BY KOJO ANSAH
AROCHA GHANA, an environmental organisation, together with its partners such as USAID, United States Embassy and Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana on Saturday February 17, 2018 marked World Pangolins Day in the Eastern Region.
Commemoration of the day took place at Nsutem and Bonsu stretch of the Accra to Kumasi Highway simultaneously to create awareness on the importance of Pangolins and the need for their conservation.
The organisers offered opportunity to pupils from various schools to actively participate in the awareness exercise.
The Eastern Regional Manager of AROCHA Ghana, Mr Emmanuel Ackom said out of the eight species of pangolins worldwide, three could be found in Ghana but endangered now due to poaching and unsustainable harvesting, as well as destruction of forest reserves.
He said pangolins are very important because they burrow the soil which improves nutrient quality of the soil and aids decomposition. Additionally, they provide a healthy substitute for flush vegetation to grow.
Mr Ackom therefore called for intensified sensitisation and enforcement to protect the endangered pangolins in Ghana.
He expressed worry that there is illegal harvesting of wild animals including pangolins in the Atiwa Forest Reserve which are paraded for sale at the Atiwa stretch of the Accra to Kumasi Highway in the full glare of law enforcement agencies.
He said this was emboldening hunters and poachers, as well as traders to illegally engage in wildlife business in the country.
Wildlife Division to arrest culprits
The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, however, assured that it would clamp down on wildlife traffickers, particularly traffickers of pangolins.
Mr Joseph Yaw Oppong, Public Relations Manager of the Wildlife Division of Ghana said it was liaising with other law enforcement agencies to arrest illegal hunters and poachers depleting wildlife resources including endangered pangolin species in the country.