The United Nations Development Agency (UNDP) is implementing US$2.7 million dollar project to mitigate climate change impact in the Black Volta basin by ensuring that the vegetation cover around the basin in Northern and Brong-Ahafo Regions is preserved.
The five-year project titled “community conservation and management practices” is jointly funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Government of Ghana (GOG) through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD).
It is being implemented in 150 communities around the Bui dam in eight districts in Brong-Ahafo and Northern Regions – Lawra and Bole-Bamboi Districts in Northern and Banda, Jaman North, Jaman South, Sunyani West, and Tain Districts in Brong-Ahafo.
The first phase of the project, according to Dr George Buabin Ortsin, the National Coordinator of the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), started in 2015, and is benefiting eight communities in the two regions.
Speaking at performance and peer review workshop on the project at Wenchi in the Brong-Ahafo Region, Dr Ortsin said climate change impact was well felt in the beneficiary communities- erratic rainfall, flooding and extreme heat.
It was attended by 36 Civil Society Organizations (CSO) partnering the UNDP for the successful implementation of the project in the two regions. Dr Ortsin said the project was making huge significant impact in the communities and commended the project implementing CSOs for their commitment and tasked them to engage the media to highlights the project.
Under the first phase of the project, he said 65 small holder farmers had been introduced to10 new technologies in conservation, energy and livelihood development whilst 1,100 farmers were actively involved in preserving eco-systems and their services.
The project has trained and equipped 15 squads of fire volunteers across the landscape for fire management whilst 500 farmers were using improved soil fertility technologies, organic farming and sustainable land management systems.
In biodiversity conservation, Dr Ortsin said 584 hectares of savannah forest had been conserved; 10 hectares natural regeneration created and 50,000 bamboo seedlings had been planted in the local communities.
The National Coordinator added that 60 Persons with Disabilities had also been trained and involved in converting waste plastic into shopping bags and door mats, 150 households and 10 commercial efficient wood fuel stoves constructed.
In addition, 100-bird poultry had been established and operated by community members, 1,200 beneficiaries are involved in village savings and credit rotation scheme with operating capital of US$95,000 in addition to 100 women involved in petty trading.