Harvest rain to help address climate change – stakeholders

Stakeholders at a forum organised in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region have underscored the need for the country to develop the culture of rain harvesting to help address the issue of climate change.

The forum, which was organised by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) on Friday with funding from the German International Cooperation (GIZ), a development agency, was to empower the stakeholders with the knowledge on  the   Climate Smart Agriculture document  developed  by the country and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Plan developed by the global community.

The Head of Environment and Climate Change Unit of the MOFA, Mr Kingsley Kwako Amoako, told the stakeholders who included Municipal and District Directors of Agriculture and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that rain harvesting and soil conservation were among   the major components of Ghana’s Climate Smart Agriculture document and the NDCs.

He  stated that building designs that were put up  by the colonial masters in Ghana had  rain harvesting components, and called on  all  the Regional Coordinating Councils and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) across the country to ensure that all building designs including roads have rain harvesting packages.

Mr Amoako further called on the stakeholders to adopt pragmatic and stringent measures to prevent community members who usually engage in indiscriminate bush burning to desist from the trend, since such incidence often led to low yield of crops as a result of the killing of certain microorganisms in the soil.

He also entreated the participants, particularly the MOFA Directors to sensitise the community members to put up good housing structures to house the animals they rear, instead of allowing them to roam and overgraze and defecate rampantly causing green gas emissions.

Mr Amoako explained that initially people thought climate change was an environmental issue until it dawned on the government that it was a developmental issue that affected every facet of the economy including the energy, industry, waste management, agriculture sectors.

He stressed on the need to develop a policy document to guide the actions of the various sectors to be responding to the climatic changes that are being recorded across the world, adding  that the government developed the Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Security Action Plan to be implemented from 2016 to 2020.

“Also as a country,   Ghana developed its NDCs as demanded by the global community from all member countries to Green House Gas Emissions Reduction (GHGER).  It is a legally binding document that was reached at the Paris Congress of Parties at the United Nations Federal Conventions of Climate Change (PCPUNFCC)”, he emphasised.

The Upper East Regional Director of the MOFA, Mr Francis Enoch, entreated all the Municipal and District Directors of MOFA to pay keen interest to the relevance of the workshop for agricultural sustenance and said it was very regrettable that the country annually allowed quantum of rainfall every rainy season to go waste instead of harvesting the rain for agriculture activities.

He expressed the hope that the government’s intention to construct the Pwalugu Multipurpose dam in the Upper East and the ongoing dugouts initiated by the government would help harvest the rainfalls and the spillage of the Bagre Dam of Burkina Faso for farming purposes particularly during the dry season.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA

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