Green Ghana Day only creates grounds for corrupt procurement practices – Suhuyini

Deputy Ranking Member of Parliament’s Lands and Forestry Committee, Alhassan Suhuyini, has described the government’s Green Ghana Day initiative as an avenue for procurement infractions.

The Tamale North legislator said the initiative has done little to make a significant addition to Ghana’s forest cover.

He said the intention behind the initiative is not bad, but its approach is problematic and too bleak to make any impact.

“While the intention behind the government initiative under the Green Ghana project remains noble, we believe that the approach is inadequate, not transparent and falls short of making a significant impact on the environment because the campaign is not linked to the creation of natural reserves and the overall effective management and conservation of forest reserves.

“It is worse that our forests and green spaces have been so compromised due to the government’s unwillingness to defeat illegal mining and its reckless policies; such as the self-serving declassification of Forest Reserves and sale of same lands to private developers and cronies. Eg Achimota Forests and Tamale Timber Market and the promotion of legislation on mining in Forest Reserves. Eg EPA LI2462.”

Alhassan Suhuyini intimated that planting seedlings once a year without the necessary conditions put in place to ensure they grow is not enough especially considering that the initiative has added a significant debt to the government’s portfolio.

“The last couple of years have proven that planting millions of seedlings only once a year is not enough to combat deforestation and address the challenges of climate change.

“It only creates the conditions for corrupt procurements; a scheme where seedlings supply contracts, printing paraphernalia are offered to cronies without competitive bidding, at inflated prices, thus, burdening the Forestry Commission with mounting debts.

“According to the Seedlings Contractors Association in Ashanti Region last year, 2023, the government owed them GH¢28 million for 2021 and 2022 seedling supplies.”

He therefore called on the “government to reevaluate its approach to the Green Ghana Project and consider implementing a more sustainable and long-term strategy for reforestation. Continuous, consistent and transparent efforts throughout the year, along with proper monitoring and evaluation, are essential in order to achieve meaningful results in protecting the environment and combating climate change.”