Schoolyards in West Africa - about planting trees and environmental protection

Building a "green wall" between the Sahara and the Sahel is a great environmental effort involving governments in Africa and Europe. Billions of dollars are being invested and thousands of people are participating. It's possible to improve the environment with less money and protect nature just as sustainably. This is proven by the environmental teacher Cornelia Krömer, who told us about Sam Essiamah and the joint action "School Forests for West Africa".   

The history

Some time ago, we wrote about schools in Africa: "It is not uncommon for lessons in a West African school to be held outdoors. This is especially pleasant when the schoolyard is planted with shady trees." At least that was the case two or three decades ago. Since then, schoolyards have changed. We learned this from Cornelia Krömer and her report on Ghanaian forest scientist Dr. Sam Essiamah. Many trees had disappeared, the kids were cramming in stuffy classrooms. The photo on the left shows the school library and its surroundings as Sam Essiamah found them. What student would want to read and learn outdoors? 


Green schoolyards are an important contribution to environmental protection

The action of Dr. Sam Essiamah, a former student from Ghana, is all the more gratifying. He studied advanced science in Germany. After his studies, he visited his former school in Ghana. Shocked, he saw that his former, green schoolyard had become a wasteland, no tree, no greenery. It was a sad sight. Sam Essiamah acted immediately. He bought trees and planted them in the schoolyard with students. After six months, the schoolyard was transformed. The dusty, desolate area had become a green garden with trees and shrubs. The Ghanaian did not stop at this one-time action. Other schoolyards had also become bare.  When he returned to Germany, he founded the "School Forests for West Africa" association with like-minded people. His goal is for children to learn how important trees are for the preservation of the rainforest and for our climate. The students take care of the trees in the schoolyards and feel responsible for them. In this way, they show people how to beautify their surroundings and protect nature. In the photo on the left, you can see how the schoolyard looks when it is green.


Strong school partnerships for environmental protection

Cornelia Krömer has been working hard for school partnerships for years to support reforestation projects at West African schools. The great thing about this project is that there is a partnership organization in Ghana with which a tree nursery has also been set up. There, seedlings are grown that are distributed to tree-less schools. Mostly they are seedlings of acacias, because these trees are robust, they thrive in dry soils and they grow fast. This is a perfect example of forest conservation set in motion between continents. Because forest protection also improves the environment worldwide. We think it's a great action to take part in and follow. How? You can find out more about it at this link:

In the photo above you can see students from the Ghanaian school Essiam Catholic 5 "B" Primary, who helped to green their schoolyard.

Did you know? About 2 EURO are enough to plant one tree. In the schools in Ghana, only tree species that grow in the region are selected, such as Casia, Rain Tree, Montalis, Acacia, Milita, Mahogani, Albezia Lebek or Teak.

Click here for the video on tree planting in West Africa's schoolyards 

What else is going on in April?

On April 1, 1940, WANGARI MAATHAI was born, the founder of the GREEN BELT MOVEMENT. Learn more about Wangari Maathai

EARTH DAY is celebrated on April 20. The motto 2021: Think globally, act locally. On afrika4teens you can find more about Earth Day 2021

The DAY OF THE TREE is celebrated on April 25. The Day of the Tree is intended to keep in mind the importance of the forest for our planet. On the occasion of this day, trees are planted all over the world. In 2020, some of the trees planted did not grow because of the dry climate conditions in April. Therefore, planting will have to take place earlier and earlier in order for the trees to grow.


Wishing a happy school time despite Corona

Angelika and the team of afrika-junior


Click here for the fairy tale of the month



Preview: Visit us again next month to learn more about special animals in Africa.