Protect Lake Bosomtwe by planting trees

By News, Uncategorized

Three fringe communities on the Lake Bosomtwe Basin have embarked on a tree planting exercise as part of efforts to protect the lake.

The Amakom, Adjaman and Atafram communities embarked on the exercise under the Asantehene Land Restoration Project, which coincided with this year’s International Day of Forests and World Water Day celebrations.

The Forests and World Water days are celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of forests to the people and their vital role in poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and food security.

Led by Nana Adu Mensah Asare, the Chief of Kumasi Amakom and Chairman of the Asantehene Land Restoration Project, the three communities planted hundreds of tree species in the buffer zones of the Lake, which continue to dry up due to human activities.

The King of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is executing the project with support from the Oheneba Poku Foundation and Blaze Metal Resources, which seeks to restore 40,000 hectares of degradable lands in the Bosomtwe Biosphere Reserve.

The target is to plant and manage three million trees by 2024 out of which 2.5 million would be planted in the buffer of the Lake.

Nana Adu Mensah said the Asantehene’s vision was not only to protect Ghana’s only natural lake and other water bodies but also restore lands and forests that had been degraded in his Kingdom.

He said the expectation was that those engaging in farming activities around the lake would be forced to vacate as more trees were planted to save the Lake from further dwindling.

Members of all the 22 communities in the biosphere, he said, had shown commitment to support the King in protecting the lake which is one of the major tourist sites in the region.

Mr Fred Kyei Sarpong, the Executive Director of Oheneba Poku Foundation, said the project would have a huge impact on the livelihood of residents in surrounding communities and beyond as it would address virtually all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

He said 110,000 out the 2.5 million trees had already been planted around the Lake and that 1.5 million more would be planted this year.

“We are not just planting the trees but we are managing them together with all the 22 communities in the Bosomtwe Biosphere Reserve. So they would naturally own and nurture them knowing how significant the trees are to the lake,” he stated.

“We are not only planting trees but we are introducing conservation agriculture here so that farmers can have sustainable ways of farming and also consider the top soil as the most important asset they have”.

He implored the Bosomtwe and Bosome Freho District Assemblies to strictly enforce their by-laws to make illegal activities around the Lake and forest reserves unattractive.

Mr Yaw Oppong Agyemang, the Country Manager of Blaze Metal Resources, said since most streams uptake their sources from forests, it was important to protect and restore the forests to sustain water bodies.

He said his outfit would continue to support the Asantehene to implement the project to restore the vibrant nature of the Lake, thereby improving the local economy.

“Do more to protect Ghana’s forests” – Asantehene urges Forestry Commission

By News

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has urged the Forestry Commission, to step up the fight against illegal logging to protect Ghana’s forest cover from further destruction. He said much more needed to be done to halt the wanton destruction of forest reserves and charged the Commission to strictly enforce the laws to stem the bad practice.

Otumfuo made the observation when a delegation from the Forestry Commission led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace on Wednesday.

The delegation was at the palace to pay homage to the Asante King, who sat in state to receive visitors in commemoration of the Awukudae (one of the sacred days on the Asante calendar).

It was also to pledge the commitment of the Commission to the Lake Bosomtwe Landscape Restoration Project, being implemented by the Otumfuo in collaboration with Oheneba Poku Foundation.

The project seeks to plant 2.5 million trees over a five-year period in the Lake Bosomtwe basin, Ghana’s only natural lake, while contributing to climate change mitigation efforts in the country.

Otumfuo said it was unacceptable for people to plunder the forests with impunity and charged the Forestry Commission to take stringent steps to fight the menace.

He said in other jurisdictions, it was a great offense to cut a tree without authority due to how they valued the importance of trees to the environment.

He commended the Commission for their interest in the Lake Bosomtwe Project which, he said, was very dear to his heart because of the potential to restore the Lake to its glorious past.

The Asantehene directed the Commission to liaise with the Amakomhene, Nana Adu Mensah Asare, who is the Chairman of the implementation Committee to determine when to plant the first tree to signify the commencement of the project.

Mr Owusu-Afriyie said the project was in line with the afforestation programmes being pursued by the Commission, hence it was worth supporting.

He said the Commission would produce all the 2.5 million seedlings required for the project and also deploy its staff under the Youth in Afforestation Programme to hasten the planting exercise.

Additionally, the National Plantation Board would also produce 500,000 seedlings to support the project, he stated.