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08.08.2005 General News

Herbal centre embarks on forestry project


Fian (U/W), Aug 08, GNA - The Saint Jude Herbal Clinic and Training Centre at Fian in the Nadowli District has created a 40-hectare multi-purpose woodlot and fodder bank and is also establishing a community nursery with a capacity for 100,000 seedlings. The woodlot and nursery, which are being established with support from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF)/Small Grant Project (SGP) under a two-year project, would in the end cover 500 hectares and offer refuge for wildlife, provide fodder for livestock and serve as home for medicinal plants.

To ensure the success of the project the centre with the collaboration of the Fian community, has established a Community Environmental Management Committee.

The committee is expected to establish, train and equip 120 people as fire volunteers at Fian, Wogu, Pulubar and Bussie communities. The committee would revise, enact and enforce indigenous laws and regulations on natural resource management.

Inaugurating it at Fian on Saturday Mr Asher Nkegbe, the Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said the centre was among 20 Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and is being assisted by the agency to access funds from the GEF/SGP.

He said some herbalists from the Fian Centre would be sent to the Centre for Research into Plant Medicine at Mampong Akuapem for training. The issue of dosage of herbal preparations, packaging and unorthodox herbal practices, he said, would be scientifically addressed after such training programmes.

He urged other interested CBOs/NGOs in the region to submit proposals to the EPA for consideration for support by the GEF/SGP. Mr Nkegbe said the key objectives of the Fian project would be to raise awareness of the people, gain commitment and ownership and practical action of the people, share experiences and reduce the incidence of wild fires.

Mr John Baptist Banoenuma, Director of the Centre, said he had so far trained 60 traditional medical practitioners on identification of herbal plants and medical preparations and all of them are practising.