GRIPE tree planting exercise

Date: 2021-06-05

GRIPE  on Saturday 5th June 2021, partnered with  Streetsense organization(organizers) and other institutions to undertake a tree planting exercise to commemorate the World Environment Day 2021 which was under the Theme "Ecosystem Restoration".

Street Sense Organisation (SSO), a road safety organisation in Ghana has organised a tree growing exercise along the Korle-Bu Mortuary, Ring Road West Road in Accra.

The exercise, done in partnership with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Ghana Forestry Commission, Ghana Wildlife Society, Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises under Association of Ghana Industries (GRIPE-AGI), and Let’s Do It Ghana is to mark the World Environment Day 2021, on the theme, “Ecosystem Restoration”.

In all, a thousand trees are expected to be grown in the targeted areas to help beautify and smarten up Accra by providing shades along pedestrian walkways and greening open spaces, as well as helping to control road accidents and mitigating effects of climate change.

Mr. Samson Oddoye, the National Coordinator of SSO, said the exercise aligned with the SSO’s eight objective of encouraging and promoting tree growing along streets.

He emphasised 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 expands the life span of roads. Damaged roads caused by erosion pose a threat to all users since they can result in accidents with their attendant fatalities, injuries and other negative socio-economic effects”, Mr. Oddoye continued.

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 by-laws on roaming animals to ensure that the trees are not destroyed.

Mr. Desmond Appiah, the Resilience and Sustainability Advisor to the Mayor of Accra said the SSO’s tree growing concept was good as they were planting and nurturing them to achieve results, and the AMA had developed a Climate Action Plan and identified the need for shaded walkways and would grow more trees to check the rate of deforestation.

He said cities were becoming heat islands because of the negative activities on the environment and the partnership with SSO came at the right time as the AMA had planned to plant a thousand trees in Accra and with the collaboration, they were getting towards the realisation of that objective.

He said: “SSO is a road safety organisation, but clearly promoting pedestrian safety requires that we look at other things and not only the vehicles and the roads but promote the ability of people walking easily.”

Mr. Appiah said 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”.

Mr. Felix Baidoo, Working Group Member of GRIPE-AGI, said they were glad to partner with SSO as they were already in the promotion of the environment and about four years ago, they were much concerned about the environment, and as a company, they came together to form GRIPE-AGI to protect the environment, more importantly how to manage its sustainably.

He expressed gratitude to SSO and other partners for keeping the ideals of keeping Accra and for that matter the whole country greener.

Ms. Loiusa Kabobah, Conservation Education Officer at Ghana Wildlife Society, said the initiative apart from making Accra greener, would also encourage wildlife, provide shades and fresh air for pedestrians.

She said they are not embarking on the activity for themselves, but the next generation and called on all to come on board to take action for ecosystem restoration.

Mrs. Kate Opoku, the Country Leader of Let’s Do It Ghana said her organisation partnered the SSO in line with Let’s Do It Ghana’s work of promoting activities that preserve the environment.

She encouraged citizens to grow more trees, placing emphasis on the need to nurture trees planted to grow in order to enjoy the full benefits trees provide to human beings and the environment.

Over 300 volunteers and participants from the Solution Oriented Youth Africa, Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM), Eagle Riders Club, Ghana Africa Youth Organisation (GYAO), Dansworld Services and CMA CGM, and individuals participated in the exercise.