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07.07.2004 General News

Community initiative is crucial to projects - Fobih

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Nudowukope (V/R), July 7, GNA - Professor Dominic Kwaku Fobih, Minister of Lands and Forestry, on Monday said community initiative and commitment was crucial for the success of projects being undertaken by the various organisations across the country to raise the people's living standards.

He said lack of community interest and support had led to the failure of some projects, which could otherwise, have made impact on the lives of the beneficiary communities.

Professor Fobih was speaking when he visited woodlots cultivated by the community and individuals at Nudowukope, in the Denu Forest District, about five kilometres off the Ho-Denu trunk road from Xevi. Woodlot cultivation to reduce pressure on forest resources is one of the schemes being implemented under a German government funded Forest Resource Use Management (FORUM) project in the Volta Region.

Professor Fobih described the project as special and unrivalled in terms of its success and commended the commitment of the people towards it.

He promised to liase with the appropriate Ministry to address their needs, which include a tractor, a dam for water and roads.

Mr Francis Nudowu, Secretary to the Community Welfare Association, said the community cultivated a total of 34 hectares since 1991 and that there were other private woodlots under the scheme.

He said with proceeds from community woodlots, they had been able to put up a school building and bought a corn mill. "We are also able to pay school fees of our children," he added.

He said apart from fuel wood, the community sells wood for rafters in roofing village huts, fencing kraals and also for charcoal burning. Mr Joachim Jassmeier, a Forester with FORUM, briefed the Minister on an 18-million cedis kiln prototype being used for charcoal burning on pilot basis in the Nudowukope community.

He said the kiln takes approximately five pick-up loads of wood, cut to size to fit, and uses only dry wood.

Mr Benard Tabil, Denu District Forestry Manager said acacia and sena-siamea seedlings planted for the wood takes three years to mature.