Cursing the Tree

In the Solomon Islands, when the people want to clear the forest for planting or development, they just gather around the big tree, stand around it holding hands and hurl abuses at it the tree – they curse it.

Slowly and surely the tree begins to wither and it dies on its own.

This is a story that I heard from the movie ‘Like Stars in the Sky’ and it set me thinking about our environment.  The way we leave our environment to go to ground (no pun intended) is rather appalling.

In the wisdom of nature, the environment itself has systems in place to forestall any disaster and replenish itself in case there are any such things.

The story is told of a particular island when a tsunami was about to happen, the animals sensed it first and the people realized that the animals were all moving in a particular direction and therefore followed them to a particular mountain top. All the people of that particular island were saved by following the animals to that particular place.

Have we really noticed how the environment itself has indicators when a disaster is about to occur. When dark clouds form the birds circle around the trees one and all and you know whether it will rain or not when they don’t settle down pretty soon.

Took a trip to Jasikan recently and noticed that logging has taken alarming new forms where large trees are cut down and not replaced. Even the cutting down of the trees destroys the vegetation around it because the trees are felled illegally and not by experts so the trees just fall on other trees. Gradually the trees in the forest are all destroyed and then the land is exposed to the vagaries of the weather. Erosion and land degradation set in and mud slides are a common occurrence on vegetation without cover.

Civil society organizations such as National Disaster Management Organization, Water Resources and Environmental Protection Agency advocate for measures against environmental degradation. These include creating buffer zones and planting trees and also taking care of water bodies within the communities.

Somehow we find ourselves cursing ourselves just like the people of the Solomon Islands curse the tree.

The cliché that, when the last tree dies the last man dies, is very profound because trees account for the human existence.

As we curse the tree and we curse the environment we hurt ourselves by our very own actions and that is detrimental to our human existence.

Now let’s relate this to our existence. It is important that we all come together to agree on what is good for our environment and just not leave it to civil society to take the responsibility for us.

Just as the people come together to hold hands to curse the tree, they do it together. There is total agreement that it is what they want.

Trees are important for our existence. Plant a tree today and prevent or report it if you think people are destroying trees in your community.

Let’s do our bit to keep Ghana green.

A Green Ghana is a healthy Ghana.

 

Like I always say, it begins with YOU!!

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