Green Ghana Day: We planted over 22 million trees, says Owusu-Bio

Addressing the media on Monday (13 June), Owusu-Bio called for an effective monitoring and supervision of the seedlings planted to boost the government's aggressive afforestation agenda

The deputy minister of lands and natural resources Benito Owusu-Bio, has said a total of 22,671,696 seedlings were distributed for the 2022 edition of the Green Ghana agenda, which well exceeds the initial 20 million target.

Addressing the media on Monday (13 June), Owusu-Bio called for an effective monitoring and supervision of the seedlings planted to boost the government’s aggressive afforestation and reforestation programme.

“We need to make conscious efforts to nurture the trees by watering them, protect them from destruction, prevent fires, weed under them until they grow to maturity,” he said.

“The survival rate this year will be more than the 85% survival rate last year. The ministry has put in place a monitoring and assessment team under the chairmanship of  Francis Manu-Adabor, who is the chairman of the Parliamentary select committee on lands and forestry to undertake comprehensive field assessment of trees planted this year which includes other members of the Committee like myself and the CEO of the Forestry Commission,” he added.

Owusu-Bio used the occasion to rebuff claims by some section of the media that the Green Ghana Day programme was politicised and partisan, indicating that the event was a national assignment and that the inclusiveness of Ghanaians with diverse backgrounds in the political and religious landscape such as the former President  John Dramani Mahama, former president John Agyekum Kufuor, the National Chief Imam and high profile members of the clergy gives this clear indication that it is for Ghana.

In responding to a question posed by the media on the budget and expenditure of the Green Ghana Day,  Owusu-Bio disclosed that so far, GHC6 million was disbursed to the ministry for the project, out of which the 22 million tree seedlings were obtained, which also included publicity and other expenses in the lead up to the planting.

He added that subsequently, a detailed report of the expenses will be made available to the public just like that of last year.

The CEO of the Forestry Commission, John Allotey on his part, gave an in-depth presentation on the provisional results of the seedlings distributed and planted on the Green Ghana Day.

Pertinent among things highlighted in his presentation were the individual targets assigned to regions and the actual results achieved.

He noted that among the 16 regions, the Ashanti, Ahafo, Bono, Bono East, Eastern and the Greater Accra Regions exceeded their target while the Northern, North East and Oti Region are yet to meet their target due to low rainfall in these regions.

He said, from the 50% target purported to be planted in the forest reserves, 40.2% have been planted and the other 50% for homes and other locations have seen a 59.8% work done, while reiterating that on the whole 22,671,696 seedlings have been distributed so far.

“The national target was to plant 20 million seedlings but as we speak now, we have distributed 22,671,696 and even with this, the districts are still entering some of the figures and so we will update you as and when they come in” He disclosed

He also gave an analysis on the performances of various districts in the regions saying that ” although some districts are yet to meet their target, generally performances have been very impressive in the various districts”

He mentioned the highest seedlings distributed per demand, naming Teak, Ofram, Cidrella, Acacia, and Mahogany as examples, adding that Fruits and Timber species as examples of the species most requested for.

The CEO also welcomed the role of the media in helping to monitor the seedlings planted during Green Ghana Day and added that all information regarding Green Ghana is available at the District Level of Forestry Commission.

He applauded some lead private plantation companies and churches who contributed to the success of the Project, outlining Global Green, Sanatex Ghana, Form Ghana, Sakam Savanna, The Pentecost Church, Catholic, Apostolic, Methodist and Assemblies to God as examples.

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