Green Ghana trees are flourishing- Owusu-Bio
Majority of the trees planted in parts of Accra under the Green Ghana initiative over the last two years are flourishing.
Those struggling to survive are expected to gain fresh energy to continue growing when the rainy season sets in.
This came to light yesterday when some officials from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) and the Forestry Commission (FC) toured some of the sites.
Led by a Deputy Sector Minister, Benito Owusu-Bio, the tour of the Achimota forest, Achimota School and National Seismological Observatory Centre was to enable the delegation assess the growth of the trees.
He was accompanied by Mr Sulemana Nyaadia, FC Deputy Chief Executive Officer; Mr Hugh Brown, Executive Director of Forest Service Division, and Mr Joseph Osiakwan, Technical Director for Forestry at the MLNR.
The tour was also to mobilise public support to protect and preserve the country’s forest cover and environment.
Addressing the journalists after the tour, Mr Owusu-Bio mentioned that the survival of the trees in Accra was consistent with those in other parts of the country.
Referring to reports from the FC, he said for 2021, 65 per cent and 67 per cent of the planted seedlings are surviving in on-reserved and off reserved sites respectively.
“In 2022, both on-reserved and off reserved sites recorded a survival rate of 72 per cent but rate of survival will be low until beyond third year of cycle by which roots are matured and can withstand conditions,” he said.
He stressed the need to protect the country’s vegetation, saying “today we do not see the direct benefit of tree planting exercise but in future we will, as it addresses climate change.”
The Minister urged the public to embrace the project by nurturing the trees and commended the officials of the FC for their dedication in ensuring the success of the project.
Mr Owusu-Bio lauded the media for their continuous sensitisation on the need to protect the forest reserve and called for more of such collaboration.
Relatedly, the Technical Director of Forestry at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR), Mr Joseph Osiakwan, asked Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) across the country to nurture trees in order to ensure they mature.
Speaking during a tour of the Chipa Forest Reserve, he said there were reports of animals grazing on the plants and other persons setting fires in the median of roads, thereby destroying the plants and defeating the purpose of the project.
He added that the planting of tress was Ghana’s contribution to global efforts in reducing climate change, if we are able to increase the tree stock at all avenues it would also help in absorbing carbon dioxide.
Mr Osiakwan said most trees had been cut and when the tree stock were increased it would help protect the environment.
For her part, the District Manager of FC, Tema Area, Mrs Winifred Ohene Wiafe, said 74 per cent of the trees planted in 2022 at the forest survived.
She said as part of efforts to ensure the survival of the plants, they ensure watering, weeding and plough the land, adding that 24 hour patrols were also done by the forest officials to prevent bush burning.
At the Shai Hill Resource Reserve, the Park Manager, Mr Prince Anane Agyei, stated that 50 per cent of the trees planted last year survived.
He said the mahogany trees that were planted at the forest reserve were affected by weather conditions, adding that with the hope that the rains set in this year, the plants would grow as expected.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI