The World Bank (WB), with funding from its Climate Investment Fund, has launched a US$5.5 million project to mitigate the impact of climate change in the country. The five-year project, spanning 2017-2022, is being implemented in 52 forest fringe communities in Brong-Ahafo and Western Regions.
Titled "Ghana Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Local Communities" (DGM), the project is being implemented by the Solidarid West Africa, a partner of the WB, which seeks to fight forest loss and half unsustainable land use practices in the drive against climate change and associated impact.
The first component of the project focuses on the dissemination of knowledge to increase communities understanding of the linkages between climate change and their current land use practices.
In this direction, more than 11,000 adults in the selected communities would benefit from general awareness sessions under the project, whilst at least 1,100 of them would also receive trainings in climate change-smart land use practices and effective responses to climate change impacts in the communities.
The second component of the project focuses on the provision of demand driven sub-grants to communities and Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) to support communities and selected individuals and CBOs to put into practice knowledge acquired by the beneficiaries for climate change mitigations.
Speaking at the launching ceremony in Sunyani, Dr Nyaneba Nkrumah, the World Bank's Task Team Leader, said local communities had a key role to play in addressing and solving the problems of deforestation and degradation in Ghana. He expressed worry about the widespread challenges of deforestation, degradation, and burning of wood and other fuels all over the world.
This, he added was why the WB and its partners was implementing similar projects for local communities in Mexico, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, Peru, Brazil, Lao and Congo. Dr Nkrumah said Ghana is already experiencing the effects of climate change with the hotter temperatures, irregular rainfall pattern, extreme cold as well as lack of rains or too heavy rains at wrong times.
He advised the project implementing communities to show interest, embrace and support the project to help mitigate the impact of climate change which remained a global challenge. Dr Isaac Gyamfi, the Ghana DGM Project Coordinator, underlined the need for sustainable land use practices that inured to climate change benefits in the country.
He said a survey in the project implementing communities showed that a good number of people were aware about climate change but about 30 per cent of them attributed climate change to supernatural factors. Dr Gyamfi observed that in as much as the community people appreciated the recurrence of climate change, the linkages between their land use practices which constitute their livelihood activities and climate change is often missed.
In a speech read on his behalf, Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, commended the WB and its partners for the project, saying, it would help to improve on best agricultural practices and enhance national food production. He noted that the issue of climate change had become national and international concern and urged the beneficiary communities to take the project serious.