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Regional News of Thursday, 9 September 2021

Source: GNA

Convince us on the need to fell our trees - Sandema residents

They are asking authorities to convince them enough before they will allow the felling of trees play videoThey are asking authorities to convince them enough before they will allow the felling of trees

Residents of Sandema, the Builsa North Municipal capital in the Upper East Region say they need to be convinced beyond doubts that the mahogany trees lining both sides of the road from the Apipi junction to Suwarinsa will impede construction and check flooding.

It would be recalled that Kwasi Amoako-Atta, the sector Minister in his recent visit to the Municipality, said “It may be necessary to cut down some of these trees, we all know the importance of trees, and is not for pleasure that we should cut down some of these trees.

He said to deal with the problem of flooding in the area, and build strong good roads and widen the topography of the area, to avoid the perennial flooding in Sandema, “Some of these trees must go.”

In a random interview by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sandema, most of the residents expressed mixed feelings about the Minister’s proposal.

While some said if felling some of the trees would solve the flooding problem, the trees should be cut off, others were not happy about the proposal to have some of the trees cleared by the Ministry.

They said technocrats from the Ministry needed to convince them that the continuous existence of the trees would affect the road construction work.

Simon Gibson Achavuusum Anuegabey, an Independent Parliamentary Candidate for the Builsa North Constituency in 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, told the GNA that it was important for technocrats to examine the situation and advise appropriately.

In his opinion, the trees served significant purposes in Sandema, and residents needed to be convinced beyond doubts that the trees prevented work and should be cut down.

“These trees are important to us, they serve as canopies for people who walk along the road. In this part of the country, especially in the months of April, May, and even February when the sun scorches so hard, it protects us from the sun.

"We necessarily don’t want the trees to be cut down, but If the trees will be cut down for the road to be constructed, then we will accept it, only if we are convinced after proper engagement with technocrats.

“We will accept to lose the trees after expert advice. Also, if that will stop the flooding, why wouldn’t anybody want the trees to be cut down,” he said.

Mr Issaka Awoneirim, a Mobile Money Vendor, operating under one of the mahogany trees, told the GNA that the trees added natural beauty to the Township.

"We can agree to an extent and also disagree with the proposal. They may cut the trees down and the work may not also be done. That is my worry about the cutting down of the tree.

“If the trees will be cut down, and the road is constructed, I have no problem. But in a situation where they fell the trees and abandon the project, I will not support that,” he said.

He said the floods had been a worry to them over the years and any permanent solution to the problem to him was welcome news, “The floods are actually worrying us.”

Assembly Member for the Wiak Wabilinsa Electoral Area, Roland Ajiabadek Apindem said the mahogany trees were over 60years, and there needed to be proper stakeholder consultation at the time the road contract was signed and awarded.

"In that consultation, the Engineer and the Road Contractor should let us know how wide the road is going to be, and the need to cut down the trees to make way for the expansion,” he said.

Mr. Apindem said if there was stakeholder engagement at the time the contract was awarded in 2016, and the thought that the trees should be fell, “Today, we should have started planting trees behind the road.”