Ghana — World Vision, an International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in collaboration with the Talensi-Nabdam District in the Upper East Region has this year launched a crusade against bush fires in the District.
As part of measures, World Vision has empowered communities in the District through training programmes to drawing up an action plan to combat the menace.
Community members including chiefs, landowners, womens groups, fire stewards and volunteer youth groups, among others, have been constituted into implementation committees at the community levels.
Other stakeholders including National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Ghana Fire Service, Forestry Commission, Assembly members, Community Development and Advocacy Centre (CODAC) and World Vision are to exercise oversight responsibilities to ensure the Success of the programme.
CODAC, an NGO contracted by World Vision, undertook community mobilization and sensitization programmes on bush fires in the communities in the District and facilitated the formation of the community implementation committees on bush fires, forest Management and Land Use by-laws.
The Implementation Committee at the community level which is made up of Tongo Beon, Yindure, Wakii and Yameriga, has drawn up action plans including, community sensitization programmes, radio programmes and durbars to be carried out from October this year to March next year when the annual bush fires usually occur.
Launching the action plan on Fire Management plans and land use bylaws at Tongo, Mrs Vivian Anafo, District Chief Executive (DCE), commended World Vision for such initiatives and said it would help reduce the rampant bush fires in the area.
Mrs Anafo said the Assembly would work to ensure that people did not burn the bush in the District and entreated the community implementation committee to apply the bylaws on fire prevention and forest management adopted by them in their action plan, strictly by issuing punitive sanctions to deter others.
The Project Manager of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) of World Vision, Mr Peter Abugah said World Vision, Talensi Nabdam Area Development Project, supported Community Development and Advocacy Centre (CODAC) to facilitate the development of fire and forest management plans and land use bylaws in the District as part of World Vision Farmer Management Natural Regeneration (FMNR) Project, implemented in the area.
He explained that under the FMNR, trees that grow naturally would be protected and farmers trained and empowered with skills to prune them at their tender age, to allow them to grow naturally.
He said currently, through training programmes provided by World Vision in four communities in the District, a total of 120 hectares of degraded land had been recovered.
He said the FMNR was the best method of conservation of natural resources, commenting that although tree planting was good, usually the returns was not as good as FMNR.