Agencies and individuals in the country have eulogized the government for instituting the ‘Green Ghana Day’ project.
The project, which officially commenced on Friday, sought to plant more than five million trees in a day. The aim is to preserve and protect the country’s forest cover and the environment at large. Different organisations joined the tree planting exercise. They eulogized the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for instituting the day.
The Danquah Institute earlier publicized the activity by advertising on all its social media platforms. It also planted a variety of tree seedlings which were secured from the Forestry Commission. The trees included coconut, lemon, eucalyptus and orange.
The newly appointed Acting Executive Director of the Institute, Dr Antoinette Tsiboe-Darko, led the DI team to also plant three ceremonial trees to mark the day. The trees were named after the iconic fathers of the Institute, Danquah, Busia and Dombo.
Dr Tsiboe-Darko reiterated the importance of the exercise. She described it as necessary, exciting, and very inclusive.
She noted that in the past, similar exercises had been more exclusive.
“I observed that in Accra a lot of individuals on their own were very involved in this exercise and the euphoria in planting trees has really caught on.
“I am exceptionally happy because this is how Johannesburg, the city with the most trees in Africa, became what it is today,” she said.
From the Eastern Region, Daily Statesman correspondent Mudasiru Abdul Yakeen reported that members of the Koforidua Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Ascension congregation, took the initiative as their major project. They lauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the government for the decision to rekindle the spirit of tree planting in Ghanaians.
The District Minister, Rev Dr Kofi Amfo-Akonnor, said Presbyterians have a tree planting day, called ARBOR DAY, on their calendar, a day they use to plant trees around their churches, schools, offices, homes. He noted that the government’s tree planting vision, therefore, sits in the vision of the church on tree planting. He urged all members of the church to partake in the exercise and ensure that they nurture their trees to grow.
The Church also used the occasion to plant some trees. Trees planted included teak, casia, rain tree, montalia and christmas tree. They also planted two edible tree crops, coconut and prekese.
Ministry of communication
In the Greater Accra region, Paul Dalafu reported that the Minister of Communications and Digitalisations, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, led the management and staff of her ministry as well as its agencies to plant trees.
The Minister underscored the need for every Ghanaian to plant a tree to save the human species.
“Through human activity, we have destroyed a lot of our vegetation cover in our country. Now we can be part of the solution,” the Minister said.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful also called on the German Indian Kofi Annan Center for Excellence (GI-KACE) to develop an application to monitor the heath and growth of the trees.
“We can use digital technology to assist this effort. It is incumbent on all of us to nurture the trees that have been planted,” she said.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful urged the citizenry and employers to resort to depending on technology to decrease the use of paper at workplaces and homes to reduce the number of trees cut for paper production.
NR Lands Commission
In the Northern Region, Hamza Lansah Lolly reported that the Lands Commission office in the region planted about 200 tree seedlings across its various offices to mark the day.
The tree seedlings planted included acacia, mango, rosewood, shea and nim. They were provided by the Forestry Commission.
Chairman of the Lands Commission in charge of the three northern regions, Dubik Mahama Yakubu, said the Green Ghana project seeks to nurse and nurture trees for the benefit of present and future generations.
He said the current outlook of the country shows that its vegetation cover is under serious threat. He noted that the Green Ghana project will therefore not only help protect the environment, but also address the issue of climate change.
Again, the Green Ghana project, he noted, would ensure that Ghanaians are much aware of the importance of the tree and the need to protect its life span.
Mr Dubik said Ghana is one of the tropical countries with the highest percentage of rainforest loss in the world, adding that the country’s current forest cover stands at 1.6 million hectares down from 8.2 million hectares in 1900.
The Lands Commission chairman attributed the huge depletion of the forest cover to improper mining activities and indiscriminate felling of trees without proper reforestation.
“As a department, we pledge here that Lands Commission will continue to protect these trees and, at the same time, I will also advise the whole country and the whole world to ensure that we protect the land,” he said.
He bemoaned the indiscriminate felling of trees without replanting.
“We should also be careful with the type of trees we cut down. There are some of these trees that take so many years to be able to grow, and we have to ensure that those trees are also protected,” he said.
Mr Dubik also appealed to farmers to control bush fires as they prepare their lands for farming.
In the Sissala East municipality and the Sissala West district, some 89,750 trees were planted on the day.
Mr Karim Nanyua, the acting Sissala East Municipal Chief Executive, urged the public to change their attitude towards the environment for the benefit of the future generation.
“Let’s change our negative attitude towards our environment. Let us be very careful with the way we treat the world as if there is another world elsewhere for us,” he advised.
The MCE expressed worry about the deterioration of the forest cover, which he attributed to bushfire, and called for the tightening of existing by-laws to deal with offenders.
“I want Sissala East to be mentioned as one of the best areas in the country, which is taking the green Ghana project seriously,” he said.