Youth in Afforestation beneficiaries have over the years expressed their displeasure about how the NPP government has unfairly treated them. It has become a culture for them to protest and demonstrate for their monthly allowance from government since the implementation of the program.
The Youth in Afforestation program was launched by the president, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo in August 2018 at the Kumasi Jubilee park. After the successful launching and implementation of the program, Government has neglected and looked down on them for no tangible reason.
According to the group’s public relation officer( PRO) Mr. Prince Atta Owusu, right from the tenure of Honorable Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie “Sir John” (late) as the CEO till now, they have not gained any solid recognition and intense attention from government.
“In fact, for about three or four months now, they have not been able to pay us, and we are suffering. We always come to work and to do that we have to take cars, but we still haven’t been paid. The whole of the Christmas break, we had to rely on our own money because we weren’t paid. They owe some of us for five or six months, and it is very disturbing. It is a good programme but if the government is not interested in it, they should just cancel it and then pay us all our arrears,” Mr. Prince Atta Owusu lamented to Obouba Ofori Amanfo the host of Ahenkan FM’s “Maakye” morning show.
“Imagine working as a beneficiary of Youth in Afforestation project and for three months and your allowance hasn’t been paid and there has not been a word from anyone. Schools have reopened and school fees have increased, yet there have not been payments made and some of us are parents with children,” another beneficiary stated.
Reports from the beneficiaries state that the program was brought into existence by the government to fight the demerits of climate change which is a very important call that needs an attention but it seems the recognition the program gets from the government is too minuscule.
According to the beneficiaries, Non payment of allowances, permanency, and lack of policy on the program are some of the problems they are facing as beneficiaries of the program.
They are therefore calling on the government to put measures in place to help them battle the problem of Non payment of allowances and also attach some integrity to the job.
In line with the NPP’s 2016 manifesto commitment of reforestation, forest rehabilitation, and forest protection activities, the Youth in Afforestation Programme was launched on August 13, 2018, at the Jubilee Park in Kumasi.
It is an initiative to help reduce the rate of youth unemployment while building more trees.
Over 20,000 youth were part of the beneficiaries of the launch.