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Effects of saharan dust in Upper East Region would have been minimal with good vegetation cover – MARO

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2023 International Day Of Forests: MARO calls for sustainable afforestation to safeguard Northern Savannah Ecological Zone

The Media Advocacy and Research Organisation (MARO), is calling for more workable solutions to dealing with the fast-depleting forest cover in Ghana. 

MARO, headed by its Executive Director, William Nlanjerbor Jalulah, in a statement commemorating the day acknowledged that Ghana’s forest depletion is due to the country’s economic reliance on the forests. 

MARO identified mining, agricultural expansion, as well as firewood and charcoal production, as reasons for the continuous depletion of forest cover. 

“The economic activities including mining, agriculture and infrastructure improvement to meet basic human needs persistently degrade forest resources. In Ghana, the rate of deforestation is alarming due to over-reliance on forest resources by forest-dependent communities. Available data suggests that poverty, high population growth, lack of alternative livelihoods, and illiteracy are the major factors influencing deforestation in Ghana.” 

“In both Southern and Northern parts of Ghana, legal and illicit timber exploitation, mining, agriculture expansion, unsustainable charcoal and firewood production and forest fires are the notorious causes of deforestation,” the statement said. 

For residents within the 5 regions of the north, the effects of deforestation are prominent. 

“In the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone comprising Northern, Upper East, Upper West, North East and Savannah Regions, and parts of Oti, Volta and Bono East Regions where there is only one rainfall season with less forest reserves, the impacts of the fast-depleting forest cover are negatively felt, especially during the dry season.”

“The current Saharan dust being experienced in the Upper East Region is a recipe for respiratory infections, asthma and allergies. If we had a good vegetation cover, the impacts of this unwelcoming weather could have been minimal.”

While acknowledging the investments of successive governments in reforestation and afforestation, MARO explained that more needs to be done to ensure that the government, CSOs, NGOs, and all other stakeholders implement more pragmatic policies.

“Though in Ghana, successive governments have made attempts by introducing afforestation programmes, those programmes did not yield the desired results because very little attention was paid to ensuring that trees planted were protected against bushfires and animal activities until they grew into forests.”

“As Ghana joins the rest of the world to commemorate the International Day of Forests, we must remind ourselves of the need to put in place deliberate and sustainable strategies to ease the impacts of deforestation on forest communities in Ghana. Policymakers, traditional authorities, and local and international organisations must join hands to ensure the continuous threatening impacts of climate change are lessened.”

This year’s theme is; Forests and health. 

Media Advocacy and Research Organisation (MARO) is a nongovernmental organisation that focuses on research and media advocacy.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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