Building community resilience to climate change through the adoption and training of women fishmongers in improved energy technologies and environmental education in Otuam in Mfantseman District of the Central Region
Building community resilience to climate change through the adoption and training of women fishmongers in improved energy technologies and environmental education in Otuam in Mfantseman District of the Central Region
Fishmongers in Otuam are prone to receive the greatest exposure to the smoke. This exposure invariably leads to higher risks for the women and their children. Information gathered also revealed that the fishmongers buy fire wood from land owners in Otuam at exorbitant prices for use in their fish smoking business thus drastically reducing their profit margin. Consequently, there is a fast rate of forest depletion in the area. In some of the forest areas in Otuam, the soil has been seriously degraded. There is therefore the need to help re-establish the forests for environmental sustenance. Other contributing factors include overharvesting of forest resources as firewood and charcoal burning which leads to the loss of top soil.
Generally, erosion along the beaches gradually wipes out the population of turtles. Turtles are known to live very long but in many places the number of marine turtles has decreased sharply and the two species found in Otuam are almost extinct. The female turtles lay hundreds of eggs each nesting season, but only a few of the young ones survive after the first year. Through erosion, the sand on the beach slides over the top of the eggs that have been laid and buries or crushes the whole nest of eggs. Crabs, monitor lizards and birds eat the eggs or prey on the hatchlings as they make their way out to the sea. The greatest problem in the endangerment of the marine turtle is the pollution encountered in the sea. A number of the marine or sea turtle that have been washed up on the beaches are reported to have swallowed plastics and other types of polluted materials that they mistake for jellyfish.
The fishermen of Otuam say that at times some of these marine turtles get caught in their nets and since they see it as a delicacy they are often reluctant to throw it back into the sea. According to one fisherman the meat is as tasty as cow meat and when stored properly one marine turtle’s meat can last for as long as 3 months.

Primary objective
To adopt improved energy devices whilst managing marine turtles for environmental sustenance and improved health of the people of Otuam

Specific Objectives
a) To identify women and various stake holders engaged in the fish smoking business.
b) To empower the women financially to acquire more improved stoves.
c) To empower the women to form groups that will encourage self help.
d) To educate the women on the necessity of building their own wood lots to feed these improved stoves.
e) To assist the youth of Otuam to undertake Agroforestry in degraded areas.
f) To control the grazing of livestock.
g) To ensure that marine turtles accidentally caught in fishing nets are let back into the sea.
h) To sensitize the people of Otuam on the need to prevent the extinction of marine turtles and help in their conservation.
i) To build nests to protect the eggs and hatchings of marine turtles.

Rational for the project
Otuam town is a place where producers, distributers and consumers interact. Where the environment is not clean and the people doing business in it are not healthy; the impact is negative and it is therefore necessary to map out appropriate and timely management interventions which will involve all stakeholders.

This project will ensure the following.
a) The various stake holders in the fish smoking business are identified.
b) The fishmongers are helped to access quality health care.
c) The women are empowered financially to acquire improved stoves.
d) The women are empowered to form groups that will encourage self help.
e) There will be Public education on the negative effects of deforestation and soil erosion.
f) Agroforestry and enrichment planting is undertaken to replenish those that have been cut down for the use of fire wood and charcoal burning.
g) Effective conservation of marine turtles at all stages of their life cycle.

Specific Results or Outcomes

By the end of the project;
• At least 90% of the fishmongers of Otuam owned improved stoves.
• Five groups of ten women membership planted woodlots of 2 acres per group.
• At least 80% of the depleted forest area reforested.
• Youth groups formed to engage in effective agroforestry and environmental conservation.
• Nests built along the coast of Otuam to conserve the marine turtles in all areas of their life cycle.
• Inhabitants of Otuam sensitized on conservation and protection of marine turtles.

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Project Snapshot

Association of Women for the Preservation of the Environment
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 21,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 9,200.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 20,000.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Inovative Financial Mechanisms
A revolving fund will be set up to support sustainable management of marine turtle.
Notable Community Participation
AWEP has already sensitized the community through a workshop on Environmental Hygiene for fish mongers and Assembly members at Otuam in the Mfantseman East District of the Central Region in February 2012. All planned/proposed activities were arrived at in consultation with the community. Most of the interventions/activities will be undertaken by the project committee and task force to be set up including women groups, youth groups and stakeholders.
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Tonnes of CO2 decreased or avoided by energy efficient and renewable energy technologies or applying environmentally sustainable transport practices introduced by SGP Project 100
Number of innovations or new technologies developed / applied 2
Number of local policies informed in climate change focal area 1
Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 1
Number of CBOs / NGOs formed or registered through the SGP project 1
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 60

SGP Country office contact

Dr. George Buabin Ortsin
Ms. Lois Sarpong
+233 505740909


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