The Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, Naba Baba Salifu Aleemyarum has said, the only way the Green Ghana tree-planting project could succeed, is simply by allowing the Traditional rulers to take charge. He insists that nothing less than that only amounts to sharing money with themselves and party supporters.
This year’s Green Ghana Day celebration has been announced to take place on Friday, June 9, 2023, on the theme: “Our Forest, Our Health” and Government has planned to plant 10 million trees during this year’s celebration.
Meanwhile, the government has approved GH₵2.5 million for this year’s Green Ghana budget.
When Apexnewsgh.com engaged the Bongo paramount Chief in an Exclusive Interview, the Chief registered serious displeasure, especially with the manner those in authority spend state resources each year in the name of Green Ghana tree planting.
“Why is it that we can’t plant trees to reclaim the environment? When the money comes they are directed to Forestry and they politically politicize everything. They will go and just pick their supporters and say they are going to plant trees and they won’t plant the trees but they will be paid the money and nothing can be done”. He said
“The mahogany trees along our roadside were planted by our colonial masters. They paid people to plant those trees and take care of them, they paid people, it was not for free”.
Naba Baba Salifu Aleemyarum, believes the Green Ghana Tree Planting is a good initiative but managed badly by the authorities in charge.
“Why can’t they use the traditional rulers? If for instance, the government says we are entrusting the planting of trees to Bongo Traditional Councils and we are given 100,000 seedlings to plants and for 5 years, we want to raise 20 million from Bongo and now in my traditional council I have 42 chiefs under my jurisdiction, and I say in every village, a chief should get 50 youth to plant trees and each person should be able to plant 10 trees and take care of them to survive and you must make sure that when one dies you must replace it. So, if 50 people are planting 10 trees each and grow them won’t Bongo become a forest? And let’s say, every month the person knows he or she is supposed to take Ghc 300.00 each to make sure the tree survived in all the 42 communities”. Chief explained
“So, if people are made to plant trees and they make sure the tree grows will they cut them? And we will even encourage them to plant economic trees and trees they can use as fuel wood. The women should be planting fuel wood and the men should be planting some economic trees.
So, if Bongo traditional area is doing this, Kessena traditional area is doing this and all the traditional areas are doing this and in the region, we have 18 paramount Chiefs with 18 traditional councils doing the same work, why won’t we succeed?”
Asking what could be the reason the government did not entrust the Green Ghana tree-planting project to traditional rulers. Naba Baba Salifu Aleemyarum said: “They believe that we the chiefs cannot be accounted for. Tell me a chief who will not be accounted for what he is expected to do. And you are not giving him the money alone, you are also employing some staff to manage the fund. After all, the chief is not going to be the accountant himself, there must be an accountant, there must be people working, the chief will only give directive”.
Traditional councils are supposed to be functioning and supporting the government in its developmental activities and the chiefs are also responsible to play the role of government. He stressed
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