Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation is paying a five-day working visit to the north to hand over some Adaptation Fund Projects for construction, to alleviate the peoples’ vulnerability to climate change.
The visit, to start on Monday, March 4, would afford the Minister and his entourage, which include Mr Peter Dery, Adaptation Fund Project Coordinator and Mr Stephen Kansuk, Programme Analyst at the UNDP, the project implementation partners, to formerly hand over 10 dams in various sites of the regions, to the contractors to enable them start the construction and rehabilitation works.
Other officials from the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) would also be on the team.
The Adaptation Fund Project, being undertaken in the three original regions of the north, namely the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, is meant to increase resilience in the areas of water resources of the communities.
The project involves the rehabilitation of 20 major dams, repair of cannels, and desilting of water sources to enable them collect more water during the rainy season as well as the planting of tress near water banks to preserve and create the needed moisture for more rains.
There is also the drilling of boreholes, installation of solar irrigation systems, creation of buffer zones with fence, community wood lot, creation of fire belts, and the building of capacity of women groups in shea butter and groundnut oil extraction.
It is expected that the projects would help the community members in and around Tamalugu, Lumbaya, Tampion, Ko-Gbafio, Kakiase, Goli, Bugubele, Adaboya Takpo and Kasiesa, to conserve their water resources and be able to use them for their livelihoods and other productive activities.
Mr Dery, who is also the Deputy Director in Charge of Environment, MESTI, briefing the Ghana News Agency on the project on Sunday, said the project was being funded with an amount of eight million dollars ($8m) from the Adaptation Fund Board of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through the UNDP being implemented by the MESTI.
He said the major climate impact of the three regions of the north was erratic rainfall coupled with the harsh weather, which always dried up most of the water resources of the area.
He said there was also a high temperature and rainfall variability in the areas, which was making farmers, who depended on farming as their main livelihood, not to be able to predict and plant farm crops accordingly.
Mr Dery said the implementation of the project, would therefore, enable farmers to “crop during the lean season, serving as a stop-gap measure between the lean and the rainy season. There is also a dry season gardening for the people who originally have only one farm season”.
He said other livelihood activities, were also being rolled out as part of the project in the areas of agro processing like shea butter, ground nut oil and rice processing of which milling machines have been provided, saying, all those activities also depend on water.
The project is also supporting the government’s One Dam, One District Project, Mr Dery explained.