Community Fire Management Project

 

Background

The annual wildfires have contributed immensely to the deforestation and land degradation of the Ghana's tranisitional zone. Wildfire is a well-known contributor to the forests destructions, biodiversity and wildlife habitat loss, and contributes to food insecurity in the area, as many food produce and farms burn every fire season. The riparian forests are almost completely depleted resulting in pollution and drying of rivers and streams during dry seasons.

 

As student volunteers, we conducted scientific research using consultative processes and participatory approaches to understand the causes of ritual occurrence of wildfires within the Chiraa community, where most wildfires originate in the semi-arid zone of the Brong Ahafo Region.  The study revealed that the principal causes of wildfires in the area is through slash and burn system of farming, and that many of the forest fringe communities do not have fire volunteers to assist controlled burning, wildfire awareness/sensitisation is gradually diminishing in the region. The study also revealed that when communities do have fire volunteers, they tend to be elderly men and women who lack physical strength and logistics to operate efficiently. The average age of volunteers ranges from sixty four (64) to eighty (80) years.

 

In an effort to forestall the unfortunate consequences of wildfire, we facilitated multi-stakeholder collaboration between the Ghana National Fire Service, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Faculty of Forest Resources Technology of KNUST, Brong Ahafo Regional Coordinationg Council, Sunyani Municipal Health Service and Traditional and Opinion leaders within Chiraa community to create environmental awareness and training of the communities in wildfire management and sustainable farming practices.

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