Forestry C'ssion suports Rapid Response unit (March 10,) page 26
The management of the Forestry Commission has presented six Toyota Land Cruiser pickups to its Rapid Response Unit (RRU) to ease the transportation challenges crippling the work of the unit.
The vehicles which were purchased with internally generated funds of the Commission is meant to empower the unit to protect the country’s forest from the activities of illegal chainsaw operators and encroachers.
The vehicles worth one million Ghana cedis are also expected to help the unit police wildlife hotspots in the country to enforce forest and wildlife laws.
The RRU was established in 2012 to deal with the increasing encroachment and destruction of forest reserves and wildlife protected areas in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, said the need to equip the unit had become apparent in the face of the sophisticated nature of vehicles and firepower that the lawbreakers were using.
He commended the various divisions of the commission for improving on their revenue generating activities which he said had helped in the acquisition of the vehicles.
Mr Dartey, therefore, advised the beneficiaries to take good care of the vehicles by putting them to judicious use.
The commander of the unit, Mr Luri Kanton, said since its formation, his outfit had chalked up some successes in its operations. For instance, he said last year, the unit was able to destroy 372 farms in forest reserves, seized 187 chainsaws, and evicted 678 illegal miners from the Upper Wassaw Forest Reserve and also arrested 166 people for various wildlife offences.
He thanked the management of the commission for the vehicles which he said would enhance the work of the unit.