in the communities to the police for prosecution,” he said.
Kuoro Issifu Kazia Nankana, acting Paramount Chief of the Gandawi Traditional Area, in his welcoming address, urged politicians not to do anything which would disturb the peace in Ghana.
Whether good or bad, Ghana needs peace to manage its affairs and all must work hard to maintain the peace prevailing in Ghana,” Kuoro Nankana pointed out.
Kuoro Nankana appealed to government to provide the Gandawi area with a Health Centre to help cater for the health needs of the people.
He also pleaded with government to consider providing the area with an irrigation dam to encourage dry season agriculture production.
Due consideration should also be given for the establishment of an Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Centre in the area to promote teaching and learning of ICT among school children.