For some time, we have been able to keep fires away. Warning systems and preventive protective measures are constantly helping us to avoid fires on our planting areas. However, not every cause of fire can be prevented. Last week, we experienced this painfully in Ghana.
On January 11th, around 7 a.m., Restoration Manager Nuhu Abdul-Mumin Bapube inspected the planting site in Banpewa as usual. He was shocked when he noticed smoke over the area. Fire had made its way, on an area of 11 hectares grasses and young plants were burnt or damaged. Even though this area makes up just over one percent of our entire land (1,000 hectares), it is still a bitter loss. In the meantime, the team has been able to ensure that at least about one-third of the trees in the affected area can survive, especially the agroforestry species cashew and mango, by regularly watering the seedlings.
The local police have already been contacted. They have promised to investigate the incident thoroughly to determine the cause of the fire – and to hold those responsible accountable with the help of the judiciary. As poachers repeatedly use fires to trap animals, it cannot be ruled out that the fire was caused by arson.
The video shows how the area affected by the fire now looks like:
Learn more about the project Plant-for-Ghana.
UPDATE (March, 2023):
The police have completed their investigation and know it’s confirmed that a 70-year-old man started the fire. The reason: this man was hungry and tried to catch rats that fled from the fire to eat them. Poverty is still a big issue in Ghana that cannot be ignored. And it shows: Climate justice can only be thought of together with social justice!
But Mohammed Rabiu Dannakabu, Founder of Plant-for-the-Planet Ghana, does not condemn the man for being hungry. Instead, he presents a solution: He is trying to get him on the Plant-for-the-Planet team. This way, he is fighting against climate and social injustice.
You can check out his statement on Youtube:
(Last updated on March 9th, 2023)
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