This morning, Nicholas (Ashanti Development’s Programmes Manager) and I took a trip to a nearby school to see the progress of their tree-planting programme. JSS (Junior Secondary School) students ‘adopt’ a sapling, planting it, protecting it from wandering goats and other harm, and receive rewards if their trees do well. Cue a trip around the school grounds with the students breathlessly pointing out their adopted trees. A well-kept tree earns two pencils and two pens, a really well-kept tree earns pencils, pens and a maths set.

One student pointed out his tree, deep in the undergrowth, and duly received a pencil and pen. Upon closer inspection his tree turned out to be a weed. The pencil and pen was returned and he was instructed not to try it on again.

So far, around 400 trees have been planted by JSS students in this area, and some schools are asking for saplings to replace trees around their buildings.