Ghana faces the risk of losing its mangrove cover if water pollution, overexploitation, wildfires, other human activities, and impact of climate are not addressed urgently.    

The mangrove cover is estimated at 72.4 kmwith over 18 million trees, according to the Forestry Commission of Ghana.

One of the areas under threat is Obane with 15.12 hectares.

To help mitigate the danger, Prudential Life Insurance Ghana in collaboration with a non-governmental organization, Strategic Youth Network for Development(SYND) , Forestry Commission, and residents of Obane have planted 2,000 seedlings of mangrove.  

The tree planting exercise would help protect Songhor Ramsar Site which is at Ada Foah Obane in the Ada East district of the Greater Accra region. 

Speaking to Joy Business on the sidelines, Head of Sustainability at Prudential Life Insurance Ghana, Emmanuel Hammond said the company believes in sustainability, hence the need to support the Green Ghana Day initiative.

“We are considering a five-year plan to plant more mangroves to improve the community’s resilience to environmental challenges. Apart from the 2000 mangrove seedlings planted at Obane, Prudential Life has supported the distribution of 15000 seedlings in other communities since 2022,” he shared.

Mangroves serve as barriers against coastal erosion and storm surges, safeguarding homes and agricultural land as well as breeding grounds for fish and other marine lives as source of fuelwood, timber and other benefits.

For Chief Financial Officer at Prudential Life Insurance Ghana, Adam Burge, the company decided to fund the initiative which aligned with their goals.

“We are doing this because we’re partners of every life and protectors of every future. These are in sync with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and our sustainability goals of enhancing education, health and safety,” he said.

Songhor Ramsar site which is under the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission is having a fair share of the depletion. 

Site manager, Ernest Apenkwa warned that due to human activities, there is the need for deliberate effort to restore and increase the mangrove cover.

“Encroachment, overgrazing among other challenges are disturbing the natural state of this area. We need more mangrove here because it checks flooding. The roots of the mangrove serves as breeding ground for fish to lay their eggs, get hatched and this will in turn help the fisherfolk”.

The Executive Coordinator of Strategic Youth Network for Development Ghana (SYND) which is into climate and environmental sustainability, Chibeze Ezekiel touched on how crucial it is to protect wetlands to support the lives of the locals.

“Information from Forestry Commission indicates that restoring Ghana’s vegetation will be incomplete without wetlands being protected to support the lives of people who live in places like Obane”

For SYND, the initiative is particular importance since will sustain the livelihood of the people including fishing, boost local economy and preserve the environment for generations ahead.

He indicated that desire to upscale the planting project to cover other areas with dire need of restoration and mangrove cover.

Chibeze Ezekiel was grateful Forestry Commission and Prudential Life Insurance for the expertise and funding respectively.

Youth Committee Secretary at Obane, Eric Tetteh Addo Wusah revealed their sources of livelihood including fishing and farming have negatively been affected over the depletion of the mangrove and choked creek which connects the Volta lake and the sea.

“We will take care of the seedlings. We need support from other organizations and philanthropists to plant more mangroves and dredge parts of the wetlands to protect the land and improve our livelihood,” he urged.

For Prudential Life Insurance Ghana, planting of the mangroves is in line with United Nation’s SDGs including Life Below Water (SDG 14), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Life on Land (SDG 15) and is committed similar initiatives.

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