Warren Buffet once said: “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
Friday 11 June 2021 marked another historic day in Ghana; Green Ghana Day. A day set aside for planting of trees by the Government of Ghana under the auspices of the Forestry Commission. The goal of this day is to preserve the natural environment and protect the ecosystem. To achieve this, the Forestry Commission set aside 5 million trees of varying species to be planted by and with different stakeholders across the country.
The staff of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) dedicated this day to play their role towards encouraging this initiative and pave the way for others.
On this beautiful morning, ‘WACSians’ stepped out in style to commemorate this day. They had received 100 tree seedlings of mahogany, coconut, acacia, cacia, avocado, orange and cashew from the Forestry Commission with the aim of planting them at the Institute’s site in Aburi which is located in the Eastern Region 0f Ghana (some 33 kilometers from Accra). The site is intended to serve as an abode for a citizen’s hub in West Africa.
The excitement on the faces of staff as they arrived at the office early that Friday morning was an indication that they were prepared for this exercise. The Executive Director, Nana Asantewa happily led the team on this memorable journey.
According to the Executive Director, “WACSI’s land is a place for refuge, productivity and excellence for civil society in West Africa and the African continent. We are so happy to be here today to plant trees that will grow and bear fruits.” Watch here
You could see all their faces looking glamorous as they carried the seedlings into the bus that was reserved for transporting them to the site.
The trip in itself was fun-filled as they cracked jokes and filled the atmosphere with laughter. As they ascended the Aburi mountain, they could feel the change in temperature from the heat of the scorching sun to the cool air from the gentle breeze of the wind. Most of them were thrilled upon arriving at the site as it was their first time. The view of the beauty of nature brought about a sense of peace and tranquillity.
After a general consensus on how the planting should be done, the process began. As an exemplary leader, Nana initiated the tree planting exercise which was accompanied by a prayer from one of the staff members. She launched the day by planting the first tree which was a coconut tree. As she did this, everyone cheered and jokingly chattered about how they were going to return to harvest the fruits in a few years.
To make the exercise easier, everyone assumed different roles. The men used their muscular strength for digging and clearing while the ladies assisted in planting, adding manure and watering. The team formed different groups in order to make the exercise faster. The planting was done by alternating the trees and the ‘WACSIans’ resorted to nicknames. Mahogany was shortened to “maho” and you could hear people being called “manure, water, planting spoon” based on the activity they were carrying out.
After about three hours of hard team work and dedication, the exercise finally came to an end. The exhausted team then settled down for some snacks after which they had a sumptuous lunch.
Good leaders they say, lead by example. WACSI leveraged on this and played its role in leading by example and is therefore hoping that other organisations and individuals will follow their footsteps in making the world a more ecofriendly place.
The entire team’s joy was complete because they are sure future generations would enjoy some shelter tomorrow because ‘WACSIans’ planted 1oo trees on Friday 11 June 2021, thanks to the support of the Forestry Commission in Ghana.