No fewer than 20 young trees were planted on the office premises of the Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly in 2022 under the Green Ghana Project (GGP). But none of them survived.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) of the area, Gerard Ataogye, disclosed this during the commemoration of the Green Ghana 2023 in the district Friday.
“Once again, we are here, this very spot, to do what we’ve been doing every year― Green Ghana. Of course, last year experience, so terrible, so bad. It was at this same spot that we planted the trees and we can’t even see a single one.
“The trees were growing very well; but knowing this part of our country, rearing of animals is at will, free range. The animals destroyed everything. Here we are again. This time we took it upon ourselves that we must fence this place and make sure that we have water here and green our environment,” he told a commemoration crowd at Paga, the district’s capital.
He delivered the speech in the forecourt of the assembly, where the free-range animals consumed the young trees, but is now fenced with wire mesh to protect the next set of seedlings.
“We ought to green our environment for so many things. We must oxygenate our environment. We must promote biodiversity because the birds and what have you need shelter. We need to have shade for our people― windbreak.
“The trees don’t need us. We need them. And we have no choice but to need them. It’s not just a want. It is a need. Unfortunately, Forestry Commission, there is a need for serious sensitisation in the various communities so that they will know the value of a tree. When you destroy one tree, it’s tantamount to murdering 20 human beings,” he said.
Forestry Commission appeals for fencing materials
The event saw in attendance heads of government departments and agencies, officers of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and students of the Paga Senior High School among other stakeholders.
“All my officers here, when the time comes for us to plant, every single plant will be assigned to an officer. Help protect it. I will pick my own. I will go for two. We have the seedlings in abundance, so we have no excuse. We just have no excuse. And whenever you are destroying a plant, or a tree, just know that you are killing a human being,” added the DCE.
Hundreds and thousands of seedlings are to be planted across four political districts of the Forestry Commission in the western part of the Upper East Region in 2023.
The four political districts are Kassena-Nankana Municipality, Kassena-Nankana West District, Builsa North Municipality and Builsa South District.
“We are to raise and plant 235,000 diverse tree seedlings or species. The species are cassia, teak, kapok, baobab, mahogany, cashew, mango, neem, eucalyptus, senya, papao and others. We are to plant 200,000 of the seedlings inside forest reserves and give 35,000 seedlings to off-reserves. That is our target for this year.
“But we need to provide fencing materials, especially in the north here, for the farmers that come for the seedlings so that they can fence them. The problem is the fencing, because we have free-range animals around. We are doing our part,” the District Manager in charge of the four political districts, Emmanuel Owusu, told newsmen.
He added: “Maybe, other donors and financial institutions can also come in and provide fencing materials.”
The day was observed under the theme: “Our Forests, Our Health!”
Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/mwbonline.org