INTEGRATED PROJECT ON AQUATIC WEEDS MANAGEMENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF INTERNATIONAL WATERS AND SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT IN THE LOWER VOLTA BASIN AREA OF TSETSEKPO AND SAYIKOPE COMMUNITIES - Socioserve-Ghana (SSG)
In 2008, Socioserve-Ghana (then Drama Network) with funding from the Global Environmental Facility / Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP) commenced a project titled “Integrated Project on Aquatic Weeds Management for the Protection of International waters and Sustainable Land Management in the Lower Volta Basin Area of Tsetsekpo and Sayikope Communities”. Objectives for the project were: To create awareness among the community members on the economic potential of the aquatic weeds. b. To build capacity in the effective management of the aquatic weeds through training in compost production and cage aquaculture. c. Establish a revolving microfinance scheme to community members to embark on cage aquaculture.
The project provided hands on demonstration training in compost production and pen aquaculture development for forty (40) community members in the Saikope and Tsetsekpo communities in the North Tongu District. Twenty students of the Adidome Farm Institute were trained in compost production and they produced bags of quality organic compost made from water weeds which were sold to the general public. The areas cleared of the weeds were utilised for the development of aquaculture pens stocked with tilapia. The fishes were sold to the general public as well. Proceeds realised from the sale of the fish was used to establish a revolving micro-financing scheme to members of the cooperative for cage aquaculture. The “North Tongu Compost Producers Association” was formed in the two communities. The Association was duly registered with the Department of Social Welfare
EDUCATION AWARENESS RAISING ON THE FUNCTIONS OF CUSTOMARY LAND SECRETARIAT AND THE SERVICES THEY RENDER TO THE PUBLIC
The above-mentioned project was an educational programme, which created the awareness of the Customary Land Secretariats (CLS) in the Anum Traditional Area in order to improve land management and administration within the area. The project was imperative since the CLS established under the Land Administration Project of the Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources have gained low patronage due to lack of awareness of their existence, functions and roles in land administration in the country.
In view of this, Socioserve-Ghana with funding from LAP developed and implemented Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) activities within the Anum Traditional Area to sensitize the people of the existence of the CLS in the area, the functions and services provided by the CLS and their role in land administration. The educational messages also included an in-depth analysis of how the CLS can raise funds to support the socio-economic development of the area. BCC activities undertaken were house-to-house education, durbars, organized group discussions.
REFORESTATION AND LIVELIHOOD ENHANCEMENT PROJECT (RILEP) FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION & SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE WETO LANDSCAPE AREA OF TODORME AND PEKI-WUDORME COMMUNITIES
The RELEP project began in November 2012 and ended in 2014. It was part of the Community Development and Knowledge management for the Satoyama Initiative (COMDEKS), funded by the Japan Biodiversity Fund, Implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and delivered by the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) in Ghana.
The goal of the project was to promote sound socio-ecological production of the Weto Landscape and sustainable livelihood activities within local communities in the landscape. This is because the Weto Landscape has been identified by the United Nations as a biodiversity hotspot of global significance. The landscape is tremendously rich in biodiversity giving rise to various vegetation zones, landforms and animal species. It is one of the major watersheds in Ghana, giving source to several rivers and streams like the Volta River. More than 60% of the people within the area depend on utilization of natural resources in their raw state, as primary level producers.
The project was implemented in Peki-Adzokoe, Todome and Kaira communities, all within the landscape, in the South Dayi District of the Volta Region, Ghana.
As part of the project, 25 local farmers were trained in grasscutter farming whiles 4 additional farmers were also trained in beekeeping. The training included 6 months period of coaching and learning trips to other farms. Following the training, each farmer was provided with startup funds and equipments. Grass cutter farmers received fully equipped cages and 2 cuttlings each, whiles each of the beekeepers received 2 beehives, suit and other materials needed for bee harvesting.
We enjoyed immense cooperation from the Agric Development Unit of the South Dayi District, the South Dayi District Assembly and the Forest Services Division at Ho. These institutions provided technical support for the project.
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL PROMOTION PROJECT
The project which benefited 70 men and 42 women, began in January 2015 and promoted sustainable and climate-smart agricultural practices by farmers in Peki-Dzake and Opokuase communities located along the Weto Landscape in the Volta Region. This was to enhance agricultural biodiversity and improve livelihoods and wellbeing of the farmers. This project was a response to the continual depletion of ecosystems and unsustainable use of resources on the landscape making communities more vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
Agroforestry systems were developed by the farmers to improve crop productivity and enhance agriculture biodiversity. We introduced the farmers to organic farming and supplied them with organic fertilizers to undertake demonstration farms. Beneficiaries were supported to set up grasscutter and bee keeping farms as alternative livelihood enterprises. In 2016, the grasscutters of 5 farmers reproduced and each farmer donated an offspring to the group so that new members joining the group could also benefit.
Since the project also aimed at improving wellbeing, the farmers were trained to operate a Village Savings and Loans Scheme. The scheme was to improve financial security of the farmers through cultivating the culture of savings and access to credit for the farmers to hire labour, expand their farms, pay their wards’ school fees etc.
An awards ceremony was held to awards best performing farmers. Winners were presented with farm implements like knapsack sprayers, wellington boots, rain coats, cutlasses and hoes. During the event farmers also showcase their organic farm products and sold to the public.
We are grateful to the Project Oversight Committees who saw to the day to day implementation of the project activities in their community including the Agric Extension Agents who provided constant training and orientation for the farmers.
SAP Project was part of the Community Development and Knowledge management for the Satoyama Initiative (COMDEKS), funded by the Japan Biodiversity Fund, Implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and delivered in Ghana by the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP).