General News of Wed, 14 Jan 20040
Chief gives advice on afforestation
Apam (C/R), Jan. 14, GNA - A chief has asked the government to supply towns and villages alongside the country's coastal belt with free seedlings for the establishment of community afforestation projects to complement national efforts at reclaiming the depleted forests. The programme, he said, must be extended to other parts of the country where the rainfall pattern had been woefully terrible over the years.
Apart from the free seedlings, logistics like Wellington boots and cutlasses should also be given to communities that would embrace the idea.
Nana Affirim X, chief of Apam in the Central Region, made the request when he spoke to the Ghana News Agency on the country's ecological problems at Apam.
Nana Affirim said he had already made available to the Apamman Development Committee 25 acres of land for the establishment of one of such projects in the area and was prepared to give more acreage for expansion purposes when the need arise.
He said if the proposal is given the green light, supply of seedlings or planting materials, must be done annually and afforestation projects initiated by interested communities accompanied by regular inspection by experts from the Forestry Service Commission.
Nana Affirim attributed the erratic rainfall pattern being experienced by coastal towns and villages and other areas in the Central Region to the depletion of both virgin and secondary forests and urged traditional authorities in the region to give out lands for afforestation projects.
He charged forest guards and members of community forest conservation and management committee to step up their activities to save the country's forest reserves from the operation of illegal timber contractors, chainsaw operators, as well as fishermen who collude with some unscrupulous elements in the commission to cut young trees for use as oars to serve their canoes.
Nana Affirim reminded Ghanaians that without trees the nation cannot survive, adding that the water, medicine, food, clothing and shelter which mankind enjoy comes are derived from trees and as such "we need to give the national tree planting programme a collective push to ensure its total success."