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“SAVE OUR PARKS. STOP OFFICE BUILDING,” SAY ECO-CONCERNED CITIZENS

General News

A campaign by Eco-Concerned Citizens of Ghana has exposed a move to clear over 140 trees and 5,000 flowers from Accra’s only large park ‒ the headquarters of the Department of Parks and Gardens ‒ to make way for office buildings.

A campaign by Eco-Concerned Citizens of Ghana has exposed a move to clear over 140 trees and 5,000 flowers from Accra’s only large park ‒ the headquarters of the Department of Parks and Gardens ‒ to make way for office buildings.

The Parks and Gardens space in the Cantonments area is by far the largest garden in Accra, with many species of trees and flowers. It is home to not only beautiful trees, but also birds and small animals.

It is purposely set aside for “pursuing actions to combat the effects of global warming by promoting a national tree planting campaign”. The concerned citizens say the department’s actions are far from its official objectives.

At a meeting on Tuesday with directors of the Parks and Gardens Accra site, the campaign leader, Awula Serwah, said: “Concerned citizens want transparency regarding lands in Accra that have been designated as parks and open spaces. This information will help stop land earmarked for open spaces from being built on.”

The meeting was also to seek feedback on the department’s national tree planting campaign and request an update on its plans to combat the effects of global warming.

Suicide mission

Experts estimate that by 2027, Ghana will have lost all its forest population. Ghana is said to be losing forest faster than any other country in the world as a result of deforestation and logging.

The Eco-Concerned Citizens are launching their campaign to highlight an increase in tree-felling in Ghana, which also exacerbates flooding.

Allowing the further shrinking of Ghana’s green spaces will destroy our unique flora and the animals that live in them, campaigners say. In some cases, the destruction will lead to the extinction of rare species.

Not too late

“Preservation and renovation of the Parks and Gardens Accra site will go a long way to benefit everyone in the country,” Awula Serwah said.

“The government and other stakeholders can come together to turn this place around into an educational site for children, a well-polished garden for events, and a ground where family and children can spend their holidays and weekends for fun activities.”

The campaigners’ meeting aimed in the short term to reverse the decision to sell the land for developers to build a multipurpose office complex.

The group also says Ghana will need to renovate the national parks and gardens and that this can be self-sustaining. Proper use of green space can generate funds, members argue, and promote public health by turning sites like the one in Cantonments into popular botanical gardens.