Tree Aid Ghana (TAG) in collaboration with Organisation for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS- Ghana) has commissioned three warehouses at Kologo, Nakolo and Katiu in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality and the Kassena-Nankana West of the Upper East Region.
The storage facilities valued at about GH₵330,314 are meant to support women groups in the communities who are into shea nut, baobab, dawada, moringa and sesame processing, among other Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), to store the products.
While the warehouse at the Kologo community is a 30-tonne capacity facility made of storage room and office space, those of the Nakolo and Katiu communities is 50-tonne capacity each.
It also has a storage room and office space, washrooms and water storage systems respectively.
Additionally, the women groups have also been provided with motor tricycles, tarpaulins, weighing scales, stitching machines, protecting clothing and hand wears and wellington boots.
ORGIIS-Ghana, which is a local non-profit organisation, provided capacity building for the women to add more value into the processing of the NTFPs, as well as support them to market the products at the national and international levels.
Speaking at the separate functions to commission the facilities, the Finance and Resource Officer of Tree Aid Ghana, Mr Tijani Ndanyenbah, who read the speech on behalf of the Country Director, Naaba Anecham Jonathan, said plans were also far advanced to provide shea butter extraction machines for the two communities by September.
The Country Director explained that his outfit in partnership with ORGIIS-Ghana, begun the implementation of the Grow Hope Project in September 2018, which is expected to end in 2020 , and noted that the project was working with 21 villages and 54 village enterprise groups with close to 90 per cent women membership in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and West District.
He stated that in the year 2016, Tree Aid Ghana partnered with ORGIIS-Ghana to support the Buru Cooperative Union with a set of shea butter processing machine to increase shea butter production, improve quality, and to maximise sales and profits.
The Country Director, who noted that one of the major challenges identified by the project at that period was the lack of storage facilities for organic shea butter, organic shea nuts (kernels) and baobab powder, stated that this prompted the project to construct five warehouses across the three regions of Northern Ghana, including the Pindaa community in the Kassena -Nankana Municipality.
The Coordinator of ORGIIS-Ghana, Mr Julius Awaregya, noted that ORGIIS-Ghana had over the past 12 years been working with more than 416 women groups with a combined population of 11,000 spread across the Northern, Upper East, and Upper West Regions and the Nahuru Province of Burkina Faso in the areas of non-timber products.
The Paramount Chief of Kologo traditional area, Naba Clifford Asobayire Abagna IV, thanked the NGOs and the funding agency for supporting the communities and noted that the project was becoming a game changer to the livelihoods of the communities, particularly the women groups.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, KOLOGO