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Wood workers appeal to government to review timber quota

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timberThe Wood Workers Association of Ghana (WWAG), has appealed to government to review the 20 per cent quota required by saw millers to send to the local market.

The Eastern Regional Branch of the Association, who made the appeal at a dissemination seminar on a Business Sector Challenge Fund (BUSAC) funded advocacy in Koforidua, said the 20 per cent quota to the local market was not sufficient and as a result most of the wood industries were collapsing.

They said timber which was a raw material for their work was difficult to come by these days and known species such as Odum, Sapele and Mahogany among others were no more.

They said the situation where wood workers had to chase and wait for longer periods to get wood supply for their job was killing the industry and government must therefore review the 20 percent quota as well as reinvigorate and involve members of the WWAG in measures to sustain the forest that produces the raw material for their job.

The WWAG is a registered private sector business association of over 400 master craftsmen in the Eastern Region and collaborates with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and the BUSAC for technical support.

The seminar is one of the activities of the WWAG under the BUSAC funded advocacy action on the theme, “halting the assault on forest resources to save the wood industry and avert ecological catastrophe”.

According to study conducted by the WWAG, the enforcement levels of legislations and policies to sustain Ghana’s forest was abysmal and almost the entire wood industry operated in defiance of the permits regime established by the timber resources management Act 1998 and that over 90 percent of sawn timber sold by wood sellers are chainsaw products.

The study also showed that economic tropical trees like Odum, Wawa, Sapele and Mahogany suitable for the housing and construction industry were now endangered species whiles chainsaw activities were rather on the increase.

Nana Krofie, a BUSAC representative at the seminar, said the main goal for the Fund was to create an enabling environment for the development and growth of the private sector.

He said in government’s desire to expand the economy, it must act as a key ally to the private sector by creating conducive environment for the private sector to thrive.

Mr Bernard Anita, the Regional Chairman of the WWAG, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the depleting forest reserve was a threat to them since their members were the first line impact bearers.

She said although chain saw lumber were cheaper and available, they were worried because of the wanton destruction of the entire forest reserves in Ghana by chainsaw operators who are a threat to the sustenance of wood industry.

Source: GNA

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