The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in partnership with Street Sense Organisation (SSO), a road safety organisation has organised a tree growing exercise along the Bukom Boxing Arena and Korle-Bu Mortuary Road in Accra.
The exercise, which was supported by the Ghana Forestry Commission, Ghana Wildlife Society, Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises under Association of Ghana Industries (GRIPE-AGI), Let’s Do It Ghana and over 300 volunteers forms part of efforts to commemorate World Environment Day 2021, on the theme, “Ecosystem Restoration"
Mr Desmond Appiah, the Resilience and Sustainability Advisor to the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah in a remark before the commencement of the exercise said the purpose of the exercise was to help beautify the city by providing shades along pedestrian walkways and greening open spaces, as well as mitigate the effects of climate change.
He said the tree growing concept involved the planting and nurturing of the trees to achieve results adding that a plan had been rolled out to ensure the maintenance of the trees.
He said cities were becoming heat islands because of the unfavourable activities on the environment and the partnership with SSO came at an opportune time as the AMA had planned to plant 100,000 trees in Accra.
He pointed out that the AMA had developed a Climate Action Plan and identified the need for shaded walkways among others to reduce the heat.
“SSO is a road safety organisation, but promoting pedestrian safety requires that we look at other things and not only the vehicles and the roads but promote the ability of people to walk easily and freely...
In Accra, most of the journey is made through walking but people will not walk if there is so much heat, so we need to plant more trees along the walkways to promote quality health and comfort for pedestrians.”
He also urged other corporate groups and organisations to partake in similar activities to protect the environment.
Mr Samson Oddoye, the National Coordinator of SSO, said the exercise aligned with the SSO’s eighth objective of encouraging and promoting tree growing along streets.
He stressed the importance of growing trees along roads saying, “trees preserve the shoulders of the road and the attendant walkways from the effects of erosion”.
“Trees expand the life span of roads. Damaged roads caused by erosion pose a threat to all users since they can result in road crashes with their attendant fatalities, injuries and other negative socioeconomic effects, ” he said.
He urged the public to join the exercise to grow more trees to ensure a healthy environment and also urged the AMA to enforce its bye-laws on roaming animals to ensure that the trees are not destroyed.