The Ghana National Party (GNP) says the government must pursue a massive tree planting exercise along the Volta Lake as part of measures to solve the country's energy crisis.
A statement made available to Joy News from the GNP called on the “President of Ghana to direct the Ministry of Lands and Forestry to implement an immediate and urgent plan to start growing and replacing all trees felled over the years, and especially around the Volta Lake.”
We reproduce the full statement of the GNP below:
“Ghana's current energy crisis, and the disgraceful situation of having to ration electricity as well as water in the 21st century, calls for all Ghanaians of goodwill to consider options and potential solutions to solve this disgraceful situation in our lives.
The 1992 Ghana Constitution calls for certain responsibilities of Government:
“The state shall take all necessary actions to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximize the rate of economic development and to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy.” (Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992, p.36-37)
Can Ghanaian really say that this has been performed by our governments of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP)? No excuses can be given, for in the real competitive world of limited resources, those who do not perform give way to those who can. Ghanaians who love their country need to find solutions for our survival. Those who have teamed up together to offer solutions under the banner of the Ghana National Party (GNP) are mostly Political Missionaries, implying they work and put their money into Ghana without expecting any returns or rewards such as participating in any electoral process.
In a recent brainstorming session with some members and associates of GNP in California the following idea came up. We offer it for national discussion.
Ghana's forest reserves have been depleted to only 10% of what it was during the late 1970s and early 1980s. This is a critical environmental situation that many Western nations' environmentalists are concerned about, but only in so far as their green-house effects and potential global warming affects the depletion of the ozone layers in the upper atmospheres and consequent dangers that will affect them also. Perhaps the immediate and short term global effects can be seen in the recent global weather changes as some Scientists point out through the recent movie by former American Vice President, Al Gore.
On the immediate local effects on Ghana and our survival, one can point to the drop in rainfall in the areas around the Volta Dam and how that simple negligence of our past government leaders can ruin the whole economy and development of Ghana. This is very critical! The gradual decrease in rainfall which has caused water level of the Akosombo Dam has affected energy generation and distribution in Ghana. Why is our President and his government leaders putting their heads in the sand?
A friend shared a very glaring comparison of Ghana's rainfall pattern and rainforests with that of the neighboring Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast has had a long habit of replacing cut trees and hence maintaining their heavy forests. Ghana has lost ours over the last 20 to 30 years of leadership neglect.
A proposed solution and suggestion is therefore put forward to the President of Ghana to direct the Ministry of Lands and Forestry to implement an immediate and urgent plan to start growing and replacing all trees felled over the years, and especially around the Volta Lake. We all know this will not have an immediate effect. However some of these trees can grow fast and tall and within a few years show results. It is better to start with a plan than to sit idle doing nothing.
In addition to this, the GNP suggests that the President and the ruling party study the Manifesto of the GNP, and take some cues as to what proposals our experts have put forth as long term strategic plans for bringing Ghana into the modern global competitive age. Of particular mention is the portion on our energy policy which we quote here for consideration:
NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY (of the Ghana National Party):
It is a well known economic reality that the cost of petroleum influences and impacts the cost of living in most if not all countries. A National Commission on Petroleum Products will be established within the first 60 days after taking office.
The actual cost per gallon of these commodities shall be calculated and based on available subsidies and taxes and what will be known, we shall determine how much the prices of petroleum products could be adjusted to bring the cost of living down to a manageable level, in consultation with the National Economic Commission.
We will have to examine everything we have done in energy exploration and report on its viability. The commission will have to explore the possibilities of other sources of energy as a long term policy to secure alternative sources of energy, besides petroleum products. To this end, Government will provide all available resources for our scientists to pursue this national important research for alternative energy.
• Ethanol (Brazil example)
• Solar (Model of Australia)
• Bio-Gas (Methane).
• Nuclear [Kwabenya's AEC/CSIR was started under Nkrumah's vision]
(Ghana National Party Manifesto © 2006)
The founders and executive of the GNP are not suggesting that this is the end of the debate, nor are these the only novel solutions. We are merely opening the doors and seriously challenging the incumbent NPP and the NDC, to come out with solutions to the nation's problems.
Tree planting does not need much brain power. All the timber merchants can be held responsible to do their part and government enforces this simply rule. Merely sitting and watching, or praying, as some of the NPP ministers have suggested we do with respect to other national and human resource issues, will not solve the problems of Ghana. As of the time of [email protected], despite the $20 million party atmosphere, many Ghanaians are seriously doubting ourselves (as the foreigners laugh behind us) if we are a viable surviving nation who can climb up the ladder of socio-economic development and compete favorably in today's global economy.
We are not asking for miracles, but simply to emulate what has been done elsewhere on the globe. We therefore ask the government to open the doors on the energy crisis and challenge the Minister and the President to finance some of the proposals put forth by our own Ghanaian scientists and engineers. We need to challenge them with money, not talk and a solid plan to get out of this crisis in the near and long terms. Some of us know we can do it.
Let's get the job done!”
Kwaku A. Danso, M.S., M. Eng., PhD
For: Ghana National Party (Certified Political Party, Feb.20, 2007).
Contact: Ghana National Party, Accra,
Email: [email protected]