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.
The 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 trees.
“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