Shea and dawadawa trees provide enormous benefits for people in the northern part of the country as they are a source of income for many in the area as well as providing a vegetative cover in the environment.
However, in recent times, there has been indiscriminate felling of the shea and dawadawa trees leading to a reduction of the trees, a situation, which has brought devastating impacts on the environment and livelihoods of the people in the form of high temperatures and less rains.
This situation has become a source of worry for many in the area including the Bimobas, an ethnic group in the north eastern part of the country, who, therefore, dedicated their annual Danjuar Festival, held on Saturday at Kpikpira in the Tempani District of the Upper East Region, to advocating for the protection of the environment to safeguard the livelihoods for all.
Naba Dazuur II, Chief of Kpikpira, said “the extinction of these trees has caused desertification and exposed our surroundings to drought. The changing pattern of rains as a result of the indiscriminate felling of these trees has disrupted our farming activities, and further exacerbated the poverty levels of our people.”
Danjuar Festival is celebrated annually to amongst others thank God for a successful farming season and to seek divine intervention for better years ahead.
This year’s celebrations brought together the chiefs and people of Kpikpira, Bunkpurugu, Nakpanduri, and Gbankoni to signify unity amongst them, and they dressed in their traditional smock and performed various Bimoba dances to showcase their rich culture.
The festival was held under the theme: “Using Traditional Festivals as a means to Environmental Protection and Sustainability”.
The Bimoba land is an arable land, which boasts of a number of tourist attractions amongst other natural endowments.
Naba Dazuur II appealed to government to, as part of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, consider investing in the area by way of research that could possibly lead to grafting of shea and dawadawa trees to ensure early regeneration.
He was happy that the government had introduced the Forestry Brigade initiative to check environmental abuses calling on the government to involve chiefs in the implementation of the initiative to ensure success.
Madam Paulina Abayage, Upper East Regional Minister, urged all to make it a point to plant trees to safeguard the environment.
She expressed concern on the indiscriminate disposal of polythene bags in the region and appealed to all to help stop the practice.
She said construction works would soon begin to fix the roads in the area.
Mr Solomon Boar, Minister-Designate for North East Region, who chaired the event, said government has initiated many social intervention programmes to ameliorate the plight of the people adding it would continue to do more to address the needs of the people.
Mr Bernard Mornah, Chairman of People’s National Convention, who was the Special Guest of Honour, called on the Ghana National Fire Service and other relevant state institutions to intensify campaigns against bush fires to safeguard the environment.
Meanwhile, Naba Dazuur II honoured two individuals -Mr Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, Member of Parliament for Tempani and Deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice for their immense contributions to the development of the area.