The two-year environmental project seeks to reclaim illegal mining lands and encourage tree planting among school children in parts of the Eastern Region.
Afariwa, as she was popularly known in the TV3’s Ghana’s Most Beautiful, represented the Eastern Region.
One worrying issue she identified and sought to work on after the show was the devastation of lands as a result of illegal mining.
At Koforidua, she launched the project to stop the habit.
She intends to seek support to reclaim lands at the Adadientem area and step up education in basic schools too.
She solicited more support in making her efforts at saving the environment a successful one.
Several stakeholders have been commending her on the project, acknowledging lands in the Eastern Region were under threat due to small scale illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.
The Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Felix Addo Okyireh, regretted the compounding worrying issues on the environment and observed illegal mining has become irresponsible destroying water bodies.
He lauded the project, explaining it fits into EPA’s aims.
Officials from the Forestry Commission also raised concern on the aggravation of forest from 8. 2 million hectars to 1.6 million hectars over about hundred years in the nation’s existence.
They added that the repercussions are the climate change, reduction in food production and poverty.
Hence, a concerted effort is needed, they pleaded.
The Eastern Regional Director of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Gyimah Gyamfi, unregulated mining operations were affecting cocoa farms and yields, threatening the cocoa industry.
He was of the opinion that the adverse effect of illegal mining practices was devastating and outweigh benefits derived.
The Headmaster of the Adadietem Basic School in the East Akyem District, where Afariwa intends to carry her project, explained that school performance has reduced from the average 40 per cent to 0. 3 per cent while enrollment has shot down too as a result of mining operations near the school.
He was hopeful the project would help change the situation.
The queenmother of Adadientem, Nana Animyaa Oda, expressed gratitude her community was chosen for the project.
As part of the project, ceremonial tree planting by all stakeholders present was done.
By Yvonne Neequaye|tv3network.com|Ghana