The Kalakpa game reserve is one of several wildlife conservation area or a protected area currently under the management of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission.
The reserve has recently been in the news over illegal harvesting of Rosewood leading to the seizure of several Rosewood logs and equipment by the security agencies.
Following the story, some community leaders in the AbutiaDevelopment Union in Ho West alleged that the government had granted concession to some timber contractors to harvest Rosewood and other forest products within the Kalakpa Game reserve.
Some of the youth within the Abutia community that our reporter spoke to were very bitter about the development and questioned why the government would not allow them to rather benefit from the forest reserve instead of releasing concessions to outsiders.
The aggrieved youth were ready to confront any timber firm that would venture into the forest to harvest the wood.
The government has however denied the said accusations through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, stating emphatically that the Ministry had not granted any concession for the harvesting of Rosewood or any other forest product within the Kalkpa Resources Reserve.
In his response to parliamentary question asked by the Ho West Member of Parliament, Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah on the concession allegations by the Abutia Development Union and certain of the public, the sector Minister, Kwaku Asomah Kyeremeh confirmed that “currently no concession has been granted to any individual or organization within the reserve”
He affirmed that since the reserve was a protected area under the management of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, no logging operation was permitted in the Reserve.
The minister however revealed that “there are a number of illegal settler communities within the reserve, such as Fosimeand Dzroade (Ho West), Vanakope and Avetakpoe (Central Tongu), which have not been evacuated and resettled outside the reserve since its creation in 1975.”
He further disclosed that “some people from such illegal settler communities carried out illegal logging of Rosewood in the reserve and were arrested and prosecuted by the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission”.
“The Rosewood billets were then seized and later auctioned to Mcdon Wood and Timber Limited to evacuate them from the reserve and the appropriate revenue was dully paid”
On his part the CEO of Mcdon Wood and Timber disclosed that they have saved the nation monies that could have been lost through illegal activities, and admonished Ghanaians to respect state institutions and transact legitimate businesses for national development.