A total of 1,000 cassia and mahogany seedlings have been planted along the Black Volta River near Siiro community in the Nadowli-Kaleo District of the Upper West Region.
The planting of the seedlings was part of activities marking the 2017 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought in the Region.
Additionally 1,000 seedlings are expected to be planted on an eight hectare land within the Black Volta River buffer zone at Zupkiri community in the same district while another 200 seedlings will also be planted in selected schools.
Mr. John A. Pwamang, Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made this known during the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought durbar held at Siiro in the Nadowli-Kaleo District of the Upper West Region.
He said the Zupkiri community and its environs was selected for the exercise because of their commitment to communal activities.
“The knowledge acquired by the community on the importance of tree planting for buffer zone protection and the existence of fire volunteer squads to fight against bush fires will ensure that the seedlings planted will be taken very good care of to ensure very high survival rate,” he stressed.
Mr.Pwamang said the tree planting exercise would contribute immensely to water conservation in the Black Volta River Basin to sustain dry season pump irrigation; fishing; adequate water for the hydropower generation at Bui and potable water supply for the communities.
The Acting Executive Director of EPA said sustainable land management offered the youth vast opportunities for income generation in agriculture and preservation of forest resources.
These alternative livelihood activities, according to Mr. Pwamang, included bee keeping, Shea nut processing and production of herbal medicines.
He said the EPA under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and other stakeholders was implementing the Ghana Sustainable Land Management Project in communities across 10 districts of the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions to improve yields through sustainable agricultural practices.
He said six communities in addition to Siiro community had been assisted to establish Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) which enabled them to preserve land resources and prevent bushfires and other forms of land degradation.
Naa Dakurah Bapageranninge I, the Chief of Siiro, said the community and its environs had benefitted immensely since the CREMA was introduced there in the year 2000.
The benefits include increase rainfall pattern in the area, conservation of wildlife, easy accessibility to medicinal plants and increase in income as a result of the preservation of economic trees in the area.
Naa Bapageranninge mentioned lack of appropriate firefighting tools, lack of means of transport to facilitate easy movement to fire scenes, lack of office for Zukpiri CREMA and lack of incentives for farmers for proper land and sustainable natural resource management as some of the challenges.
He appealed for a dam at an agreed area to help prevent domestic animals from passing through the CREMA in search of water especially during the dry season.