Wa (UWR), May 21, GNA – Mr Francis Brobbey, the Lawra Forest District Manager, has praised the Youth in Afforestation Programme (YAP) as it could help in the realisation of the Green Ghana concept and improve the country’s vegetation cover.
The programme is expected to rekindle the habit of tree planting in Ghanaian youth, provide employment for young men and women as well as help reverse the trend of deforestation being experienced across the country.
Mr Brobbey, who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Wa, noted that his outfit, through the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), has planted 93 hectares in the forest reserves and 100 hectares in the off-reserves in 2018 and anticipated to cover more than 200 hectares in 2019.
President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo launched the YAP in Kumasi in August 2018 as part of the ruling government 2016 campaign promise of reforestation, forest rehabilitation and protection.
It is projected to engage about 20,000 youth across the country.
Mr Brobbey said 743 youth were engaged in the Lawra Forest District that included Lawra, Jirapa and Wa Municipals as well as Wa West, Wa East, Nandom, Nadowli/Kaleo, Lambissie and Daffiama/Busie/Issa Districts.
But out of the number 45 people stopped the programme and joined the Nation Builder’s Corps (NABCO) or engaged in other ventures.
“The YEA are involved in avenue planting, amenity planting, woodlot establishment, boundary planting, boundary cleaning and maintenance of enrichment planting among others in both on and off-forest reserves,” he said.
The youth mostly worked in Nuale, Kamba, Ambalara and Kulpawn reserves as well as some communities and institutions including the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS), WA Polytechnic, WA Technical Institute, T.I Amass, and Islamic Senior High Schools.
Mr Brobbey assured the public that the Forestry Commission would do everything within its capacity to fulfill the objective of the programme.
He called for support from Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and the media as well as beneficiary institutions and communities to ensure that the nation derived the maximum benefit from it.
He expressed worry about growing negative attitude of some youth and entreated them to put in their maximum effort to ensure the success of the programme.
He said the occasional delay in payment of their stipend would be addressed.