GNA – The Ghana Sustainable Land and Water Management Project (GSLWMP) has made some significant impact in reducing land degradation and enhancing maintenance of biodiversity in selected micro-watersheds in the northern savannah region of Ghana.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is providing support for the eight years project, which had been extended to another three years aimed at reducing land degradation and enhancing maintenance of biodiversity in selected micro-watersheds in the northern savannah region of Ghana.
The implementation of the (GSLWMP) begun from 2011 in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
Briefing stakeholders drawn from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions on Progress made so far in the Implementation of the project in Bolgatanga on Friday, Mr Emmanuel Yeboah, Assistant Programmes Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who is a member of the Technical Coordination Office (TCO) of the GSLWMP, mentioned that 174 communities in 12 districts in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions were currently benefitting from the project.
He stated that as at August 2017, 7,200.8 hectares of Land area was under the SLWM whilst 18, 246 Land users are to adopt the SLWM practices.
He said whilst the project had assisted 174 communities to develop watershed plans and established 199 SLWM demonstrations, it had also facilitated the planting of 39,500 bamboo plants (Bambusa vulgaris) in riparian zones in 11 communities of the eight project districts.
The beneficiary communities, he noted, were also being assisted by extension support to scale up integrated SLWMP including the construction and use of a frame, ploughing across the slope, creation of bonds (earth and stone), compost making, zai pit planting among others.
“The project is also offering training on GPS usage and data management in three new Districts. Namely West Gonja, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba and Mamprugu Moagduri,” he stressed.
The Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr Asher Nkegbe, said the coordination of the establishment of the Riparian Vegetation using Bamboo Cultivation, Natural Regeneration and enrichment of tree planting activities to control soil erosion as well as the distribution of farm inputs such as seeds, tree seedlings, fertilizers and pesticides in the project communities were making greater impact on the project.
He said the project would continue to roll out more sensitization and awareness programmes on SLWM practices to help make the project achieve its desired objectives of reversing land degradation in the area.
The Chief Director of the Regional Coordinating Council, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Azonko, who delivered a speech for the Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari, thanked the donors and the implementing agency for the support.
He noted that land degradation was one of the major problems confronting the regions and mentioned negative practices including indiscriminate bush burning and felling of trees for charcoal production as well as overgrazing as some of the major problems confronting the environment.
He therefore, charged the implementing Agency to work hard to help reverse the trend in the area to ensure food security and empower the economic livelihoods of the people.