Illegal felling of timber by chainsaw operators in the Wassa East District of the Western Region has taken a new dimension.
The syndicate now involves some unscrupulous forestry officials and the Military. These officials of the state pretend to have arrested and escorting chainsaw operators with their illegally sawed wood fully packed in a truck to Forestry Office in Takoradi or Cape coast. The strategy is only to evade the authorities and citizens from their operation.
This mode of arrest of chainsaw operators by forestry and military officials to curb illegally acquired lumber from the District has become rampant. Some timber merchants who have concession in the District has on several occasions complained about the syndicate.
Out of the above rising concerns, the Wassa East District Chief Executive, Hon. Emmanuel Boakye has vowed to end the operations of the syndicate, stressing that the Assembly will stop and seize all illegally acquired lumber being escorted out of the District without the necessary documentation.
The DCE expressed the concern during a working visit in the Ekutuase Electoral Area. Communities along the stretch include among others, Edwinase, Ekutuase, Saakye, Atobiase , Domama, Tosen, Amponsaso and Sekyere Obuase.
He indicated that he has personally encountered and seen the activities of these officials at a time when he was not a DCE, an encounter he described as an eyesore.
The Chief Executive said he has invited all sawmill owners for a meeting. In that meeting they were to come along with their business operating permit and other licenses.
According to him this will officially give the Assembly information in mapping ways to stop the illegal chainsaw business.
Hon. Boakye further called on chiefs and people of Wassa East to be citizens and not spectators in protecting the natural resources of the land by reporting activities of illegal chainsaw operators and further called on the forestry commission to put their house in order by cautioning their officers who are part of the syndicate.