National tree planting is an exercise in futility – Ahmed Ibrahim

Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, has chastised the national tree planting exercise that took place on Friday June 11.

He said the exercise was a non-inclusive one initiated by the government which smacks of futility from the onset of the programme.

The Banda Lawmaker said, for government to show seriousness and goodwill in the tree planting exercise, it should have charged the Lands and Forestry Committee in parliament to embark on a national fact-finding tour to ascertain the requisite knowledge that will ensure the fruition of the national exercise.

He stated that the government cannot just campaign for tree planting without coming up with a sustainable programme to ensure its perpetuity. He thus advised government to enact a law that will safeguard the national tree planting exercise like many other governments have done in the past.

Speaking to TV3 on Friday, June 11, on the heels of the national tree planting exercise slated for June 11 every year, to plant some 5 million trees to save the earth and to enhance the climatic condition in the country.

He said “Mr. Speaker should have allowed the Lands and Forestry Committee to go on a nationwide tour and just do a fact-finding on all the tree planting we have been lamenting about. You don’t plant the tree and leave it there, there must be a sustainable way of making sure that the forest that you are creating survives. In 1971, the government of Ghana, through a legislative Instrument(LI) acquired land in my district to create a forest reserve. When you go there, it is there, that forest is there and whatever tree you want is there. All the wildlife are in the forest, people go there to see them, that was a concerted and deliberate effort and a passage of law to regulate it.

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“That is how we should go but you can’t just make an open declaration ‘job for the boys’, to recruit 45,000 people to plant trees, you have recruited them. Meanwhile you have not acquired any specific land by law that they should go and plant trees, it’s an exercise in futility. After June 11, which is only a day, what concerted effort is going to ensure that those trees are watered everyday to grow annually and make everywhere green”. 

“Meanwhile when you come to the front here, the trees there are been cut down, the Parks and Gardens are been depleted, the plant lands are been taken from them. They are not been resourced, when we were approving their budget in parliament, they lamented that even water tankers to water the plants they don’t have, the one they have is over 40 years old. It was Zoomlion who donated a water tanker to them recently. Is Zoomlion the President of Ghana? And if you are living on volunteerism, what if the aids are not coming? So clearly there must be a concerted effort, government must play an all-inclusive game, I’m saying but we will assist them to plant the trees but next time when there is employment they should consider our boys as well”, the Deputy Chief Whip of the opposition NDC charged.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah||Ghana