Kurugu youth group, resident takes steps to reverse desertification


The Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO), a Non-Governmental Organization and residents of Kurugu in the Kassena Nankana West District of the Upper East Region, have begun nurturing indigenous tree species to reverse desertification.

Towards the drive, the group has cultivated 600 tree species, including, mahogany, mangoes, acacia, shea and African locust bean to also help mitigate the impact of climate crises.

The initiative ties in with Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under Article Four of the Paris Agreement and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The NDCs have some 47 adaptation and mitigation measures on climate change and embodies efforts by countries to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Ms Jane Akanzum, a project coordinator at GAYO, told journalists that the trees aside from sustaining the environment and biodiversity would serve as economic trees and support crop production and improve livelihoods of the locals.

The area, she said, continued to bear the brunt of climate change and desertification in the form of severe drought, increased temperature, delay in the rains, and flood.

Ms Akanzum said the area was one of the poorest in the country and its plight had been compounded by impacts of climate change affecting peasant farmers, the most dominant profession in the region.

She stated that GAYO and One Tree was embarking on a community sensitization to reduce the deforestation menace and protect the fragile ecology.

The organisation, she said, had built two boreholes to ensure that the trees were watered all year-round while also serving the domestic purposes.

Ms Akanzum noted that as part of the greening initiative called Trees 4 Biodiversity Project, a number of young people from the community had been assigned to nurture the trees to ensure sustainability.

Mr David Asokire, a farmer at Kurugu, said, “It is my wish that we have good weather all the time so that our crops would grow properly and our animals can have pastures to graze on. However, this is not the case. Everything dries up when the rains stop, and if you did not have a good harvest, you will be hungry.”

He said the main source of fuel wood was trees and they had no choice than to harvest them to survive. This has led to the degradation of our forest; we need cheaper sources of fuel so we can conserve our forest.

GAYO’s initiative is growing trees and restoring land in support of the Green Ghana initiative and the Great Green Wall initiative. This African-led initiative envisages an 8,000km mosaic of restored land across the Sahel.

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