The Forestry Commission, in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility, an affiliate of the World Bank, is sponsoring a high forest bio-diversity conservation project in the Atiwa Forest Reserve in the Eastern Region.
Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies (FRWB), an environmental non-governmental organisation, is the implementing agency.
The multi-million cedi project is primarily aimed at protecting major rivers, Densu, Birim and Ayensu, which take their sources from the reserve and flow into the Weija Dam which provides the water requirements of residents of the western part of Accra.
It is also designed to restore the forest cover of the reserve and serve as a poverty reduction strategy.
According to Nana Kwabena Dwomoh-Sarpong, president of FRWB, over 20 communities bordering the three rivers have been mobilized and supplied with coconut and bamboo seedlings for planting along the banks.
Under the poverty reduction strategy, he said, farmers whose farm lands border the rivers are also being supplied with citrus seedlings for planting in their farms.
About 10,000 coconut and bamboo seedlings have so far been supplied to the communities including Kibi, Adadientem, Ahwiniase, Akwadum, Apapamu, Asikamu, Nsutam, Odumase, Potrase and Sakyedumase.
Nana Dwomoh-Sarpong said an incentive package of Wellington boots, matchets and rain-coats have been made available to the participating communities to facilitate the implementation of the project.
He was optimistic that the project's three-pronged objective would be achieved considering the enthusiasm with which the communities and farmers had embarked it.
Nana Dwomoh-Sarpong said the project 'falls in line with our NGO's scheme of things and everything will be done to ensure its success'.