OKA One Million Tree campaign launched at Akwamu

 Ghanaians have been cautioned to be mindful of the negative impact of their actions on the environment as the country seeks to achieve rapid socio-economic development.

According to the Paramount Chief of the Akwamu Traditional Area, Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, the environment, which consists of trees, formed a central part of human life cycle, and, therefore, if not protected could negatively impact human lives.

He gave the caution at the offi­cial launch of the OKA One Mil­lion Tree campaign project which is being spearheaded by him and held at the Akwamu Traditional Council in the Eastern Region last Friday.

Five million tree seedlings are expected to be planted by the Akwamu Traditional Council in collaboration with Praxis Africa, with support from the Volta River Authority (VRA) over the next five years under the project.

The planting of the tree seedlings formed part of efforts to improve upon rainfall in the river basin as a complement to the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Devel­opment Goal 15.

Among the tree seedlings expected to be planted under the project are medicinal, shade, and mangrove tree seedlings.

Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III said research had shown that drought and rising temperatures were threatening the lives of more than three million people, with over two million hectares of lands across the world degraded, endangering the ecosystem of plants and wildlife.

However, he indicated that the UN had identified seven sus­tainable ways to restore blighted landscape and environment, which were the protection of pollinators, saving of soil, making agriculture sustainable, restoration of freshwa­ter ecosystems, renewal of coastal marine areas, bringing nature back to cities, and the generation of finance for restoration.

“Let us support the UN in this direction by planting trees and ensuring that they are grown to sustain life on earth,” he added.

For his part, the Manager, Environment, VRA, Mr Ulysses Ocran-Hammond, who represent­ed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), noted that the VRA had taken afforestation and defor­estation seriously over the years as it had ensured that it created an enabling environment for the availability of water to generate electricity.

He also emphasised the need to nurse tree seedlings to en­hance afforestation to protect the environment, and pledged VRA’s support to the OKA Tree cam­paign project.

The Gyaasehene of Akwamu Kotropei and Country Director of Praxis Africa, Ogyegu Korankye Wontumi II, said an initiative dubbed “one-student-one-tree” would soon be initiated and urged students interested to reach out when it is rolled out.

The District Coordinating Di­rector of the Asuogyaman District Assembly, Mr Prosper Agbenyo, representing the District Chief Executive, Mrs Mavis Opokua Akunnor, said school boundaries would be demarcated for the plant­ing of the tree seedlings, and also lauded the paramount chief for the initiative.



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