Paga (U/E),– A poverty reduction intervention dubbed “Grow Hope Project” being implemented in the Kassena-Nankana enclave of the Upper East Region is impacting lives of rural households and contributing to empowering women economically.
The project being implemented by Tree Aid, an International organization in collaboration with the Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS), a local NGO is also contributing to environmental protection, improving vegetation cover and restoring degraded lands.
This came to light at Paga at a stakeholders’ workshop.
The Grow Hope Project is a three year initiative being implemented by the two organizations with funding from the Jessy Overseas Aid with the aim of contributing to reducing poverty and improving environmental protection in the Upper East Region through various interventions.
The Project, which started in 2018 and operated in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and Kassena-Nankana West District, further sought to increase the income of rural households from sustainable forest products while reducing threats to the ecosystem.
Mr Owen Amihali Atindana, the Project Officer, Tree Aid, speaking on behalf of Mr Jonathan Naab, the Country Programmes Manager, said the goal of the project was to develop viable non-timber forest product enterprises and cooperatives to take full advantage of tree resources to achieve economic emancipation.
He said the project had supported four cooperative unions to establish 42 new Village Tree Enterprises (VTEs) with membership of 1170 and had strengthened 24 VTEs with membership of 637 persons.
The Project Officer disclosed that through the project, the VTEs had been supported with three warehouses and two shea butter processing factories to produce quality products to meet international standards.
He said apart from supporting the VTEs with tricycles and linking them to major buyers, the project had further facilitated the establishment of woodlots in the communities.
Mr Julius Awaregya, the Executive Director, ORGISS, indicated that the project had annually invested about GH₵2,748,480.00, GH₵449,075.00 and GH₵1,359,850.00 to purchase about 17,178 Bags of Sheanuts, 1,633 Boxes of Shea butter and 27,197 Bags of Baobab respectively.
The project had also led to the reduction in bushfires and increase in forest products, which had empowered the women in the beneficiary communities economically, he added.
Ms Lardi Alantia, a beneficiary from Kologo in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal, said the project had increased her income earnings through the sale of Shea nuts, Shea butter and Baobab and that had helped her to take care of her family and complemented in providing basic needs of the family.
Madam Regina Togiyiga, another member from Nakolo-Bugani in the Kassena-Nankana West District, said they were further trained on financial management, which enabled her to invest sustainably.
Naba Clifford Abagna Asobayire V, the Paramount Chief of Kologo Traditional Area, applauded Tree Aid, ORGIIS and their sponsors and said the project had led to decline in destruction of forest reserves and urged all stakeholders to contribute to preserve the forest to mitigate climate change.
Source: Ghana News Agency