Environmental advocacy organisation, A Rocha Ghana, the Water Resources Commission (WRC) and the Institute of Nature and Environmental Conservation (INEC) on Friday joined Ghanaians to mark “Green Ghana Day” with a tree planting exercise.

Together with the Duase and Adjaman communities, the three institutions, located on the fringes of Lake Bosomtwe in the Ashanti region, planted 2,000 tree seedlings.

Through the Forestry Commission, government set aside June 11, 2021, to plant five million trees across the country, in a quest to combat depletion and improve conservation.

Senior Basin Officer at the Water Resources Commission, Abena Dufie Wiredu Bremang, stated the Commission was excited about the initiative because it will protect water bodies.

“Green Ghana is a good initiative by the President to restore all these degraded areas within the country and make sure that the country is green again. Water Resources Commission is happy about this initiative because it will help to protect our water bodies.

“Water is life, and every tree that is planted today, goes a long way to protect water bodies, and that is why we are here today at the Lake Bosomtwe biosphere reserve to try to restore all the degraded areas in the Duase community.”

A Rocha Ghana, INEC, Water Resources Commission plant 2,000 trees at Lake Bosomtwe

Programmes Manager for A Rocha Ghana, Prosper Kwame Antwi, also called for a continuous concerted effort from all relevant stakeholders to make such initiatives worth the time and energy.

“Today is indeed a special day for us, A Rocha Ghana and our partners given the fact that this national tree planting event has come to fruition. Posterity will judge us if we do not protect our environment, forest reserves, water bodies, wildlife and all that there is to natural conservation.

“…this is not the first time we’re doing this, but our major worry remains the maintenance culture of the trees thereafter. We should be concerned about its growth and the purpose for which it was planted. I’d moreover like to encourage everybody to go beyond today and be involved in such exercises”, he added.

On his part, Executive Director for INEC, David Amaning Kwarteng, revealed that the national exercise complements his outfits ongoing tree-planting projects in some ecological areas across the country.

“INEC is committed to ensuring that Ghana is green again, and already we have ongoing projects that seek to plant trees in degraded areas in Ghana.

“Currently, we’re planting about 100,000 trees along the transition zones of Ghana, and so we’re supporting the initiative.”

A Rocha Ghana, INEC, Water Resources Commission plant 2,000 trees at Lake Bosomtwe

Other supporters on the day included students from the Natural Resources Department from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration.

Its Project Coordinator, Fred Kyei, reiterated the Asantehene’s commitment to restoring the region’s buffer areas, especially water bodies.

“The Manhyia Palace through the Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration is playing a key role. The Lake Bosomtwe biosphere, which we still maintain through UNESCO and the EPA, is very dear to Asantehene.

“The buffer area, which is 100 metres from the lake, is trying to encourage responsible farming to conserve the lake. We hope this tree planting exercise will help with our efforts to stop erosion and siltation of the lake.”

Lake Bosomtwe, the only natural lake in Ghana, has over the decades been threatened by negative human activities from the 21 communities surrounding it.

These include increased deforestation, dumping of refuse, illegal mining and unsupervised farming along its banks.