Peseator , Ghana — The President of the 31st December Women’s Movement (DWM), Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, has expressed her appreciation to public servants, who approach their work professionally and do not allow politics to influence their judgment.
She was speaking at the inauguration of five cassava processing and seven snail farming units for the members of the 31st DWM and communities, which participated in the reforestation of the 650 hectares of the degraded portions of the Worobong South Forest Reserve project at Peseator on Friday.
The beneficiary communities, which participated in the Participatory Tropical Forest Development by Women in Indigenous Community Project, were Peseator, Akoradarko, Besebuom, Akukrutu, Kronkronso, Ahomahomaso and Amokrom.
The 834,000-dollar project was sponsored by the International Tropical Timber Organisation and was implemented by the 31st December Women’s Movement in collaboration with the Forestry Commission of Ghana between 2000 and 2004.
Mrs Agyeman-Rawlings praised Mr Richard Gyasi Amoako of the Forestry Services Division (FSD) and his staff for their technical support, which had helped the project to succeed.
She said similar project by the movement in the Northern part of Ghana had suffered a set back because it was politicised to the extend that the FSD staff, who should provide the technical support shied away from the 31st DWM and the project, which would have benefited a whole community.
Mrs Agyeman-Rawlings said, though the project had ended, the various activities needed to be sustained, because the plantation needed to be tended until the trees reach maturity. She said the projects being inaugurated was to help the communities to generate income to sustained the projects the movement had initiated.
Former President Jerry John Rawlings, who accompanied the wife to the function urged the 31st DWM to publicise the good works that they have been doing for the country, especially at the moment, when every thing was being done to put a negative tag on the movement. He said the 650-hectar reforestation project that, the movement had done was evidence of the good works that the movement was doing in the quiet and was a demonstration of the legacy that the members of the movement were leaving for the future generation.
Mr Rawlings, advised the women to take special interest in the income generating projects so that they could improve upon their living conditions and that of their families.
The Project Co-ordinator of the 31st DWM, Ms Rejoice Ahiable said the major threat to the survival of the project was bush fire and as a result fire volunteers were mobilised and trained to help in bush fire prevention.
She said in the course of the implementation of the project, the food production levels and the incomes of the local participants in the project improved tremendously and that encouraged other local residents and those on the fringes of the forest to take active part in the reforestation project.
The Dademantse of Peseator, Mr Joseph Teye, expressed the appreciation of his people to the presence of the former President and the President of the 31st DWM and assured that, their presence had inspired his people to do more to prevent bush fires, which threaten the project.
Mr Amoako mentioned the trees planted to include Kyenkyen, Cassia, Cedrella, Wawa, Abackoo, Ceiba, Mellina, Ofram, Emre, Mahogany, Teak and Tamatama.
He said it was the desire of the Forestry Commission to document the success of the project for the benefit of the whole country and the world and assured that his organisation would continue to provide technical service for the project.
Also present at the function were Ms Sherry Ayittey, National Project Co-ordinator of the 31st DWM, Ms Ernestina Fenning, Fanteakwa District Co-ordinator of the 31st DWM, The Eastern Regional Chairman of National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Julius Debrah and the National Organiser of NDC and former Member of Parliament for Fanteakwa, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo.
Later, Mrs Agyeman-Rawlings on behalf of her movement donated 150 pieces of cutlasses and 150 pairs of Wellington boots to the members of the fire volunteers.