The European Union (EU) has inaugurated a new office complex in Wa to provide adequate space and working conditions for its Resilience Against Climate Change (REACH) Project staff.
Branded “The Climate Change House” and located within the premises of the Upper West Regional Department of Agriculture, the office will serve as the headquarters for all project activities in the Upper West, parts of Savannah and North East Regions.
REACH is a project supported by the EU and is being implemented by the German Development Organisation Competitive Cashew Initiative (GIZ/ComCashew) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), in close partnership and collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).
Speaking during the inauguration, Mrs Regina Bauerochse Barbosa, GIZ Ghana Country Director, noted that the REACH project was assisting communities in North West Ghana to build resilience and mitigation measures against the impacts of climate change.
She said the office would directly contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG 13), which is to “Take urgent action against climate change and its impacts” and also promote progress towards SDG 2, which talked about achieving food security, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture.
Mrs Barbosa, therefore, noted that the office complex when fully operationalized would contribute to improving effective conduct of work in the course of achieving the project’s objective.
She noted that despite the challenges associated with COVID-19, they found ways to build the capacities of 90 officials within the Municipal/District Planning Coordinating Units in Physical Planning, Management Information System (MIS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with the intent of improving planning at the various Assemblies, especially with their Medium-Term Development Plans.
The GIZ Ghana Country Director noted further that Agriculture Extension Agents (AEAs) in the Project area had also been trained in Conservation Agriculture (CA) while there was a 15-acre CA plot as well as six one-acre CA demonstration areas with side-by-side controls established for training AEAs and farmers on best practices.
She expressed gratitude to MoFA for their continued cooperation in the implementation of the REACH Project as part of efforts in attaining the objectives set out in the Nationally Determined Contributions of Ghana in the area of climate action.
Mr Pieter Smidt Van Gelder, the EU Deputy Head of Mission, noted that the necessary condition for the smooth implementation of the REACH Project was in place and soon they would be able to observe the impact of the project in the beneficiary communities, notably their increase of resilience against climate change.
Mr Emmanuel Sasu-Yeboah, the Upper West Regional Director of MoFA, said some comfort in terms of office space was sacrificed at the beginning of the project but now the completion of the new office would bring relief to the staff of the Regional Department of Agriculture and the REACH Project.
Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, observed that the work of REACH would go a long way to augment the government’s efforts aimed at addressing climate change.