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04.09.2005 General News

Okyereko Afforestation Society gets UNDP support

GNA

Gomoa Okyereko, Sept. 4, GNA - The Gomoa Okyereko Afforestation Co-operative Society has been granted a 13,000-dollar grant from the Global Environmental Facility and Small Grant Programme (GEF/SGP) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The grant, part of which had been released to the society is to promote the biodiversity project of the society.

Mr Joseph Bismarck Abandoh, Executive Director of Global Habitat for Homeless (GHH), a Non-governmental organisation (NGO), announced this at the launch of the Society at Okyereko in the Central Region. Mr Abandoh who deputised for Mr George Ortsin, National Coordinator of GEF/SGP, cautioned the people against litigation and said the grant would be withdrawn if the members of the society engaged in disputes. He stressed on the need to protect water bodies, plants and animals from extinction and said Community Resources Management Area Committees would be formed to enforce the laws on the environment. Nr Abandoh said fire volunteers would also be formed and trained to protect the project.

Mr Ebenmezer Sarsah, Assistant District Manager of the Forestry Service Division (FSD) at Winneba, attributed the erratic rainfall pattern in the Gomoa and Awutu-Effutu-Senya Districts to the depletion of forests.

He said that the rainfall pattern was seriously affecting farming activities in the area and welcomed the formation of the society. Mr Sarsah said the protection of forests should not be seen as the responsibility of FSD staff alone and appealed to the people for support.

Nana Intsiful Ababio XI, Chief of Okyereko, expressed concern about the activities of group hunters who had been destroying farms and the vegetation through indiscriminate burning.

He appealed to the law enforcing agencies to help in arresting the situation. An eleven-member committee was inaugurated to supervise the project.

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