The Upper East Regional Security Council (REGSEC), led by the Military cum Forest Guards have impounded an articulator truck loaded with logs believed to be rosewood at the Anaatem Forest in the Sumbrugu community in Bolgatanga Municipality.
Illegal logging of trees particularly the rosewood trees is becoming a common phenomenon in some parts of the Region, particularly in some communities in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal, the Kassena Nankana West, the Builsa South and North, Bawku West, Nabdam and the Talensi Districts.
Briefing the Media about the impounded vehicle, the Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari , who is also the Chairman of the REGSEC, said he had a tip-off on Wednesday that there were some illegal chain operators cutting down trees at the Anaatem Forest and instructed the military and the Forest Guards to cause their arrest .
He said upon arrival at the scene, the chainsaw operators who were engaged in the nefarious activity took to their heels leaving the driver and mate of the truck behind including a loader vehicle which was used in loading the logs and their chain saw operating machines.
He said the REGSEC would form a taskforce and investigation teams to help fight the incident in the Region and called on the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to adopt pragmatic measures to curb the problem.
The Regional Minister, who stressed that the phenomenon was not limited to the Upper East Region alone, mentioned illegal mining activities as another major issue confronting the Region.
“As the REGSEC we will do our part in tackling the problem but we will also want to appeal to the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to help address the challenge.
“The Region is among the regions in the country that is experiencing desertification and we cannot afford to lose everything to some few selfish individuals,” Mr Rockson said.
The Regional Minister said he believed that there was a syndicate involved in the illegal logging activities and urged Officials of the Forestry Commission to cooperate with the investigation and the Taskforce teams to help address the problem.
The rosewood trees when processed into timber are sold at very expensive prices and exported into countries including China to manufacture other products including furniture.
During his vetting by Parliament as the Regional Minister of the Upper East, Mr Bukari , mentioned illegal logging of trees particularly the rosewood trees as some of the major problems confronting the Region and pledged to work with other stakeholders to weed out the culprits engaged in the exercise.