Residents of Zoborgu, a rural community in the Northern Region have planted over 8,000 variety of seedlings in a bid to engage the youth while protecting the environment.
Bush burning and deforestation are major challenges confronting the Northern Region.
Many communities depend on commercial charcoal burning for income.
This harmful practise is gradually destroying the vast arable land and negatively impacting climatic conditions in the area.
In the bid to regreen the environment, the Zoborgu community has established a forest through the Support of Growing Trees Network Global together with their Ghanaian counterpart with funding support from Tommerup Heilsklov Denmark.
In an interview with Citi News, the Chairman for Growing Trees Network Global, Lars Heiselberg Van Jensen said, the action is in line with the UN’s 17 world goals of reaching out to help people have better living conditions.
“What we are doing is to inspire others to plant trees and encourage the locals to protect the forest. When you plant trees, the local people benefit in many ways. We are grateful to the people for collaborating with us to establish this forest.”
The about 20 acres forest comprises of a variety of tree species including Mango, Tamarin, cashew, Mahogany among others.
The forest is expected to be managed solely by community members. It is also aimed at reducing the poverty level in the area.
The Head of Operations at Growing Trees Network Ghana, Christopher Boateng said the concept is to help youth from migrating to the south to seek greener pastures.
“Our concept is to let the local community understand the purpose of what we are giving them. When they know they have fruit trees here which will provide income for them, they will not travel out.”
He also expressed concern about trees being cut for firewood because they don’t see the need for preserving the forest.
Mr. Boateng hinted the project will soon be upscaled to Buipe in the Savannah region.
Flemming Petry is the Safety Manager for Tommerup Heilskov Denmark. He said the rationale for supporting the project is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The community members expressed gratitude for the initiative saying it will help engage the youth and also serve as food when the trees bear fruits.