TREE PLANTING CEREMONY AT SHAI HILLS RESERVE
Alhamdulillah, as part of plans for the celebration of the centenary of Lajna Imaillah worldwide in the year 2022, Members of Lajna Imaillah (The Women’s Auxiliary Organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community) in Ghana and the world over are planting at least 1000 trees in their respective countries as part of activities to mark the celebration of the Centenary of Lajna Imaillah in the year 2022. As Muslims, planting of trees is regarded as continuous charity to mankind. As Muslims, love for one’s nation is also considered as part of faith.
The tree planting activities was launched in Ghana on 1st January 2021 with special prayers throughout Ghana and individual efforts at tree planting mainly in the back yards of individual Lajna members. As at April, 2021 Individual members of Lajna Imaillah in Ghana had already planted over 700 trees, mainly fruit bearing trees. Alhamdulillah.
In April, 2021 the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Forestry Commission (Commission) launched the Green Ghana Programme which is an initiative to encourage Ghanaians to plant more trees to preserve and protect the country’s forest cover and the environment.
Lajna Imaillah Ghana therefore wrote to inform the Commission of its interest in supporting the Green Ghana Programme and informed the Commission of Lajna Imaillah’s own tree planting activities towards the celebration of its centenary in the year 2022.
To support the Green Ghana Programme and as part of its centenary activities, Lajna Imaillah Ghana requested Three Thousand (3000) mahogany seedlings and this request was granted. Alhamdulillah, upon request of Lajna Imaillah Ghana, the Commission also granted Lajna Imaillah Ghana One and a Half (1.5) acres of land at Shai Hills Resource Reserve on which Lajna Imaillah Ghana could plant the Three Thousand mahogany seedlings.
For Lajna Imaillah Ghana, supporting the Green Ghana Programme to protect the country’s forest cover and the environment is regarded as a demonstration of the love of members of Lajna for their nation and also as charity of members of Lajna to mankind as Lajna Imaillah prepares to celebrate its centenary in the year 2022.
Alhamdulillah, between the Commission and Lajna Imaillah Ghana, it has been agreed that Lajna will nurture the seedlings for five years after which the mahogany trees would become part of the tourism attraction in the reserve.
The area on which the mahogany trees will be planted will be clearly marked as an area containing trees planted by Lajna Imaillah Ghana as part of its centenary activities and the trees will be preserved for posterity, at the Shai Hills Resource Reserve, an IUCN protected area, insha’Allah.
On Sunday, 23rd May, 2021 Lajna members from Accra Central, Kasoa and Tema Zones met at the Shai Hills Resource Reserve for a brief ceremony to mark the tree planting exercise after which the seedlings were planted.
The event was attended by Maulvi Naeem Ahmad Cheema who represented Ameer Sahib Ghana, Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya and Naib Sadr Majlis Ansarullah. Madam Winifred Ohene – Wiafe, District Manager of Forestry Commission in charge of the Tema/ Ada Area and Mr. Prince Anane Agyei, Manager of the Shai Hills Reserve attended the event as Special Guests.
Maulvi Naeem Ahmad Cheema in his opening remarks explained that it is unfortunate that due to the lifestyles of some Muslims, people conceive that Muslims in general do not care about the earth which sadly is untrue. Islam, stresses the importance of taking care of living things on earth, a fact supported by numerous verses in the Holy Quran. He went ahead to mention a Hadith on Tree planting which benefits are received in the thereafter. He commended Lajna for taking the lead in planting Trees and asked that other Wing Organisations follow in the example. He concluded his remarks with a silent prayer to commence the ceremony.
Madam Winifred Ohene-Wiafe, District Manager, Forestry Commission, Tema/Ada, delivered a short message to members praising Lajna for under taking such a noble course that would benefit humans and animals. She explained that Humans inherited a good earth but our activities are destroying it and the weather has changed drastically hence the need for the Green Ghana Project by Government that is providing free seedlings for the exercise today. She was thankful to Lajna and appealed that Lajna hold true to their word and nature the seedlings, which she compared to new born babies that require naturing to enable their growth.
Also, the Manager of Shai Hills Resource Reserve, Mr. Prince Anane Agyei delivered a short message in which he mentioned that the reserve is a 51kilometer square and receives 30,000 visitors yearly. The plot allocated to Lajna to plant the 3,000 seedlings and nature them for 5 years is strategically located on one of the tour roads of the reserve and would ensure the area is labelled appropriately and visitors would be informed accordingly. He indicated that the Reserve does not allow cutting down of Trees so members need not worry.
Maulvi Naeem Ahmad Cheema who represented Ameer of Ghana at the event, Sadr Majlis Khudammul Ahmadiyya, Mr. Nasir Bonsu and Naib Sadr Majlis Ansarullah who represented Sadr Ansarullah joined Sadr Lajna Imaillah Ghana to plant the first set of trees.
Naib Sadrs of Lajna Imaillah, Honorary Amila members, Zonal and Circuit Sadrs of Accra- Central Zone, Kasoa Zone and Tema Zone planted the next round of trees.
Amila members, Zonal and Circuit Office bearers and all Lajna members who attended the event thereafter joined in the tree planting. A total of 1,000 seedlings were planted as members awaits the rains to plant the remaining 2,000 seedlings. All Covid-19 protocols were observed.
Alhamdulillah, the program was a great success.
All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds!
Report prepared by:
Hajia Nabeela N Wahab Hammond
General Secretary, Lajna Imaillah Ghana.