TAMALE: Three Northern Regions to benefit from .23 million Sustainable Land and Water Management Project
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The three Northern Regions are to benefit from a 15.23 million dollar Sustainable Land and Water Management Project (SLWMP) aimed at reducing land degradation and also enhance biodiversity.
The Global Environmental Facility is contributing a grant of 8.15 million dollars through the World Bank while the Government of Ghana would contribute 7.8 million dollars for the implementation of the five year project.
Mr. Daniel Amlalo, Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), disclosed this on Wednesday at a technical meeting in Tamale to validate the criteria for selection of the project communities.
He said the project also sought to strengthen spatial planning for identification of linked watershed investment in the Savannah areas of the country.
The increasing phenomena of land degradation, he said, was a major developmental issue adding, “Our ecosystem which has land and water as the base are rapidly losing their resilience and their capacity to generate goods and services for our socio-economic development as a result of over exploitation of their resources”.
Mr. Amlalo also announced that Ghana had finalized its Strategic Investment Framework to help prioritized certain areas that needed immediate attention for protection from degradation.
The SIF is a framework developed to guide the formulation and implementation of all land management projects and programmes in Ghana to ensure efficient management of financial and technical resources to achieve synergy of efforts from 2011 to 2025.
It is an investment framework to support implementation of the national action programme to combat desertification and drought to up-scale identified technologies in a coordinated fashion.
Mr. Amlalo said issues bordering on the environment especially land resources were of paramount importance to the country as a greater number of the people depend on land resources through agriculture, animal rearing, fishing and other activities for their livelihood.
Mr. Isaac Acquah, Principal Programme Officer of the EPA, explained that the project which would be in three phases would help improve the livelihoods of farmers and communities by promoting sustainable land management technologies, and innovative policy and increase agricultural productivity while generating ecosystem services.
He said the first component of the project would be a capacity building package for integrated spatial planning thus providing integrated spatial planning tools to strengthen the capacity of Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and relevant implementing agencies to guide and undertake decision-making for investment across the Northern Savannah Region.
The second component, Mr. Acquah said was water and land management which would fund technical assistance, equipment, incremental operating costs, and direct incentives to support community flood and land management at the micro-watershed level.
Mr. San Nasaamu Asabigi, Deputy Northern Regional Minister, said everyone had a crucial role to play in ensuring the success of the project which aims at reducing poverty in the beneficiary areas.
He said the people of the North had benefited from a lot of projects yet the people still needed more assistance and called on the people to check their negative attitudes.
Kpan Naa Mohammed Bawa, a Member of the Council of State, said the Northern Region had a lot of natural resources including fertile land; rainfall which needed to be harnessed to help developed the region.
He observed that as part of the implementation of the project, there would be massive infrastructural developments like roads, to transport farm produce to the urban centres adding, the project would also help reduce the rate of migration of the youth to urban cities in search of jobs.