The Forestry Commission has procured 1000 guns and other sophisticated weapons to be used by its staff for forestry and wildlife duties starting February 2020, MyNewsGh.com has learnt.
This was disclosed by the
Chief Executive Officer of the Commission Mr. Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie popularly
known as “Sir John” who said that the guns will enable the Forest Commission
staff guards “to protect themselves and also repel the frequent attacks on them
by some unscrupulous people, including illegal chainsaw operators and poachers”.
He explained further that the
guns will be used “to combat the increasing spate of illegal logging, mining,
farming and other such activities in our forest reserves and wildlife protected
areas, different approaches are being pursued.
Mr. Owusu-Afriyie, who was
speaking at the end-of-year briefing and awards ceremony at the headquarters of
the FC, said “the commission sought the approval of the Public Procurement
Authority to procure 1,000 arms and ammunition for forest and wildlife guards
for the effective patrol of our forest and wildlife estates”.
He cited instances when forest
rangers of the FC on duty had been shot at, thereby putting their lives in
The Deputy CEO of the Forestry Commission in November 2019 said the weapons would give the commission some form of visibility, adding that while forest guards might not be the first to attack, “it will give our men some protection and make the poachers aware that we can match them and even with superior firepower’.
“In the past, it was like
sending an army to war without ammunition. Our guards had their hands tied
behind their backs. The people they contend with bear sophisticated weapons and
they know that we are not properly equipped, and that is why they easily attack
our guards,” he said.
Source: MyNewsGh.com/Stephen Zoure