The historical and proverbial Dodowa forest is still under attack as encroachers have defied all rules in order to satisfy their selfish interests.
Not too long ago, news was spread everywhere about the wanton activities of some persons who engaged in crop farming, charcoal burning, illegal logging and building of houses or settlements on the forest lands.
These were disclosed to the express newspaper by the President of the Shai Development Forum ( SDF ), Mr. Renner Awatey Kwesi Noah, also known as Elder Noah in an interview at his office at Dodowa.
He recalled that a press conference and tree planting exercise were jointly organised a few months ago by the forum to help create awareness to address the growing deforestation of the forest.
He however regretted that the only historical and proverbial forest which represented the culture and history of the Shai people was being destroyed with impunity.
He maintained that the forest
is a state property and that no single individual can claim ownership for it.
He therefore expressed worry and wondered who could have granted building permits to those encroachers to destroy the forest. He again wondered whether there was someone responsible for watching over the forest to ward off encrochers.
Mr. Awatey also wanted to know whether the Forestry Commission had a department in Dodowa.
He further appealed to the Osudoku District Assembly to revoke any permit granted any individual to have access to the forest for their personal advantage if indeed there is any.
“What is the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources doing to preserve the forest” he asked. These were among the concerns Mr. Awetey expressed in the interview.
Elder Noah therefore made a passionate appeal to all Shai people both home and abroad to be part of the fight to protect the forest.
He called on the chiefs and opinion leaders of the area not to relent in their efforts to protect the forest. He however did not forget the media and appealed to them to support the course.
He also called on all those occupying portions of the land to vacate in their own interest.
The SDF president noted that they would do all they can within the law to protect the forest, He further called on President Nana Akuffo Addo to come to the aid of the people of Dodowa to help preserve the forest.
Finally, Elder Noah called on the people behind the destruction of the forest to put a stop to it to help save the forest.
Source:Kojo Aidoo,The Express Newspaper