Government justifies decision to release periphery of Achimota Forest to Owoo family

Government justifies decision to release periphery of Achimota Forest to Owoo family
Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources.

By Doreen Ampofo

Government says it could not have afforded the cost of sections of the periphery of the Achimota forest for which reason it had to release it to the Owoo family who are the original custodians of the land. Government has released over 361.5 acres to the Owoo family from an original 90 acres in 2010. This has courted a lot of public outcry with environmentalists questioning why the government refused to buy the land from the owners to protect the forest.

But speaking to the media after touring the Achimota Forest, Deputy Minister of Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu Bio, said the forest is intact and has not been sold. He said the government could not have purchased the said portions considering the money involved. Here is report by Doreen Ampofo

Following the Government’s executive instrument to release portions of the Achimota forest to the original land owners, Ghanaians particularly environmentalists have opposed the decision.They claim a large part of the original Achimota forest has been encroached leaving a little over half of it. They say the decision to release as much as 361 acres of the land to the Owoo family will mean losing half of the forest and leaving Accra at risk of climatic shocks such as floods. But during the tour with journalists, Deputy Minister of Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu Bio insisted that releasing the land to the Owoo family is the best option for the government considering what it would have cost the government. He insisted that the forest had not been sold.

CEO of the Forestry Commission, John Allotey, mentioned parts of the forest which make up the periphery.

Mr. Alottey said the forest is intact and the Forestry Commission is doing everything possible to develop it.

”The Commission is getting ready to plant more trees in the forest come June 10, as part of the Green Ghana Day”.
This year’s Green Ghana Day will see the planting of 20 million trees across the country.

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