About 52,257 hectares of degraded land has been recovered in Northern Ghana for agriculture activities through the implementation of the Sustainable Land and Water Management Project (SLWMP).
Mr Asher Nkegbe, the Upper East Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who is also the Head of the Technical Coordination Office (TCO) of the project, said this at the second 2020 Local Steering Committee Meeting of the SLWMP held in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region.
The Regional Director explained that the 10-year project being implemented in the Northern, Savannah, North East, Upper East and Upper West Regions was making significant gains as it reversed degraded lands and improved agriculture production in the beneficiary areas.
The project is being implemented in 12 districts of the five regions of the north including; Mamprugu Moaduri, West Mamprusi, West Gonja and Sawla Tuna-Kalba Districts in the Northern Region, Talensi, Bawku West, Builsa South and Kassena Nankana West districts in the Upper East Region and Wa East, Daffiama-Bussie Issa, Sissala East and Sissala West Districts in the Upper West Region.
The Project, funded by Global Environmental Facility (GEF)) through the World Bank begun implementation in 2010 and is expected to end in 2020. It has supported 39,600 farmers in 247 communities in the project regions to adopt sustainable land and water management practices.
It has also put in place eight environmental management plans to provide management to 72,716 hectares of forest reserves in the project area.
Mr Nkegbe said apart from the project ensuring that 1,060 hectares of land were reforested in the Kulpawn and Ambalara forest reserves in the Upper West Region, six Community Resource Management Areas (CREMA) had also been established and ten dugouts constructed.
“The project has also ensured that Spatial Development Frameworks for the North Savannah zone is developed to guide future planning”, the Regional Director indicated.
He commended the Technical Coordination Team of the project for working hard and said the establishment of buffer zones along river banks through the cultivation of Bamboo plantation and riparian grass and the establishment of rangelands needed to be celebrated.
Mr Frank Fuseine Adongo, the Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, mentioned that one of the major challenges confronting the five regions of the north was land degradation associated with indiscriminate bush burning, felling of trees for charcoal production and overgrazing and expressed optimism that such problems could be addressed through the project interventions.
He commended the GEF and the World Bank including; the implementing agencies for the support and recommended for the up-scaling of the project to other communities in the country particularly the northern parts of the country.
The forum was aimed at briefing the members of the committee on the progress of the implementation of the project and to solicit for their inputs for the sustainability of the project.
It attracted Municipal and District Planners, Regional and District Agriculture Directors and Municipal and District Coordinating Directors and Planners from the implementing Regions.
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