When a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?

Posted on September 24, 2012


This wasn’t any tree. It was a five hundred year old kapok tree located near the shores of Lake Bosomtwe, Ashanti, Ghana.

photo courtesy of Tom Vitullo-Martin

I’ve passed it hiking many a time and it was a glorious sight to behold! Now it has fallen

And it didn’t go down without a fight. Elodie from the Green Ranch approached authorities here in Kumasi to no avail. She pleaded that it was just a simple matter of diverting the high tension poles and wires around the tree. But no everything in the path of so-called progress was being levelled including this wonder of nature as well as plantain and cocoa trees planted by farmers in neighbouring villages.

One person who heard was Antwi a long time resident seeking the simple life. He too had protested continuously but alas the chainsaws started one morning, but soon stopped when tree claimed a temporary victory breaking the machines. But they were back that evening and worked through the night until tree succumbed thundering down partially damaging Antwi’s modest house.

photo courtesy of Tom Vitullo-Martin

Luckily, he had the good sense to move to his second smaller abode.

I learnt of the whole affair from my friend Elodie, the horse lady, who had emailed me concluding her description of the tragic event:

“Sorry but it makes me feel better talking to you…”

Anyways, a guest of Four Villages Inn, one Tom Vitullo-Martin requested a day tour and I took the opportunity to tell him about the tree and we braved the muddy road to skirt the lake to see the tree. Coming upon it provoked the same reaction from the two of us: OH!

Tom (l) talking with Antwi(r) and neighbours

Antwi and neighbours, a sad day..

Postscript: Greenpeace Africa activity….