The Saboba Evangelical Presbyterian Development and Relief Agency (EPDRA) has intensified its programme to train Fire Volunteer Squads in the Saboba District of Northern Region, in preparation for the on-coming dry season.
The programme is aimed at empowering farmers to take control of fire which often destroys lives and property in the area annually.
The programme manager of Saboba Evangelical Presbyterian Development and Relief Agency, Mr. Godson Gbate, announced this during the passing out of 75 anti-bushfire Volunteer Squad at Gbadagbam near Saboba.
Mr. Gbate said the members of the squad were drawn from Wayu, Chakpong, Kpanjoli, Nachawuni, Nabuak and Gbadagbam farming Communities. He indicated that EPDRA had for a long time been working in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the District especially in nutrition, the environment and sanitation.
He stated that in 2006, realizing the need for farmers to obtain fair prices for their produce and therefore be linked to markets, the station in collaboration with the Association of Church Development Projects (ACDEP) initiated a supply chain project referred to as Markets Access Project.
Mr. Gbate stated that groups were formed under the Project and supported to produce crops of their choice which in most cases was Soya bean.
He said so far over 80 of such groups had been formed in 52 communities, and that in terms of production these groups were able to supply over 8000 mini bags of Soya bean last year and came second after Chereponi in the whole of the three Northern Regions.
He explained to the people the effects of climate change and said deforestation and the perennial bush fires had manifested in irregular rainfall patterns and poor soils, adding that those were some of the visible effects of climate change.
He said the bushfire had made it impossible for communities to get thatch for roofing and also for the livestock to graze during the dry season.
He announced that this year three women’s groups, three individuals and one community had been supported to plant 4000 tree seedlings of different species.
He said women were also supported with micro credit to enter into petty trading in some of the communities all with the aim of reducing charcoal burning and destruction of the vegetation.
The Yendi Municipal Fire Officer, Mr Alfred Sulemana Braimah, said environmental problems such as drought, desertification, global warming, floods, and poor food crop yields, among others, were caused by the impact of negative human activities on the environment.
Mr. Sulemana called on the Chiefs, Elders and opinions leaders and the people to take the issue of environmental degradation with the seriousness it deserved to make Northern Ghana greener than it was today.
He called on the Fire Volunteers to work hard to protect their Communities from bushfires to enhance food security, and also urged the people to plant trees.
Mr. Sulemana appealed to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to encourage their Communities to form Anti-Bushfire watch-dog Committees and enact-bye laws to prevent and manage bush fires.
He said the Ghana National Fire Service and other environmental stakeholders would award any community that was able to protect its environment from bushfire for between three to five years.