NDA urged to develop climate change responsive plan

Northern Development Authority

The Coalition of Northern Ghana Civil Society Organisations has called on the Northern Development Authority (NDA) to develop and implement a climate change responsive plan to mitigate challenges of the phenomenon in Northern Ghana.

It also called for adequate budgetary allocation to be made to implement strategic actions that would promote climate-smart agriculture, grass-for charcoal technology, economic tree planting and growing, end to bushfires and improve the quality of irrigational infrastructure.

The Coalition, in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, called for increase investment on ground water resource management and promotion of farmer managed natural regeneration, since northern Ghana experiences very long dry season coupled with bush burning, indiscriminate tree felling for charcoal production and endless rosewood harvesting.

It said those negative trends had resulted and contributed to deepen the area’s vulnerability to the growing impact of climate change and exacerbating poverty and hunger among vulnerable communities.

“The economy of northern Ghana which is an agriculture dependent one and impacts of climate change such as erratic rainfall pattern, floods and high temperatures have already contributed to the high levels of food insecurity in the area,” it added.

It said data from the Ghana Statistical Service in 2022 revealed that the Upper East, North-East, Northern, Savannah and Upper West Regions had recorded 73.7 per cent, 65.6 per cent, 41.5 per cent, 58.8 per cent, 61.8 per cent levels of food insecurity respectively.

It, therefore, urged the NDA to as a matter of urgency, prioritise climate change adaptation and mitigation activities in its on-going process of developing a medium-term development plan for the Authority.

This, the statement, indicated would contribute significantly to the achievements of Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions actions of building resilience and promote livelihood opportunities for the youth and women in climate vulnerable agriculture landscapes and food systems, enhancing climate resilience of women and the vulnerable and promoting sustainable charcoal production, including youth and women entrepreneurs.

It would also fast-track Ghana’s efforts made at achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 13 by 2030 with emphasis on addressing climate change impacts.

The Coalition stated that Northern Ghana was blessed with about eight million hectares of agricultural land capable of producing to feed 50 million people and emphasised that climate change was a serious threat to that potential in the area.

The Coalition called on the NDA to consider incorporating the Savanah Accelerated Development Authority Master Plan into its medium-term development plan.

It said, “SADA Master Plan is a very comprehensive development blue-print with very strategic policy directions and actions to accelerate socio-economic transformation of northern Ghana.”

The statement asked the NDA to ensure effective citizens’ participation especially the vulnerable and marginalized as well as socially excluded in the process to help address the challenges facing them.

The Coalition was formed in 2015 and is into advocacy for increased public investment in northern Ghana in the areas of agriculture and climate change.

It also works to promote peace and security in the area by engaging in community sensitisation against violent extremism, radicalisation and terrorism.

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