An environmental project dubbed “Greening Northern Ghana (GNG) Project “, has been launched in Bolgatanga, in the Upper East Region, to complement government’s efforts at curbing desertification in the five regions in the northern part of the country.
The regions are Northern, Upper East, Upper West,
North East and the Savannah, noted to be facing environmental degradation and
desertification largely due to induced human activities mainly charcoal
production, hunting and honey tapping.
Launching the project here last Saturday, the Upper
East Regional Minister, Ms Paulina Patience Abayage, said officials
implementing the project, would work in collaboration with the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and the Forest Commission, to plant trees and grasses
in communities of the beneficiary regions.
She said bush burning was one of the major
environmental problems confronting the region, and entreated traditional authorities
to punish offenders to serve as deterrent to others.
Ms Abayage indicated that the government through the
EPA was already implementing the “Sustainable Land and Water Management Project
“in the five regions with , funding from the World Bank.
Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission, Mr Emmanuel Yeboah, who read a speech
on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Commission,
Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, noted that trees play a major role in the survival of humankind.
He cited for instance that apart from
trees offering shades, carbon sequestration, prevention of erosions and protection
of water bodies, the 20,000 litres of oxygen that are needed in a day for adults
to be able to survive were produced by
“Forty percent of the medicines
produced in the country are also derived from plants in addition to the fact
that trees also moderate the rainfall patterns in the country. Viewing the
significant role trees play in the life
of humankind it is important for every stakeholder to get
involved in tree planting”, the CEO stressed.
The National Chairman of the GNG, Alhaji Abdallah Otito
Achuliwor, stated that basket weavers in the region lacked straw
for weaving, compelling some of them to travel as far as the southern parts of
the country to buy raw materials.
He expressed the hope that the
growing of grasses would help address the challenge to enable basket weavers
maximize profit, adding that the GNG project was a registered voluntary NGO operating
in the five regions.
The National Coordinator of the GNG
project, Mr Charles Mambuliya, noted that
some water bodies in the five regions
were drying hence the initiation of the project.
The Regional Director of the EPA, Mr Asher Nkegbe , indicated that his outfit in collaboration with the Forestry Service Commission would provide six million seedlings for the NGO to plant in the coming rainy season in addition to technical support.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA
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