Ghana initiative moves to address land degradation

Ghana initiative moves to address land degradation

16 February 2010

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Ghana —  Ms Sherry Ayitey, Minister of Environment Science and Technology, on Tuesday prescribed a number of interventions to halt land degradation.

The measure comprise water body siltation and stone binding to prevent rain water seepage and soil erosion. 

Ms Ayitey suggested the need for the country to adopt traditional methods of land preservation such as land and crop rotation and shifting cultivation.

The Minister was answering at the floor of Parliament, tabled by Mr. Augustine Collins Ntim, Member of Parliament for Offinso North who seeks to know about the measures government is taking to address desertification arising mainly from the constant bush fires in the Trans-savannah areas of Ghana.

Ms Ayitey said her sector ministry with financial support from Canadian International Development Agency would implement a five- year Ghana Environmental Management Project in the Northern, Upper East and Upper East regions to improve land management practices to conserve water and farm lands for food production.

She said the 24 districts which fell within the Trans – savannah area would be supported financially to grow economic trees, venture into livestock production and livelihood support programmes.

Ms Ayitey said the ministry would reactivate the District Environmental Management committees to facilitate education programmes at the district and community levels thorough out the country.

The Ghana National Fire Service and the National Disaster Management Organisation would also train Community Fire volunteers.

She said the sensitisation programme would involve traditional rulers, adding that most of the traditional areas in the Upper West region had recorded no bush burning for the past 10 years.

Ms Ayitey cited Nandom traditional area in particular as a remarkable example.

“District assemblies and the law courts are also being encouraged to enact and enforce laws on bush fires to punish offenders to serve as deterrent to potential offenders,” she said.

She called on all Ghanaians to commit themselves to fighting bushfires especially members of parliament to make the control of the phenomenon a success story.

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