The Upper East Region is fully prepared for the Green Ghana project scheduled for Friday, June 11, 2021, says Mr Emmanuel Yeboah, the Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission (FC).
He said out of the National minimum target of five million trees, the Region would plant a minimum of 170,000 seedlings in its three Forest Districts, Bolgatanga, Navrongo and Bawku Forest.
Mr Yeboah, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Bolgatanga, said the Regional Forestry Office, the Bolgatanga and Navrongo Forest Districts were targeted to plant 50,000 seedlings each, while the Bawku Forest District would plant 20,000 seedlings.
"We have more than 170,000 seedlings for planting so we have enough seedlings to exceed our target. We have some in our District forest nurseries and we also have contracted some seedling contractors.
"In our forest nurseries we are producing about 55,000 seedlings and in the contract nurseries, we are getting about 150,000 seedlings. Apart from that, we have a backup of about 200,000 seedlings. The Bolgatanga Forest District alone has about 131,000 tree seedlings. So we are fully prepared," he said.
Mr Yeboah said the seedlings would be planted at the premises of churches, mosques, schools among other designated areas.
"All the sites for planting are demarcated and ready for planting tomorrow."
He said the seedlings had already been sent to distribution points across all three Forest Districts and urged members of the public to register for the seedlings and plant at their preferred areas.
"We are taking data to do post-planting monitoring to know if the seedlings were planted and the survival rate. As of June 8th this year, we had distributed 35.97 per cent of our Regional target of 170,000, and since then, a lot of distribution has been done."
The Regional Manager emphasized that the seedlings were free of charge, and advised all residents to take interest in the exercise, saying "Let's go planting."
He said the FC would ensure that site-specific species would be planted in the Region. "We are planting species that can be able to adapt to the conditions here. Certain species are planted in the rain forest in Southern Ghana, such species cannot be planted here."
He said baobab, teak, cashew, neem, the khaya senegalensis, the mahogany tree, tamarine, acacia, Gmelina, rosewood, cassia, albizia lebbeck, and ceiba (kapok), among others, were some of the species of tree seedlings to be planted.
He said even though the Region was ready for the tree planting exercise the challenge is the rains.
"Since June 1st we have had only one rainfall. So we are praying that the rains will start."
He called on the citizenry to consistently water the seedlings after planting, protect and nurture them well to ensure their survival.
He said various planting techniques would be used to plant the trees, including the use of mulch to retain moisture.
Mr Yeboah said the Green Ghana project would restore the environment and ensure continuous human existence as one big tree could provide oxygen to about four people a day.
"We need about 20,000 litres of oxygen a day before our metabolic activities can take place. We are getting this for free through the process of photosynthesis where carbon dioxide is absorbed and oxygen is released," Mr Yeboah said.