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17.10.2005 Regional News

MP initiates afforestation programme for schools

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Kumasi, Oct. 17, GNA - Mrs Cecilia Abenah Dapaah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama constituency, has initiated an afforestation programme that runs into several millions of cedis to benefit schools within her constituency.

The programme, which started four months ago, involves the purchase and supply of teak seedlings to schools on request. Mrs Dapaah made the announcement, when she presented 3,000 of such teak seedlings to the Kumasi Girls Secondary School (KUGISS) in Kumasi on Sunday.

Mrs Dapaah, who is also the Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, was full of praise for the KUGISS for being the first second cycle school to request for the tree seedlings, and assured them that she would not relent to augment the number of the teak seedlings she had already donated to them.

She, however, advised them not only to be interested in planting trees but also, more importantly, ensuring that such trees were well nurtured into maturity to justify the purpose for which they were planted.

The MP said the rationale behind providing the trees was not merely to provide shade or beautify the campus, but most importantly, to help ward off intruders, who have capitalized on the absence of trees and a fence wall to use the school environs as an abode for drug peddling and wee smoking.

Mrs Dapaah said being one of the only girls secondary schools in her constituency, she was ever poised to explore all avenues to bring KUGISS up to the standards of other endowed schools in the country. Responding to complaints from the headmistress, staff and students, the MP assured the school that she would bring her good office to bear on contractors and charitable organizations to help complete the on-going projects at the school.

Mrs Akua Baah, Headmistress of KUGISS, complained to the MP that, the lack of a fence wall has virtually turned the school premises into an arena for intruders and sometimes with some recalcitrant persons attempting to rape the student girls.

She, therefore, appealed strongly to the MP, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and the Lands Commission, to step in immediately to address the problem.