Restoration Of Degraded Lands Through Sustainable Management, Biodiversity Conservation And Sustainable Livelihood Activities In Okushiebiade, Yoaman And Akramaman Communities In Ga West Municipality
Restoration Of Degraded Lands Through Sustainable Management, Biodiversity Conservation And Sustainable Livelihood Activities In Okushiebiade, Yoaman And Akramaman Communities In Ga West Municipality
PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT AREA

Okushiebiade, Yaoman and Akramaman are purely rural communities in Ga West Municipality. Their main occupation is farming. Women act as heads of families due to the fact that they are single mothers and they work tirelessly to maintain their families but they continue to be poor with little or no education. The area is undeveloped and hard to reach. Although the communities are not far from Accra, they lack most of the basic amenities such as water, health posts, markets, schools, light and roads.

DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM

The project area has undergone serious land degradation over the last decade as manifested by decreasing land productivity, presence of stiga weeds; destruction of water systems and bare grounds which cannot regenerate. The reasons for the land degradation are that about 40% of the supply of sand for construction in Accra is obtained from area. Everyday several tons of sand from arable lands are mined and transported to Accra. Farmer, mostly tenants, daily lose their farmlands to the sand and stone contractors who claim to have obtained permits to mine the sand. The mode of sand winning is so bad that the land is unable to regain its fertility after mining. Besides, none of the contractors rehabilitate the land leaving deep trenches which are often filled with polluted water that breed mosquitoes in the area.

Apart from san winning in the area, harvesting of tree for firewood and charcoal burning are the main business in the area especially for the women in Okushiebiade, Yaoman and Akramaman communities. The women who have been forced by low land productivity to enter into the harvesting of firewood to be sold in its raw form or burned into charcoal. The women are unable to replant neither are they able to establish their own woodlots for a sustainable source of firewood.This is due largely to a lack of access to seedlings for local people to plant on their own lands and farms. Consequently, the women continue to harvest firewood from the natural savannah, thus exacerbating problems of deforestation, land degradation and desertification.

Group hunters setting fire to the bush in pursuit of bush meat is annual ritual which has contributed to the land degradation in the area. This continues to be a major cause of bushfires in Okushiebiade, Yaoman and Akramaman and the other surrounding areas. The fires spread easily causing loss of vegetation and biodiversity, and contribute to soil erosion, desertification and the destruction of watershed and other landed properties.

The women in Okushiebiade, Yaoman and Akramaman communities have identified the need for a central community nursery that can supply the necessary seedlings. DIF, with its immense and rich experience will facilitate and provide capacity building support to women farmers from the three communities. DIF proposes sustainable solution which requires packages of finance to mitigate the causes and negative impacts of land degradation on the structure through sustainable land management practices as a contribution to improving people’s livelihoods and economic well being.

3.2 Purpose and Objectives of the project

The purpose of the project is to promote collaborative sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation practices in the selected communities through capacity building of women farmers on innovative strategies, sustainable livelihood activities and developing access to market opportunities locally and globally.

The specific objectives of the project are as follows:

? To promote sustainable agricultural practices among farmers in the Okushiebiade, Yaoman and Akramaman area to enable them restore the degraded lands through integrated water and soil management, community based forest woodlot/agro-forestry, wildfires management, natural regeneration establishment and enrichment planting;

? To support sustainable small ruminant rearing to improve and enhance organic farming as a livelihood supplement and supporting farmers to access fair and ready markets for their produce in order to increase their incomes;

? To build and sustain capacities of women farmers to enable them identify innovative strategies, approaches and models in linking trade and livelihoods to sustainable land management.

3.3 Project Outputs and Planned Activities

Project Output 1:

15 ha of degraded lands in the Okushiebiade, Yaoman and Akramaman communities demarcated and put under sustainable land management through water conservation and soil fertility improvement technologies and natural regeneration

Planned Activities:

3.1.1 Identify and demarcate 5 ha of degraded area in each community and place it under sustainable land management

The project has already organized community meetings where discussions were held between the chiefs and people about this activity. The chiefs and people indicated their willingness and commitment to the implementation of the activity to rejuvenate the already degraded lands.

3.1.2 Support 30 women farmers to establish Agro forestry on farms

In order to protect the surface soil from annual gully erosion, the project will support the indigenous farmers in the project area to establish 15ha agro forestry on their farms using moringa, lucena and other nitrogen fixing plants. The idea is to protect soils erosion and provide economic value to the farmers as well and so the moringa and mango plants would be encouraged for the activity. The moringa plants would reduce malnutrition among children and increase incomes among farmers.

3.1.3 Provide support to farmers to undertake soil and water management practices.

The project would provide technical support to women farmers to use stones to make bonding, trenches, and burrow on their farms to conserve water and reduce erosion on their farms. The project introduce different form of soil fertility improvement technologies.

3.1.4 Assist the women’s groups to establish multipurpose woodlot plantations

This activity is necessary to reduce the pressure on the remaining natural forest on the mountains. The project would demarcate a 5ha of the degraded lands and place it under multipurpose woodlot plantations where households would harvest fuel wood and allow the natural mountain forest to rejuvenate.

3.1.5 Establish community nursery

A community nursery of 100,000-seedling capacity will be established under the project by the community groups to supply seedlings to all communities involved in the project. The central nursery will provide seedlings to be supplied to interested farmers with available land. A group of 5 people (2 men and 3 women) would be trained as nursery managers to look after the nursery. The nursery will generate additional income for the project from the sale of fruit seedlings. The project will assist local level entrepreneurs with training, materials, simple tools and equipment to operate their own nurseries to produce the needed planting material. The project would support the introduction of improved planting materials.

Project Output 2:

30 women farmers from Okushiebiade, Yaoman and Akramaman communities received training and support to identify innovative strategies, approaches and models to link trade and livelihoods to sustainably manage land.

Planned Activities:

3.2.1 Facilitate the formation of sustainable land management committee

To ensure a successful implementation of the project and total ownership of the project by the people, a seven member land management committee would be formed. The committee would be trained and empowered to organize periodic community fora to promote environmental awareness, change attitudes and behaviours of the people to address environmental problems. 80% of membership of the committee would be women while the remaining 20% of membership represents men. The committee would organize at least one community fora in each of the sections of the Traditional Area to introduce innovative strategies, approaches and models in sustainable land management to the people.

3.3.2 Train farmers in the cultivation of tradable agricultural products

The project would organize practical hands-on-training workshops for women farmers on natural resource management, agro forestry and cultivation of sesame seeds, sorghum, groundnuts, tigger nuts and other tradable products under small scale drip irrigation. The project will acquire a water pumping machine to pump water from under wells that would be constructed by the project beneficiaries..

3.3.3 Organize hands on training for farmers on soil fertility improvement technologies

The project would organize a number of hands-on-training for the 300 farmers selected to improve their knowledge and skills in improved soil fertility technologies and organic farming practices. Each farmer would be taught integrated soil management practices such compost preparations and usage. Each farmer would be encouraged to establish at least 1ha of farm and applying the technology for improved crop yield.

3.3.4 Organize training for farmers on intensive wildfire prevention and management

A 20-member wildfire management volunteers’ squad will be formed and trained to serve as watchdog committee to ensure responsible environmental behaviour. At least twenty-five will be trained in each section of the Traditional Area. They will be trained in fire fighting and first aid techniques. After the training, they will be issued with identification cards and Wellington boots. The squads will also help the Traditional Area to formulate their own environmental rules and regulations to govern the environment. Resource persons will come from the GNFS and EPA.

Project Output 3:

30 women farmers supported to invest in small business enterprises small ruminant rearing and markets access to sustain the businesses.

Planned Activities:

3.3.3.1 Form women- farmer trust groups and animate

The project would identify select serious women-farmers and put them into farmer trust groups based on the existing social capital within the Traditional Area. Each farmer trust group would range from 8 to 10 members. Every farmer trust group will have a chairperson, a secretary and a treasurer.

3.3.3.2 Provide revolving credit scheme to women farmers

A revolving credit will be provided to 30 farmers to plant in the first year of the project. The beneficiaries are expected to repay to enable the project extends assistance to other farmers next on the line..

3.3.3.3 Support women farmers to invest in small ruminants, snail farming and grasscutter rearing

In a discussion with the people of the communities leading to the design of this project indicates that most of the women are interested in small ruminants rearing. The project would therefore support 70 indigenous farmers to rear guinea fowls on commercial basis. Farmers will be assisted to construct coops and pens. Dropping of these animals would be used as farm manure. Beneficiaries would repay the package to enable the project extend assistance to other farmers on line.

3.3.3.4 Train farmers on simple book-keeping

Since most of the farmers are illiterates coupled with the fact that all they lack business enterprise development skills, the project will organize 2 hands-on-training workshops targeting at least 140 farmers to upgrade their skills and knowledge of simple booking practices such as keeping data and making entries, calculating profits etc. The two operators will be taught the various records to be kept and how to keep those records properly.

3.3.3.5 Link farmer trust groups to fair and ready markets

The project would assist farmers to source for better markets for their produce. Market surveys would be conducted and fair market options identified to provide ready market to farmers produce that would increase their incomes to sustain their livelihoods. Such markets should be easily accessible to the farmers.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Integrated Development in Focus
Country:
Ghana
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 21,400.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 10,000.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
Project Number:
GHA/SGP/OP4/Y3/CORE/2009/050
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
All the beneficiareis are indigenes of the Ga West
Promoting Public Awareness of Global Environment
Create awareness on sustainable land management, climate change effects and mitigation measures
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Indicators
Biophysical
Number of globally significant species protected by project 2
Biophysical
Hectares of globally significant biodiversity area protected or sustainably managed by project 30
Biophysical
Number of innovations or new technologies developed/applied 2
Biophysical
Number of local policies informed in biodiversity focal area 1
Empowerment
Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 2
Empowerment
Number of CBOs / NGOs formed or registered through the SGP project 2
Empowerment
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 30
Biophysical
Hectares of degraded land rest 30
Biophysical
Hectares of land sustainably managed by project 50
Biophysical
Number of innovations or new technologies developed / applied 3
Biophysical
Number of local policies informed in land degradation focal area 1
Livehood
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 80
Livehood
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 50
Livehood
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 80

SGP Country office contact

Dr. George Buabin Ortsin
Phone:
233-242-977980
Email:
Ms. Lois Sarpong
Phone:
+233 505740909
Email:

Address

UNDP, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme P.O. Box 1423
Accra, Greater Accra, 233-302
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