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23.07.2009 Regional News

Parks and Gardens and ECG feud over cutting of decorative trees in Ho

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Ho, July 23, GNA - The Department of Parks and Gardens and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) are feuding over the cutting of decorative trees, said to be obstructing electricity power lines along the alleys and avenues of Ho.

While Mr. Samuel Barimah, Volta Regional Director of the Parks and Gardens, told a Sanitation Forum in Ho that the ECG erred, Mr Robert Ameudah, ECG Ho District Manager, told GNA that the company was only going by its mandate of protecting the lines from foreign matter.

The sanitation forum was organized by the Volta Regional Directorate of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Mr Barimah in a chart with the GNA later in his office maintained that the trees which were planted under a HIPC-Urban Forestation Project to beautify beneficiary towns should not have been cut without recourse to his Department.

He said the contractors were still maintaining some staff at a cost to maintain the trees and that what happened amounted to money lost to the state.

Mr Barimah said in the Greater-Accra Region the practice was for the ECG to prompt the Department of Parks and Gardens to arrange to have the trees pruned, observing that what was happening in Ho was arbitrary.

He said he was at a loss how the Department was going to meet government's demand to plant 5,000 shade trees in each district by the close of 2009 “in this situation of confusion among utility and engineering companies in managing access”.

Mr Ameudah said the regulations on access were clear and that anything within the restricted limits around ECG lines would have to be taken out.

He said overgrown tree branches and other foreign matter compromised the public safety standards of the ECG.

Mr. Obed K. Kass-Yerenchi, Assistant Regional Manager of the Forest Service Division, said the problem could have been avoided if planners of the beatification project had adequately coordinated with all stakeholders to select tree seedlings whose growth and spread was commensurate with space availability and access.


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