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Over 140 trees cut down to make way for an office complex in Accra

La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA) has come under severe criticism after several trees were cut down to make way for a multipurpose office complex in Accra

More than 140 trees covering a swath of land have been cut down at the Department of Parks and Gardens (DPG) to pave way for a private multipurpose office complex in Cantonments, Accra.

The land out of which the development was carved hosts the offices of the Department of Parks and Gardens (DPG). It is the largest garden in Accra, with many species of trees and flowers. The ten acres are home to not only beautiful trees but also birds and small animals.

Describing the situation as worrying Eco-Conscious Citizens – a pressure group of land rights campaigners and other environmentalists – is demanding that the Department of Parks and Garden and the La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly stop the wanton destruction of the environment and move to protect it. 

Last year, at a meeting with the directors of the Parks and Gardens, Awula Serwah, a campaign leader and member of Eco-Conscious Citizens, said: “Concerned citizens want transparency regarding lands in Accra that have been designated as parks and open spaces. This information will help stop land earmarked for open spaces from being built on.”

Green and open

In June 2019 the environmental body created an online petition with over 3,500 signatures on the platform Change.org to appeal to President Akufo-Addo to help preserve the green space.

The group held a meeting last year with the directors of the Parks and Gardens to discuss the encroachment on land that should be green and open to the public.

Awula Serwah says: “A lot of our green spaces have already been built on. COVID-19 has reminded us of the importance of clean air, clean water and open spaces. It is astonishing that anyone would think of rezoning Parks and Gardens land from green civic to exclusively civic in order to build a mult-storey office on Parks and Gardens land meant for greenery.

“Accra is prone to flooding. Plants, especially trees, could make a difference in preventing flooding and generally improving the quality of life.”

Eco-Conscious Citizens says it is ready to work with the Department of Parks and Gardens to develop green spaces in the country. The group called on Ghanaians to help in the fight against climate change by advocating the preservation of the environment.

 Priscilla Owusu

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