The Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, has assured that the commission is poised to making Ghana green again as it plans to plant several thousands of trees across the country.
This, Mr Afriyie said, would be done in collaboration with the Youth Employment Agency (YEA). The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding meant to engage15, 000 youth for the tree planting project under the Youth in Agriculture and Afforestation Module.
The Greening Ghana programme is an initiative championed by Forestry Commission and is targeted at making Ghana green within the next 10 years through planting trees at public places including major roadsides, schools, hospitals, hotels, churchyards and around water-bodies.
Addressing the media recently after a visit to the Achimota Nursery Site to see the progress of work done so far, Mr. Afriyie, stated, “By the next 10 years, we will ensure that Ghana is green again. In some places, when you touch down you see that the entire country is green with trees; we want to replicate that in Ghana.”
He added, “like I said, the essence[of the programme] is to make Ghana green and so we are going to go to schools, Hospitals, Dam sites and River bodies and wherever we can find a place which needs to have the trees planted.”
He announced that the Commission has been given 30 acres of land at the West Africa Secondary School to plant these trees, adding, “Pantang Hospital,were very happy, they have 35 acres we have gone there and we have examine those places, Prampram Secondary School 20 acres, Weija cluster of schools, Achimota forest and the Weija Dam site.”
He reiterated,“we are not going to spare any place that need to be made green and so by the next ten years, we will ensure that Ghana is green again. I have travelled to so many countries and my deputy as well. In some places, as soon as you touch down and you look at te urban centres you will see that it is all green and the advantages you get from that is myriad and we want to bring that here and to grow the trees around the roads and all places and make sure that we make the places green again.”
Commenting on the YEA programmes, Mr Afriyie indicated that the initiative has been oversubscribed, adding, “We were supposed to employ 15,000 people as I indicated today, it’s been oversubscribed, we are now about 33 thousand and over and still counting.which demonstrates that the young men and women in this country are desirous of getting some employment, and that they don’t want to depend on people for support and that they want to help themselves.”
On his part, Mr Hugh Brown, Director of Operations, Forestry Services Division informed the media that the trees would also be planted in the Achimota forest to give it the needed facelift.
He explained, … “the Achimota forest this is a very degraded forest reserve as you can see, if you look around, you don’t see very large trees, basically what we see are shrubs so what we want to do with this, we are demarcating one hundred acres this year and we will cut strips which will be two meters wide and plant at five metres interval. On the average we will be planting about 400 trees per hectares so that is the strategy for this place so workers will be doing the maintenance and weeding until the trees get out of the ticket canopy,
“This is just Achimota, even within grater Accra we have other sides we have identified. We are going to be working closely with the prisons and we will be working with Pantang mental hospital and some other institutions who have graciously allocated lands for us to plant”
a school, like West Africa secondary, we have about 30 acres. Across the country we are doing similar projects in communities cities and then beyond that we are targeting some degraded forest reserves and using this same workers to establish plantations,
For the forest reserves, we will be planting only timber species which will provide timber products for industry usage and for development, for a place like this, we are planting mainly for conservation purposes to ensure that the wildlife here gets a more habitable p to live”
By Mohammed Suleman