Gov’t to employ 400 people as forest guards

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The Forestry Commission (FC) is to employ 400 people to serve as forest guards to protect the country’s forest reserves from illegal chainsaw operations.

Chief Executive of the Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, who announced this, said the Finance Ministry has given them financial clearance for the recruitment of the people.

Speaking on the sidelines of a visit to the Canada Ghana Alaska mining company mining concession at Amenase Forest Reserve near Diaso in the Central Region, he said the FC currently needs 800 forest guards.

This, he said, is because the FC does not have adequate staff to adequately patrol the reserves across the country, noting there are situations where two people guard 10 miles of forest reserves.

He has meanwhile admitted that some forest guards at the various checkpoints have been compromised by illegal operators.

Mr Owusu-Afriyie said in view of that there will be a massive reshuffling of all officers across the country.

Forest guards in Ghana have become vulnerable to regular assaults and attacks by illegal chainsaw operators.

Illegal operators invade forest reserves armed with sophisticated weapons against forest rangers who mostly work in reserves armless or with few basic weapons.

Some guards have over the years been gunned -down while others have sustained various degrees of injuries.

By Kwabena Adu-Gyamfi|TV3||Ghana

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