The Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) has indicated that it intends to plant a total of 5,000 trees in the industry and harbour city by the end of 2021 as the Assembly launches its tree planting exercise.
To kick start the tree planting exercise, the Assembly in collaboration with the Church of Pentecost, Tema Area started planting 500 seedlings in the first phase.
Mr Frank Asante, Tema Metropolitan Public Affairs Officer, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in Tema noted that the Assembly aimed to replace all overaged trees as it has been identified as one of the things negatively affecting the functioning of underground utility lines.
“TMA is embarking on this project to replace all over-aged trees that were planted over 60 years ago whose roots have now become a nuisance, disturbing underground utility infrastructure including electrical cables, main pipe, and sewer lines,” he said.
He added that apart from using the launching to commemorate World Environment Day, it was also to herald the national tree planting exercise which President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo would be launching on June 11, 2021.
According to him, the Assembly among others believed the trees would help address health-related challenges that potentially affected an industrial city like Tema saying, “we need more trees to improve the quality of air residents breathe in”.
He added that it has come to the Assembly’s notice that many of the recorded Out Patient Department (OPD) cases seen in hospitals within the Metropolis were respiratory-related an indication that the need for the planting of more trees could not be over emphasied.
The mayor together with other stakeholders including the Pentecost church planted 500 seedlings.
The PRO said while TMA’s stakeholders especially the Church of Pentecost, and Kingdom Exim Ghana Limited provide the needed seedlings, the Assembly through its Horticulture Department was in charge of preparing the ground, as well as planting and nurturing them with manure and the needed care for them to grow as expected.
Mr Asante, however, added that they were hopeful that at least 70 per cent of the trees would survive taking into account unpredictable and harsh weather conditions.