It has been two months shy of a few weeks since we embarked on an ambitious tree planting exercise across the country.
It was an exercise which set us apart from others who are yet to appreciate the importance of trees and to follow suit.
The President, the Minister of Lands And Natural Resources and the Forestry Commission and Ghanaians in general played crucial roles in making the exercise take place.
There was no dearth of publicity for the exercise and for good reason. The fast depletion of our forest cover across the country is nearing a dangerous notch for which reason the national response was just appropriate.
We are being denied something however since the exercise took place in the form of updates about the health of the trees so planted.
The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources assured the nation that there will be in place monitoring and evaluation teams across the country to observe the health of the trees.
We as non-tree experts have observed that not all the planted trees are receiving the necessary attention as we expected them to be.
We do not seek to query the appropriate authorities for the non-attention we have observed about some of the trees but just making observation so action can be taken.
In some places the trees which were planted amid fanfare have been left at the mercy of erratic rains. That of course is not the case where the rains have been regular.
In any case planting trees under the circumstances that we did demands constant care especially in places where droughts are endemic.
The tendency to plant trees and treat them as we do the ornamental plants and green grass on the medians of our ceremonial roads in Accra should be avoided if we want to achieve the objectives for which we embarked upon the greening exercise.
The trees planted in front of Mantse Agbonnaa at Jamestown for instance are not doing well and the same story goes for some places. The youth in the area should have been made to own the trees so they would be concerned about their welfare. There are areas where the upkeep of the trees requires the purchasing of water the monetary element constituting a challenge.
There is need to rethink the project given the seeming abandonment of the trees in some places.
If indeed the monitoring teams are in place let them get to work. The country should be periodically appraised with the state of the trees.
We cannot accept instances of the young trees wilting because of lack of water or adequate care.
Where the young trees have already wilted, these should be replaced immediately so that we do not fall below the five million trees mark across the country.