Ghana is blessed with numerous natural resources of all kinds; flora and fauna inclusive. These natural resources are mainly found in the forest belt of the African continent where trees flourish. This consequently should have led to greener cities and town in Ghana but that is not the reality.
The nature of our cities is disappointing considering the country’s geographical location. Most often, I am disappointed when I visit our major cities. Trees have been chopped down to make way for residential and commercial activities with little or nothing done to remedy the situation forgetting that, “if the last tree dies, the last man goes with it.” It is a common sight in Ghana’s major cities, to behold streak of buildings with only a few trees scattered here and there.
Source: Accra-Ghana: A street in the capital of Ghana, Accra
Most of the trees are destroyed to make way for the construction of buildings and no provision of greenery is provided when the projects are completed. Real estate agencies in recent years are the most perpetrators of this act. This in my opinion, is necessitated by our over-dependence on the natural environment, inactive environmental laws and regulations and the continuous increase in the urban populace, resulting in high demands for housing. These real estate developers in the bid to make the best out of the market, do not take into consideration the destruction they cause; nor do little or nothing to restore the environment to its former state, moving ahead to the next project to make money.
Source: Nationwide Consulting LLC: Preparing a land for construction
The Garden City nickname of the capital of the Ashanti region was because of Kumasi’s richness in flora. Over the years, it has lost this attribute to the continuous increase in the destruction of its vegetation.
Source: Alamy An Aerial view of Kumasi otherwise known as the garden city of Ghana
In recent years, our cemeteries look greener and have more trees than our dwelling places and that had me thinking if the dead needed cleaner air than the living. Very little is done to remedy the situation, yet day in and out, much of the green cover in our cities are depleted.
Source: The Market Ghana A cemetery with enough tree cover
Keeping trees in the major cities the country will provide great benefits for generations. Some of which include: serving as wind breaks, provision of cleaner air and the beautification of the cities.
Most importantly, trees serve as carbon sinks which will absorb carbon released by cars in the cities. This will keep the city air clean as well as reduce the disease that result from the excess carbon in the atmosphere.
This calls for stakeholders and lawmakers to draw up plans and make laws while enforcing existing ones to help reduce the rate at which urban trees are destroyed and the advocate for more tree planting in cities. Real estate companies should be penalized, in the form of heavy fines to deter them from destroying trees. Building an environmentally-conscious urban population through education and advocacy will help reduce the destruction rate of these resources.
Source: City of Fayetteville, Arkansas what if all our cities were as green as this
Source: Green Ghanaian Innitiative / Agore Benjamin