A Senior Climate Change Lecturer at the University for Development Studies , Dr Francis Obeng has stated that the “ Expanding Climate Change Resilience in Northern Ghana Project” (ECCRING), has the greatest potential in mitigating climate change effects in the three northern regions which is hard hit by climate change effects.
The 15-month project which started in Jan 2013 and is expected to end in March 2014, has its funding source totaling about two million Canadian dollars from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD ) and the Canadian Hunger Foundation (CHF).
Dr Obeng who is also Climate Change Consultant, made the observation in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at separate functions at Zongoire and Kabore in the Bawku West District, when the funding agency and ACDEP staff, including its partners and the media, embarked on an evaluation tour to assess the impact the project had made so far .
He noted that records had shown that the ECCRING project had yielded much positive impact in mitigating climate change in its operational areas, and mentioned for instance, that the project had empowered the 18 communities in which it is operating, to establish considerable acreage of woodlots. including tree planting.
He indicated that another significant landmark the project had achieved is the building of the capacity of farmers in the 18 communities to be able to access weather information through mobile phones, to enable them select the appropriate time to plant their crops and to get good yields.
“ For this year, for example, there were late rainfalls and drought, but through the weather information they received from mobile phones, the farmers were able to plant their crops at the appropriate time and harvested appreciable yields.”, the Senior Lecturer stressed.
Dr Obeng further cited the mud energy saving stove as a very good innovative the project had introduced into the communities, and said this concept apart from reducing the pressure of cutting down trees, had also reduced the load ,time and energy women often used to walk long distances in search of fuel wood.
He, however, regretted about the short duration of the project, and appealed to the donors to extend the programme to enable it to be scaled up in more communities in the northern regions since the areas are more endemic to climate change.
Sharing some of the benefits accrued from the Climate Change Project, Mrs Dorcas Ayeere, a 30-year-old woman at Kabore in the Bwku West District, said what she cherished most about the project was the mud energy saving stove which makes her no longer commute long distance into the bush at her own risk in search of fuel wood, adding “ the replacement of the traditional stove with what we have been introduced to, makes it more comfortable when cooking, as we are not exposed to much heat and dirty”
Ms Fabienne Glauser, International Development Projects Advisor of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development said she was very much impressed about the project outcome, particularly the building of the capacity of the communities to come out with Community Action Plans( CAPs) on Climate Change adaptation, which they had forwarded to the Municipal and District Assemblies(MMDAs) to be mainstreamed into their Mid Term Development Plans for implementation.
Mr Pealore Zachary, Project Manager of ACDEP in charge of the ECRING project, mentioned among others, what the project components had done including THE training of community Based Fire Volunteers, Refurbishment and maintenance of Borehole water Troughs, the training of Community Livestock Workers and equipping them and documenting and disseminating Information on indigenous weather and early warning systems to communities as some of the project achievements.
The Executive Director of ACDEP, Mr Malex Alebikiya said ACDEP which had been working in the three Northern Regions in the area of Food Security and Climate Change would continue to build the capacity of partners, the Northern Ghana Climate Change Wing and to network with the communities to ensure the sustainability of the project.
Mr Joseph Ayinebila, the Human Development Coordinator of NABOCADO said the Catholic Church viewed issues of Climate Change very serious and reiterated that it would continue to strive to ensure that the project was sustained.
He, however, lamented over its short period of duration.
In the Upper East Region, ACDEP the lead implementing Agency is partnering the Navrongo –Bolgatanga Catholic Diocesan Development(NABOCADO) Office in implanting the ECCRING project in 8 communities including kobore , sapeliga , zongoire , Kusanaba in Bawku West District and Naaga , Kologo , Biu and Gaani also in the Kessena Nankana East District
In the Northern Region ACDEP is partnering with the Evangelical Presbyterian Development and Relief Agency (EPDRA), a Church Based NGO operating in the Yendi Municipality and Zasilari Ecological Farms Projects (ZEFP) in the West Mamprusi District to also implement the project in some selected communities . GNA