Andrew Barnes, the Australian High Commissioner on Friday joined the GreenWay International Foundation, an Environmental Protection Organisation to plant one hundred fruit trees at the Ayalolo Cluster of Schools.
The initiative, he said, was to help improve the outlook of the School’s environment and also teach the children the importance of trees in the community.
Mr Barnes said the program was being carried out in the School to highlight that trees formed an important aspect of the environment as they provided shade, beauty, held the soil together and helped against climate change.
Mr Barnes said that GreenWay had spent a lot of money, time and effort on the trees together with the Australian tax payer and the Australian High Commission and so, he entreated the students to value the trees and tell their friends in other schools to do same.
”I want you to protect and look after them so that the next time we come back here, we can see that the trees have grown and prospered,” he added.
He congratulated GreenWay for the tree planting initiative and for bringing the Australian High Commission on board and also thanked the school administration and teachers for their support and for embracing the project.
“Thank you for taking up this project. It is very valuable and I believe that this school will be a demonstration and a leader for other schools in the area and in fact across Ghana,” he added. The High Commissioner disclosed that he was hopeful the Commission would continue with its relationship and engagements with the school to facilitate other environmental projects in the near future.
Mr Michael Olusunya, Country Director for GreenWay International Foundation, said the initiative was being carried out in schools and so far, they had already planted 5,600 trees in various schools across Ghana.
“Today, we have planted an additional 100 trees and this means we have now planted 5,700 fruit trees,” he added. He revealed that the Organisation only planted fruit trees because trees which were without fruits were mostly not valued by its owners.
“People don’t value grow such trees but for us at GreenWay, we understand that trees have to be planted and should bring benefits to the people, that is why we plant fruit trees in schools,” he added.
Madam Francisca Banson, Circuit Supervisor for Ayalolo Circuit 14, pledged that the School would build boxes or meshes around the trees to protect them from being destroyed by students.
“The children have also been given customized bottles and occasionally, the teachers will prompt them to water the plants. When we run out of water, we will appeal to parents to come on board to help us find a solution,” she added.
Madam Banson said the school already had a borehole but was without a pump and therefore called on stakeholders to come to their aid.
Alhassan Asana, a student of Amamomo 1&2 JHS, and one of the students selected to participate in the tree planting project, said the project would help by providing oxygen.
She entreated students and parents to stop cutting down trees and rather plant more trees, “so that we can get more oxygen just as it is said that when the last tree dies, the last man dies,” she added.
Twenty students each were selected from seven different schools that formed part of the Ayalolo Cluster of Schools to participate in the planting of the fruit trees and were each given customized water cans to help them carry out their watering of the plants.
The schools that took part included; Central Mosque A and B Primary School, Akoto Lante Primary and Junior High School, Ayalolo 1 and 2 Kindergarten and Primary School, Accra Preparatory and Primary School, Amamomo 1 and 2 Junior High School, Ayalolo 1 and 2 Junior High School and Ayalolo 3 Kindergarten and Primary School.
The fruit trees planted included; Guava, Tangerine, Avocado Pear, Hybrid and Local Mango.
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