Benjamin Sackey (2nd from left), Director, Environment and Sustainable Development Department, with some VRA workers as he plants a seedling
Benjamin Sackey (2nd from left), Director, Environment and Sustainable Development Department, with some VRA workers as he plants a seedling

VRA surpasses 70% tree sustainability target

The Volta River Authority (VRA) has urged its workers to ensure they attach much importance to the government’s Green Ghana Day initiative, to maintain the lead of 92 per cent survival rate of trees planted from 2021 to 2023 as against the national target of 70 per cent.

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Marking the fourth year of the Green Ghana Day programme on the theme: “Growing for a Greener Tomorrow” in Akosombo last Friday, the VRA planted 2,500 seedlings at Akosombo, making it a total of over 5,600 since the programme started in all the VRA locations, with a survival rate of 92 per cent as assessed by the Forestry Commission and, therefore, surpassing the forestry standard of 70 per cent.

In his address to the staff, which was read on his behalf, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VRA, Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, said this year’s programme highlighted the importance of the forest to the authority and future generations.

Reading the address, the Director, Environment and Sustainable Development Department, Benjamin Sackey, said: “This massive greening campaign is not just a call to action but a beacon of hope and an epic step towards preserving the sanctity of our natural environment.

“We, as VRA workers, know and are aware of how important trees are to us as an authority along the Volta Lake and we need to champion the course of the Green Ghana Day programme. We started well, our trees are doing well and we need to continue and maintain the highest survival rate.” 

Contribution  

According to the VRA CEO, over the years, the authority has contributed significantly to the tree-planting efforts. That, he said, included initiatives such as planting over 600 trees in all the VRA locations in 2021 when the authority celebrated its 60th anniversary, planting a degraded Sapawso Forest Extension Reserve in 2022 and planting in some designated areas within five senior high schools in the Asuogyaman District in 2023.

Mr Antwi-Darkwa said that undertaking was more than environmental stewardship, which reflected the VRA’s unwavering commitment as guardians of national development and proponents of the Sustainable Development Goals.

He said in an age where the dialogue on sustainability, climate change resilience and environmental protection dominates, VRA workers should stand at the forefront advocating for meaningful change.

“Colleagues, let this Green Ghana event serve as a powerful reminder of the consequences that await us if we neglect our vegetative counterparts- climate change, desertification, soil erosion, and increased carbon footprints among other dire outcomes,” he stated.

Proponents

He said as the VRA confronted the challenges, they must be proponents of change by imperatively embracing climate change action through local and sustainable initiatives such as the tree planting exercise they participated in.

A number of VRA staff who spoke to the Daily Graphic at the Akosombo location after the programme were very excited about the initiative of the government which had come to stay.

Some of them said hitherto, they did not attach much importance to tree planting, even though they were taught at school, until 2021 when the government introduced the Green Ghana Day initiative, which served as a wake-up call for them.

They, therefore, pledged as committed workers to continue to monitor all the seedlings they planted last Friday, to ensure they survived as the previous years.

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