To show love to humanity on Valentine’s Day, Vodafone Ghana embarked on a tree planting exercise across the country to protect wildlife and preserve oxygen.
The trees would filter water bodies, provide habitat to terrestrial biodiversity, absorb harmful carbon from the atmosphere, and serve for medicinal purposes.
Over 3,000 trees were planted on a 15-acre land at the Achimota Forest and other parts of the country by staff of Vodafone Ghana, the Forestry Commission and the Ghana International School (GIS).
Vodafone Ghana also gave each staff seedlings to plant around their homes to enhance the effects they want on the environment.
Mrs Patricia Obo-Nai, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, said Vodafone felt the need to embark on a planet-saving initiative that guaranteed the survival of lives.
The exercise was in line with Vodafone’s commitment as a business, to stand for things other than profit, as part of its Purpose-Led agenda, she said.
“Our remit as a company goes beyond just making profits. It is our belief that this tree-planting project will inspire Ghanaians and other organisations to start thinking about the planet and how they can also contribute,” she added.
Mrs Obo-Nai said forest lost was one of the major causes of Climate Change, and the biggest environmental challenge facing everyone as a result of its adverse impact on food production, water availability, wildlife and human health.
She believed if every Ghanaian decided to plant and grow one tree, the country would have 20 million trees to reverse the forest depletion.
“This is why we are giving employees seedlings to grow at home and in their backyard, as part of this project.”
The Chief Executive said Vodafone had other planet saving initiatives for the year such as the “Handset Recycling Initiative”, where it would encourage customers to submit old and obsolete phones at any Vodafone retail shop for the company to properly dispose or recycle them.
“We are also gradually fading out single-use plastics from Vodafone’s offices and retail shops. The campaign, which started barely a week ago, has already changed the culture across Vodafone’s operations. Today, you will realise that instead of giving bottled water, which will be disposed after usage, we decided to come with water dispensers,” she noted.
Mrs Obo-Nai said trees were a crucial factor to human existence not only because they produced food; but also because they played an important role in the carbon cycle.
Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, the Executive Director of the Forestry Commission, popularly known as “Sir John”, commended Vodafone Ghana and GIS for the initiative.
He gave the assurance that the Commission would support Vodafone to ensure that the trees planted were well maintained to grow well.
He appealed to other organisations, religious bodies, communities and social groups to visit the Commission for trees to plant to promote a green and healthy nation.
“Four acres means 60 plots of land and Vodafone didn’t just come to take a small portion to grow trees for records and leave. They took the biggest land portion here to grow trees and we really do appreciate their zeal to contribute to national development,” he said.
Mr Afriyie believed the step would bring back the cover of the Achimota forest and reinstall it into its old state.
Mrs Angela van der Puije, a Special Education Needs Coordinator of GIS, said her school was passionate about helping to protect the environment through best practices and eradication of land degrading activities.
It was for this reason, that they partnered Vodafone to contribute their quota to Ghana’s wildlife development.