Programme launched to address returnee, climate change challenges

A 20-million-Euro programme designed to improve the lives of returned Ghanaian migrants and help mitigate the devastating effects of climate change has been launched in Kumasi.

Labelled ‘Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities’ (GrEEn), the four-year programme has 10 selected Municipal and District Assemblies in the Ashanti and Western regions as the initial beneficiaries.

They include Adansi South, Offinso North, Sekyere Afram Plains, Sekyere Kumawu, Ejura-Sekyedumase and Offinso, all in Ashanti.

The rest are Nzema East, Jomoro, Ahanta West and Wassa Amenfi East in the Western Region.

The programme is being jointly implemented by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), United Nations Capital Development Fund(UNCDF) and the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) with the support of the European Union (EU).

Mr Augustine Collins Ntim, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, launching the programme on behalf of the sector Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, here last Tuesday, explained that it was aimed at addressing some of the challenges of irregular migration and climate resilient local economic development as the vehicle to create employment and enterprise opportunities in districts more affected by rapid emigration over the time.

“It is common knowledge that climate change is having more adverse impact on energy resources, health, forest carbon reserves and more especially food security,” he stated.

The Deputy Minister, however, observed that globally, the African continent seemed to be the worst hit, resulting in rising temperature, erratic rainfall and extreme weather conditions.

He explained that such factors contributed significantly to poor agricultural output and thus displaced the youth and vulnerable women mainly in the rural areas where the people’s livelihood depended on agriculture.

“This unfortunate situation”, Mr Ntim pointed out, “is what has contributed to the migration of our young men and women to Europe and other parts of the world to seek greener pastures with some disastrous consequences as only a few of them reach their destinations, some die in the process while majority of them come back home more disappointed and poorer than they left.”

He said to help address these challenges, the MLGRD, in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), was taking urgent action to combat climate change and mitigate its impact  through the introduction of a number of interventions,  including the GrEEn programme.

Mr Simon Osei Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, asked the beneficiary Assemblies to seek special interest in the programme and ensure its successful implementation for the benefit of mother Ghana.

From Times Reporter, Kumasi

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