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    ABURI MOUNTAINS OUR NATIONAL TREASURE OR FASTED DEFORESTATED AREA?


     

    We all know Aburi Mountains, the green lush environment where many generations of Ghanaian girls schooled at Aburi Secondairy School, the place where we visited Aburi Gardens and drunk our fresh palmwine.

    Aburi was/is so popular that lots of people wanted to live there, own a plot and build a house so they could enjoy the fresh, mosquito free mountain air.

    When my family and I moved back to Ghana, we wanted to live either at the seaside or in the mountains.

    We lived for some time at the seaside in Nungua and started building our house in Aburi.

    It took us two years to finish building a perfect copy of a colonial house.

    Most of that time was invested in the landscaping and carefully designing it in such a way that we didn’t need to cut any big trees.

    We bought some extra land down our house until a small stream including a waterfall to bath under at the back of our house, so we could maintain the forest and enjoy monkeys who regularly come close to our house, tree hyrax, bush bock, duiker, occasional bushbaby, horn birds and beautiful Turacos.

    We lived in peace enjoying our beautiful area for over 15 years and occasionally needed to “defend” our nature around us.

    But nature and piece are fast disappearing at this moment.

    Ghanaians local and from abroad are, just like us buying land in our area because they also admire and like the fresh air and nature.

    However, I wonder how long that will continue, because the first thing most of them do is cutting every tree on the land they buy. This resulted for the past few years already in rising temperatures in Aburi and migrating birdlife and mammals.

    The most annoying thing is that after cutting every tree, bush and weeds the land stays empty for years until a relative starts planting cassava. After that a foundation will be building and lie idle for years, to restart with intervals of another few years, walls, roof, burglar proof etc. to finally finish after 6-10 years.

    All this time, a caretaker is growing maize and cassava, nobody is replanting any trees for fresh air and the neighbors have to enjoy looking at an unfinished carcass for years. Tourists are seeing the same thing.

    I once told a friend of mine: “Tourists are not coming to Aburi to see walls and shops on the roadside and looking at cassava growing”.

    On top of that Aburi gardens, is in a deplorable state and we keep on promoting tourists to visit Aburi.

    Sometimes I wonder; it can’t be that difficult to stop people from cutting down everything that grows. I also don’t understand buyers of land that they want to cut everything on their land. If that’s what you want, buy a property at Oyibi or Danfa.

    Let’s hope I am not the only one who is noticing this and the problem will get some proper attention by the Forestry Commission or Ministry of Tourism.

    Author: Nico van Staalduinen



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