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23.01.2010 General News

COMMUNITIES ALONG WHITE VOLTA BASIN GET PUMPING MACHINES

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Four Communities, along the White Volta Basin in the Bawku Municipal and Bawku West District in the Upper East Region, have received 13 water pumping machines valued at GH¢13,000 to facilitate the implementation of the Improving Water Governance in the Volta Basin (PAGEV) project.

The machines were donated by the Water Resources Commission, in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Water Resource Commission and the IUCN since 2004 have been working on PAGEV in communities along the White Volta Basin aimed at preserving the eco- system.

The project also aimed at promoting greater collaboration, between Ghana and Burkina Faso, in managing shared water resources within the Volta Basin, geared towards limiting potential conflicts.

Mr. Kwame Ababio, Project Coordinator for PAGEV, presented the machines to the beneficiary communities, including Bazua, Nafkolga, Googo and Kobore.

He explained that the main reason for making the donation to the communities was to move people farming along the White Volta to upland areas to undertake farming activities there.

Mr. Ababio said the move, including planting of trees, was to discourage farming along the White Volta, to prevent deforestation and de-silting.

The Coordinator indicated that the IUCN viewed the restoration of the eco-system very important, and that was partly the reason for committing lots of resources to ensure that the fishes and plant species, among other things, did not deplete.

Mr. Ababio stated that communities along the White Volta Basin were provided with resources and their capacities built to undertake livelihood activities that would not have any negative impact on the Basin.

He said the project would also help address some of the challenges of climate change, and that the variability of rainfall that affected crop production in the area, could be attributed to desertification caused by human activities.

Mr. Aaron Aduna, Upper East Regional Director of the Water Resource Commission, said the PAGEV, which started in 2004 and was on its second phase, had yielded positive results in communities where it was piloted.

He said the management of the PAGEV would continue to provide the communities along the White Volta the necessary assistance, including technical and capacity building support, as well as extend it to other catchments of the White Volta Basin.

Mr. Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister, commended the management of the project and the sponsors, especially IUCN and her development partners, notably the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and the Netherlands Government for the support.

He urged the beneficiary communities to take advantage of the programme to preserve the eco-system to improve upon their livelihoods.

Mr. Woyongo said the water pumping machines would minimise the stress they usually experienced during dry season farming.

He expressed the hope that the project would help curb desertification, and improve upon progress made so far, in preventing the de-silting of the White Volta Basin.

Mr. Sheriff Billy, District Coordinator of the Bawku West Assembly, said the Assembly was very grateful, and gave the assurance that it would monitor progress to ensure its successful implementation.

He said the Assembly, through other partners, was implementing a similar project, and called on more development partners to assist. - GNA

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