This is a copy of the article that appeared in Ghana Business.
News Date: 23rd November 2009
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has provided 49,500 dollars for Dupari and Glang communities in the Wa East District to conserve 150 hectares of land under its Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme. The UNDP has also provided the communities with skills on sustainable land management and composite soil fertility improvement technology as well as beekeeping techniques. It supplied genetic improved sheep, goats and fowls as well as a corn mill to the communities for cross-breeding to improve their local stock.
Mr. George Ortsin, the National Programme Coordinator of UNDP/Global Environment Facility Small Grant Programme, said this at the seventh anniversary celebration of the Dupari Integrated Wildlife Project at Dupari on Saturday.
He said a woman each from Dupari and Glang had been selected and sent to India to be trained as solar engineers and on their return would provide 60 households with solar lights.
Mr. Ortsin said climate change had become a reality as temperatures had risen by two degrees, rainfall pattern changed and affecting food crops production.
"If we are able to manage our environment properly, we stand the chance of improving our livelihoods by 60 per cent annually", he said.
He said it was for that reason that the UNDP assisted the people to manage their environment, keep away bush fires to enable the damage environment to regenerate. Mr. Ortsin said the UNDP would as from next year assist traditional healers in the region to establish a herbal store to complement orthodox medicine in the treatment of people. This would be done after herbal preparations had been tested for their efficacy, hygienic conditions and dosage required for treatment of patients.
Mr. Ortsin said UNDP was committed to working with the people to help them to reduce poverty through the protection of the environment. Mr. Caesar Kale, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, said he had no doubt that the project would encourage the usage of sustainable land management practices and the creation of natural regeneration sites to improve lives of the people.
He called on other communities in the region to emulate Dupari and Glang people to establish similar sites. "It is now our responsibility to employ sustainable and improve ways of protecting our environment to help us maximize the benefits and to safeguard it for posterity", Mr. Kale said.
He said indiscriminate felling of trees without replacement, bush burning and uncontrolled hunting practices would not only cause the extinction of medicinal plants and animals as well as poor soil fertility but would also reduce the quality of life of the people.
Mr. Kale said government would support all ongoing environment related projects such as the Ghana Environmental Management Project and the Natural Resources Environment Governance Project. Mr. Mohammed Sani, Assembly member for the area, appealed for the construction of a dam for dry season gardening and a road to link the two communities.