The Sustainable Land and Water Management Project (SLWM), which is being implemented in 12 districts of the three regions of the north, is positively improving the livelihood of rural communities in the Builsa South District of the Upper East Region.
Community members are empowered to undertake economically viable ventures, while adopting environmentally sustainable practices in conserving the land and environment.
The ten-year project spanning from 2011 to 2020, is funded by the World Bank through a grant of $29.67 million in the three regions of the north, focusing on capacity building for integrated spatial planning, water and land management, and project coordination and management.
In the Builsa South District, communities such as Kalaasa, Dalaasa and Gbedembiisi, are supported in Bee keeping to produce honey and bee wax for sale.
The bees also pollinate Shea trees in the area resulting in higher shea nuts yield for the production of Shea butter.
Community members have formed groups to protect the felling of shea trees and logging of rose wood trees in the area.
A 75 hectares of range land has been developed under the project for cattle grazing at Kalaasa, and a bamboo riparian vegetation at Dalaasa.
Naimatu Braimah said, “the project is helpful to us. We now produce more Shea butter for sale and the income we earned from it is used to cater for our children’s school fees and for our upkeep. We also have groups to protect people from felling trees especially Shea trees”.
“Through the Bee keeping, we harvest and sell a gallon of honey for GHC10.00, and through this Bee keeping, we get money for the family, pay school fees, hospital bills and maintenance of our borehole” Gilbert Tia stated.
Highlighting the scope of the project, Upper East Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Asher Nkegbe, was optimistic the project will address food insecurity and climate change.
Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwebena Frimpong-Boateng after an impact assessment of the project in the region, underscored the need to scale up the project to cover more communities.
“The effect of the project is integrated, keeping the woodland intact, producing honey and wax as well as Shea butter production that is sold. There is also the range land to feed their animals during this dry season. From the impact assessment we have done, we hope to extend the project to cover many more communities”.