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GNFS solidarize with 2019 National Best Maize Farmer

  5 Février      70        Société (41558),


Accra, Feb. 5, GNA — The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) last Monday  visited the  farm of Mr John Dimah, 2019 National Best Maize Farmer, whose farm was razed down by fire last January in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region.
The fire destroyed about 31 acres of maize field of the farmer.
Mr Issifu Gbene Waziru, the Farm Manager of Mr John Dimah Farms, explaining to the fire personnel how it happened said; “We were at a funeral at home when a call came from another farmer who reported to us what had happened and there was no means to rescue the crops”.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Semekor Kwaku Fiadzo, Director of Rural Fires who led the GNFS Solidarization Mission to the Upper West Region, said the mission was to sympathize with the 2019 National Best Maize Farmer and others who might have been affected and to assess the level of damage so as to offer technical advice on preventive measures.
He said GNFS preliminary investigations indicates that it was a moving fire and its real origin was unknown because the disaster occurred when nobody was around.
DCFO Fiadzo said the Upper West Region was a fire prone area and as such, the GNFS would expand awareness creation and launch the National Bush Fire Prevention campaign, which would involve training of volunteers to combat fires.
This, he said, had already been started in the Region and would be extended to other parts of the North.
The Director of Rural Fires therefore advised that farmers should begin to utilize the fire volunteers who were well-trained, describing them as frontline approach to firefighting at the community level.
“They have been there for some time now and we intend to revive the volunteer spirit so that in cases of fire disaster, the volunteers can offer assistance,” he said.
These volunteers numbering 68 in the Upper West Region have been trained by the GNFS and equipped with tools including wellington boots, nose guards, cutlasses and fire beaters to champion a campaign to end bush fires in the country.
He said in as much as government had introduced some flagship programmes such as the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’, the ‘Re-afforestation project’, among other novelties, proper control of bush fires had to be observed otherwise, government would not achieve its target.
Therefore, he called on all stakeholders to support the cause, since the GNFS cannot do it all alone.
He further urged that the various Assemblies should enact by-laws and punish culprits to discourage the practice.
Though 21 acres of farmland had already been harvested before the fire, 10 acres worth of maize crop remained. The yet-to-be harvested maize crop perished in the flames of the bushfire.
The farmer estimated he had made a loss of 1,147 mini bags of maize to the fire. Further checks by the GNA indicate that fire outbreaks have led to the loss of farm produce which hit farmers hard with huge losses of investment. Most affected are maize farmers.
GNFS, therefore, advised farmers to create fire belts around their farms to curb major losses of farm produce through indiscriminate bush burning.
Mr Abraham Nii Dodoo, the Divisional Officer Grade One (DOI), the Upper West Regional Commander of GNFS, said the Region recorded 15 fatalities resulting from various fire outbreaks in 2019, showing an increase in 2018 cases.
The total number of casualties, however, decreased from 40 cases in 2018 to 33 cases in 2019.
The total number of recorded fire incidences in the Region also soared from 161 reported incidents to 193.
DOI Nii Dodoo who gave the statistics to the Ghana News Agency in Wa explained that even though 2018 recorded fewer fire incidents, the total estimated cost of damage amounted to GH¢471,861.00, leapfrogging that of 2019, which is GH¢275,990.00.
The total estimated cost of salvage in 2018 also amounted to GH¢3,484,100.00, while that of 2019 stood at GH¢1,122,050.00.
Domestic fires, which topped the chart in both years saw a marginal decrease from 66 reported incidents in 2018 to 65 in 2019.
The statistics indicate that bush fires, which recorded 27 incidents in 2018, jumped to 51 incidents in 2019, while vehicular fires also scaled up a bit from 14 to 16 incidents respectively.
Commercial fire incidents recorded a decrease from 27 incidents to 24, whereas fires resulting from accidents also decreased from 10 to six, according to the statistics.

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