Wood workers worried over environmental degradation in Ghana

Category: General News 15

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

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

According to members, timber which is the raw material for their work is difficult to come by these days and known species such as Odum, Sapele and Mahogany among others are no more.

They said the phenomenon of wood workers chasing and waiting for longer periods to get wood supply for their job is killing the industry, hence the need for government to reinvigorate and involve members of the WWAG in measures to sustain the forest.

The WWAG is a registered private sector business association of more than 400 master craftsmen in the Eastern Region collaborating with the National Board for Small Scale Industries and the BUSAC for technical support.

The seminar is one of the broad 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 is abysmal  and almost the entire wood industry operate in defiance of the permits regime established by the timber resources management Act 1998.

More than 90 per cent of sawn timber sold by wood sellers are chainsaw products.

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

Mr Bernard Anita, the Regional Chairman of the WWAG, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that any threat posed by the fast depletion of Ghana’s forest reserves affect their business.

“If we lose our jobs, it has consequences on the economy and therefore government must listen to our appeal,” he said.

Source: GNA

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