Forestry Commission
Forestry Commission

The Forestry Commission of Ghana signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) here on Thursday towards the restoration of parts of Ghana’s natural environment.

The first MOU signed with the Volta River Authority (VRA) the state owned power producer was to use bamboo plantations to rehabilitate and protect the Volta River which is the main source of hydro-electric power for the country.

Deputy Chief Executive (CE) John Allotey who signed on behalf of the Forestry Commission said the three-phased program which starts this year (2019) and ends in 2032 will among other things establish a 270 hectare bamboo plantation along the banks of the Volta river.

“This partnership has become necessary due to the fact that the catchment areas of the lake, including that of the gorge are threatened by deforestation on daily basis as a result of livelihood enhancement activities in these areas,” Allotey explained.

This, he added “has affected the lake adversely which sometimes manifests in the form of unsustainable generation of hydro-electricity culminating in intermittent power failures popularly referred to in local parlance as ‘dumsor’.”

The project also aims at improving the skills of 71 communities along the river bank in processing and utilization of bamboo as well as train 420 community members in bamboo nursery establishment and management.

The project also seeks to increase knowledge in 71 communities along the river banks and the general public on the ecological and socio-economic benefits of bamboo to protect water bodies.

Ghana generates 1,168 mw of electricity from Akosombo and Kpong as well as 450 mw from Bui all on the Volta river but forest degradation along the banks of the river threatens the long term sustainability of hydro power generation in Ghana.

Ebenezer Tagoe, Deputy Chief Executive of VRA, said the collaboration was part of steps being taken by the two state institutions to ensure that efficient electricity was produced and delivered for Ghana’s development.

“The use of the bamboo species is to help serve the following purposes: Protect the Volta lake by serving as a means of demarcation of the 280 feet (85 meters) above mean sea level, which falls under the VRA acquired lands,” Tagoe stated.

Furthermore, Tagoe said the project will create a buffer zone to avoid encroachment of VRA acquired lands; protect against erosion and prevent or reduce the rate of evaporation of the Volta lake and promote the socio-economic importance of bamboo for sustainable development of the riparian communities.

The second MOU was with the Owirenkyiman Traditional Council & Praxis Africa, an international NGO in the field of sustainable development for forest restoration project which seeks to address issues of forest cover, carbon sequestration and improve livelihood of the rural communities.”

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