Regional

Forestry Commission empowers Wildlife guards

As part of measures to equip and protect its frontline staff, the Forestry Commission has provided the necessary training for its Wildlife guards.

The training, in confidence and team building, is to equip the guards properly to enable them to carry out their mandated duties.

Mr John Allotey, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, was speaking at the closing ceremony of the training, which involved 145 Wildlife Assistant Managers and Resource Guards of the Wildlife Division of the Commission at the Asutsuare Training Camp.

He said, “No longer will any staff lose their lives, protecting the natural resources of the country”.

He said management had realised the urgent need for the training of its field staff following the recent casualties and fatalities the staff had encountered throughout the years.

“There have been several reported cases of poachers, illegal loggers and galamsay operators, who have maimed or even killed our staff on normal patrol duties, “he added.

He said it was on record that the Wildlife Division of the Commission alone had lost five of its guards to activities of poachers, with the latest incident in March, this year, at the Via National Park.

Mr Allotey said, henceforth, all these unfortunate events would become a thing of the past.

He commended the Ghana Armed Forces, especially the officers in charge of the Asutsuare Training Camp for the training and urged the trainees to apply all they learnt during the three-week exercise adding that, it should reflect on their performances in the coming year.

“Through this, the Commission will achieve its vision to leave future generations and their communities a with richer, better and more valuable Wildlife resources than we inherited, ” he added.

He advised the trainees not to pose as Military officers, when they get back to their various communities and cautioned that anyone caught posing as such would be sanctioned.

Major Frank Agyeman, the Officer in Charge of the Asutsuare Training Camp said the 64 Infantry Regiment was always ready to support the Commission to train its frontline staff and urged the trainees to exhibit a high sense of discipline and put everything learnt into use.

The trainees were taken through activities such as Voice procedure, time management, weapon handling, rule of engagement and health conditions in the forest.

The rest are first aid lessons, living in the jingle, fieldcraft, jingle Survivor, map reading and navigation.

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