Rainfall on Friday morning could not deter Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, to lead the “Green Ghana” tree planting exercise in the region in which a total of 150,000 trees are expected to be planted.
The Regional Minister, despite the rain, led the team of Heads of Departments and Agencies, including some staff of the Forestry Commission and youth in Wa, to plant a tree at the Wa Forest near Danku in the Wa Municipality to kick start the “Green Ghana” project in the region.
Addressing the people before planting the tree, he urged them to take the exercise very seriously to help avert the potential desertification of the country.
“As humans, we need to put in efforts, particularly those of us in the five regions of the north, who are threatened by the desertification so we need to consciously plant trees to regain our past status,” Dr Salih stated.
The government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, had initiated the “Green Ghana” project aimed at planting five million trees on Friday, June 11, 2021, as part of efforts by the government to reclaim the lost vegetative cover of the country.
The Regional Minister said the forest cover of the country was about 8.8 million hectares in the 1990s but had reduced to about 1.5 million hectares currently, and warned that if pragmatic measures were not taken to reverse the situation, the entire forest cover of the country would be depleted.
The Regional Minister said 11th June would henceforth be christened “Green Ghana” day and shall be observed annually.
“I want to urge all of us, the issue is not about planting trees but also nurturing them to survive. So, I am going to take note of where I am going to plant this tree and occasionally I will come to see whether the tree is surviving or not,” Dr Salih said.
He, therefore, encouraged all to do the same to ensure the exercise yielded the expected results, and to plant trees regularly, quoting the adage, “when the last tree dies, the last man will die”.