Bawku Forest District trains community-based organisations on fire prevention

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Social Fire Women
Social Fire Women

The Bawku Forest District has trained some community-based organisations (CBOs) in fringe communities on fire prevention and management to enable them curb incidence of fire likely to destroy forest and Green Ghana activities.

The training, which took place in Zebilla in the Bawku West district, is under the Ghana Landscape Restoration and small-scale mining project (GLRSSMP), targeted at the Red and White Volta Basins and aimed at preventing wildfire and protecting forest reserves.

Mr Emmanuel Omane, the Bawku Divisional Forestry Manager, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after the training exercise, said the three-year project sought to empower women and provide them with 70 hectares of wood lots along the fringe communities in the Red and White Volta Basin.

Mr Omane said it was expected to empower the women to minimize demand on existing forest in the Volta Basin and by way of charcoal production, they could harvest their wood lot establishment, and convert it further to add value to it to get charcoal and use the proceeds to buy LPG gas to minimize demand on fuel wood on the existing plantation.
“We are witnesses to the dwindling degradation of the environment due to poor farming practices, illegal mining, and over grazing”, he noted.

“We want to sustain the gains we have made so far but our challenge in the north is wild fires, therefore it is good to empower the women groups to be able to create fire belts around the woodlot establishment to stop uncontrolled fire from getting out of hand and also to consolidate the gains made so far”.

He stated that the women were also being empowered to train other community members who were interested in firefighting and suppression.

The communities benefitting from the project are Widnaba, Tilli, Zongoyire and Kusanaba and the Forestry Commission had established five hectares each of woodlot in those communities, he added.

In addition to the woodlots, he said Green business had been incorporated to run along the project with the provision of 50 cashew seedlings to each community to enhance income levels and livelihoods of the women.

He said the Kusanaba community benefitted five hectares of woodlot establishment and 50 cashew trees as green business, as well as Zongoyire and in the Tanga community, the group benefitted from 10 hectares of wood lot establishment as well as 100 cashew trees.

In his presentation, he outlined strategies for fire prevention and the responsibilities of all stakeholders at each level which included District Forest Manager, Range Managers, NADMO, MoFA, the Ghana National Fire service, ISD and NGOs interested in environmental gains.

Mr Tahiru Issahaku Ahmed, the Bawku West District Chief Executive who gave his blessings to the GLRSSMP, urged the participants to protect the land.

“When the last tree dies, the last man dies”, he quoted and noted the significant roles women played in nurturing the land.

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