Sunday, 13 April 2008

A Rocha Ghana - what projects could we support?

19 March

What is A Rocha Ghana doing, that we may be able to, and interested to help with?

Recently (19 March) I had a useful talk over the phone with Jenny Bowles. She visited the A Rocha Ghana Project in 2006, under the auspices of the “Climate Stewards Project” of A Rocha. Her trip included a visit to the project with people near the Mole National Park.

She told me about

1. The tree nurseries
2. The bee keeping projects
3. The two schools workers – one in the north, one in the south.
4. The story/parable of the disappearing wildlife.

1. The tree nurseries (See picture of girls carrying seedlings above)

The tree nurseries are run by local people. In the south they are attached to schools or universities. there are 11 sites. The nurseries are planted with 90% native trees that can eventually be used for timber – e.g. mahogany, kapok. Then there are 10% fruit or nut trees and the people chose which ones they want. It is important that the nurseries are designed and manged by the locals so they “own it”

As soon as the people see the benefit of the ownership of the nursery they get on board, and the attitude extends beyond looking after the nursery, to looking after the forest..
The people at the Mole reserve live in a remote place, and they are keen to be part of a bigger project..

In remote areas people do not have the resources to improve degraded land. “We used to have trees” they say.

2. The bee keeping projects

Bees need trees. So if people get involved in the production or honey they see the need for trees.

3. The two schools workers – one in the north, one in the south.

Jenny told me how exciting and thrilling it was to see the caliber and quality of the two schools workers, Emmanuel Akom in the south and Daryl Bosu in the north.
In a primary school classroom – tin roof, mud walls and no decorations on the walls and eager children packed behind the desks, the worker asks

“What happens when the last tree dies?”

“The last man dies” the children chant back.

Daryl was able to arrange for one school group to go for a day field trip to the National Park.

I wonder if we could sponsor another such trip?

Or I wonder if we could sponsor some plant identification books. I remember when I was in West Africa (long ago) how useful I found a book called "A Handbook of West African" flowers by Harold Saunders. We are spoilt for choice in the UK for wild flowers books and other natural history books.

I have written to A Rocha to see what they most need.

And the story of the disappearing wildlife? - That will have to wait for the next blog entry.

No comments: