Ghana to become desert in 23 years if...
Accra, Aug. 2,
Ghanadot/GNA - Ghana faces the threat of losing its
forest cover and become a desert if the current rate of
deforestation continued without support from all
stakeholders in efforts to switch on to the use of
regenerative and early maturing plant species, Mr Henry
Kamel Ford, a Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural
Resources warned on Friday.
He said Government was exploring ways to conserve the
traditional wood species and promoting the lesser used plant
varieties like bamboo and rattan, which had very high
Mr Ford gave the caution when he interacted with Members of
the Greater Accra Bamboo and Rattan Association, occupying
the edges of the Switchback Road, in Accra.
In a stock-taking of the forest resources of the nation, Mr
Ford pointed out that the cover which was about 8.3 million
hectares in the year 2000 shrinked to 1.5 million hectares
in the year 2006, adding that if the current rate of
depletion of 65,000 hectares continued, Ghana would have no
forests in 23 years’ time.
Consequently, Government is promoting the use of bamboo and
rattan as suitable alternative to wood, not only to conserve
the traditional woods, but because bamboo had nutritional
values and could be used in the aviation, construction and
the textile industries.
Mr Ford said the Ministry had begun a capacity programme for
stakeholders in the bamboo industry, and was collaborating
with the governments of China and the Philippines for
training to enhance the use of the product in Ghana.
"We are now taking bamboo seriously, and we are now sourcing
fund for the growth of the bamboo and rattan industry,"
Mr Ford said government was ready to support the acquisition
of land at Ayimensa, near Accra, to localise the bamboo
industry to make it a one-stop shop for bamboo products.
Currently most artisans in the bamboo and rattan industry
are scattered in the city of Accra at the Switchback Road,
along the Achimota Tetteh Quarshie Road and the Arts Centre,
without any good shelter, making it difficult for them to
work when it rains.
The Minister inspected some furniture made from bamboo and
rattan by the artisans and how they had recycled the waste
materials to mould animals such as giraffes, lions and other
The Deputy Minister said it would perhaps become possible
for school children to use bamboo furniture when the
industry was fully developed to save the nation's
traditional wood species.
Mr Vincent Mawuli Vordzi, General Secretary of the
Association, said the main problem facing the 500 member
association was the acquisition of land.
He said the nine plots acquired so far was not large enough
to accommodate all its members.
Mr Vordzi called on the Government to empower the
Association to issue licenses for entry into bamboo enclaves
for the harvesting of the plant, and also help the
Association check the illegal export of bamboo products
while measures were also taken to expand the market for the