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28.06.2005 Regional News

NGO to help communities preserve culture and environment


Tamale, June 28, GNA - A Tamale-based NGO has instituted a programme aimed at helping indigenous communities in the Northern and Upper East regions to preserve their culture as well as the environment. Under the programme, members of the NGO would live in the selected communities for about a week or more and interact with community members and leaders to know about their cultural and environmental problems with a view to helping address them.

Mr Bakari Sadique Nyari, Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Regional Advisory Information Network Systems (RAINS), a local NGO, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Tamale on Tuesday. He said his organisation was linking up with some communities in the two regions to ascertain their knowledge about the preservation of the environment and culture.

The NGO has selected Sosali, a farming community in the Savelugu/Nanton District and Tengzuk, a village on the Tongo Hills in the Talensi/Nabdam District of the Upper East Region for a pilot programme. Mr Nyari said the Earth Jurisprudence Project, an affiliate of the Africa Biodiversity Network based in Ethiopia, is sponsoring the programme that would organise exploratory workshops for the selected districts.

He said RAINS would also establish an Earth Jurisprudence Group with the support of GAIA Foundation, a United Kingdom-based NGO, to promote environmental preservation.

Mr Nyari said many communities in the country were losing their cultural heritage due to "the high cost of maintaining some of them" and that if RAINS gave the financial and technical support to the communities they would be able to preserve and maintain the good ones. He gave the assurance that RAINS would assist the communities in other developmental areas other than culture and the environment.