Upper West: Wa SHS struggles with tree planting due to activities of roadside container owners

Authorities at the Wa Senior High School have called on the Forestry Commission to support the school by providing wire mesh to protect the vulnerable seedlings

The Assistant Headmaster of Wa Senior High School, Hakeem Musah, highlighted significant challenges faced by the school in their tree planting efforts.

He underscored that the activities of owners of roadside containers are making their attempts to nurse seedlings into trees fruitless.

The Upper West version of Green Ghana Day was hosted by Wa Senior High School, with the headmaster graciously allocating land within the school premises and at the frontage of the school gate to plant over 10,000 seedlings.

Delivering a speech during the occasion, Hakeem Musah said the management of Wa Senior High School has pledged to implement a policy where each of the students is responsible for nurturing a seedling to maturity.

He noted that this initiative aims to result in ten thousand trees on campus within the next few years.

Additionally, Musah called on the Forestry Commission to support the school by providing wire mesh to protect the vulnerable seedlings.

However, Hakeem said the activities of container owners at the frontage of the school wall, particularly their uncontrolled burning of waste materials, have led to countless bushfires, which thwart the greening efforts of the school.

“Nursing seedlings into trees is one of our priorities, especially with over two hundred students in the Agric Department,” Musah stated. “However, the line-up of containers in front of the school’s wall by the roadside has become a significant nuisance.

Musah appealed to the Hon. Regional Minister to take action to remove the containers obstructing the school’s efforts. “We need the containers evacuated to enable us to effectively nurse seedlings into trees,” he said.

Godfred Quashigah, the regional manager of the Forest Service Division, highlighted the extensive preparations and community sensitisation efforts undertaken to ensure the success of this year’s campaign.

The Upper West Region has set an ambitious target of planting 600,000 tree seedlings for the 2024 Green Ghana Day (GGD) celebration.

This initiative, part of a broader national goal of 10 million seedlings, underscores the theme of “Growing for a Greener Tomorrow.”

Mr. Quashigah proudly reported the impressive achievements of the Green Ghana Day initiative over the past three years.

“We have distributed and planted over 1.3 million trees in both on- and off-forest reserves, consistently exceeding our yearly targets with a survival rate of 60 to 70%, verified by an independent institution,” he stated.

The 2024 target for the Upper West Region aims to plant 600,000 seedlings, encompassing timber species, shade trees, ornamental, and fruit trees.

As of the morning of June 7, 2024, over 534,000 seedlings had already been distributed, and Mr. Quashigah commended the media and various collaborators, including churches, mosques, schools, traditional authorities, security services, hospitals, NGOs, private individuals, plantation developers, and financial institutions.

In his concluding remarks, Quashigah emphasised the importance of ongoing care for the planted trees, urging the community to nurture them to maturity.

“Tree planting is not an event; it is a process,” he reminded the audience.

He also called for the formation of Green Clubs in all schools within the region to support the presidential initiative.

Speaking on behalf of the Upper West Regional Minister, Peter Maala renewed the call for collective action in fighting desertification and promoting sound environmental practices.

He highlighted the Green Ghana Project as a significant measure by the government, led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to combat forest degradation and contribute to the global fight against climate change.

The ceremony concluded with a symbolic tree planting by the representative of the Regional Minister following the Overlord of the Waala Traditional Council to inspire active participation in this vital environmental initiative.

Attendees were encouraged to pick a tree seedling as they left, committing to plant and nurture it for a greener tomorrow.

Reporting by Alhasan Tajudeen in the Upper West Region

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