World Vision commended for combating desertification in Upper East
The Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, Mrs. Lucy Awuni, made the commendation during an open Day on “World Vision Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration” (FMNR) Project held at Yameriga a farming community in the Talensi-Nabdam District organized by World Vision.
Under the World Vision FMNR Project, shrubs and tree stumps that grow naturally are pruned and protected from bush fires to grow into trees.
The project, which was started by World Vision in nine communities in the Talensi-Nabdam two years ago, is based on the natural regeneration and management of trees to produce continuous harvest for fuel wood, building materials, food and fodder.
The Deputy Minister praised the project and appealed to World Vision to replicate the project in all communities in the Region to help combat desertification.
Mr. Daniel Salifu, an official of World Vision, said having realized the impact of the FMNR Project, WVI would extend it to its 33 development project areas in the country.
He said his outfit found out that one of the best methods of curbing desertification in the three northern regions was through the FMNR Project where farmers were given capacity building training and other livelihood support to incorporate it into farming systems.
Mr. Tony Rinaudo, the brain behind the project, and also an official of World Vision Australia, said he started the project in Niger, a desert country.
He said he initially started with tree planting but noted that it was not helping and therefore adopted FMNR that worked perfectly.
Mr Rinaudo said the project reclaimed large hectares of land that were affected by desertification.
“It has helped improve the economic status of the people in Niger especially women who used to commute for long distances in search of firewood. Crop yields have also improved tremendously”, he said.
He expressed worry about charcoal burning in the northern part of the country which is one of the major causes of desertification and called on the government, policy makers and traditional authorities to ensure that the practice was halted.
The chiefs of the beneficiary communities said the project, since its inception and that their animals no longer had problems with feeding.
They said children could now pick fruits while the community could also get medicine from the plants.