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World Vision Ghana EU-LEAN project elects LMB executives for Kassena-Nankana West District

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For the first time, seven individuals were elected to the executive council of the Landscape Management Board (LMB) of the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region. The election that took place in Paga witnessed 23 delegates casting their votes, which was supervised by the Electoral Commission of Ghana. 

At the end of the peacefully contested election, Robert Dampare was elected Chairman, Solomon Tarati was elected Vice Chairman, Sampson Tijamba was elected Secretary, and Assistant Secretary Samuel Awia. The rest are Patrick Yarah Organizer, Frederick Wugaa Awovire Financial Secretary, and Faustina Bonakwoyem Treasurer.

The LMB executive election formed part of the Landscapes and Environmental Agility across the Nation (LEAN) project that is funded by the European Union and implemented by World Vision Ghana, Rainforest Alliance, Tropenbos Ghana, and EcoCare Ghana. Joseph Edwin Yelkabong, the LEAN Project Manager with World Vision Ghana, said that until the election, some individuals volunteered to be interim executives, but it was important to conduct the election by ballot under the supervision of the Electoral Commission to make it legal and binding. 

He said the role of the executives includes serving as the main decision-making body in managing, monitoring, and controlling forest access in production areas in the district as well as surrounding forest reserves. 

“The rationale is to elect these people into office, hold them accountable, and also support them to also hold duty bearers accountable as well as create serious awareness when it comes to environmental issues”, he added. 

According to Mr. Yelkabong, the World Vision EU LEAN project seeks to directly contribute to the national efforts of conserving biodiversity, improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, increasing climate change resilience, and reducing emissions from land use changes in the savannah, high forests, and transition zones of Ghana.

He added that the project facilitated the establishment of the Landscape Management Board (LMB) as a landscape governance model with the participation of key stakeholders to adopt a community-based natural resource governance structure in the Savannah landscape.

The elected executive council members will lead the LMB in the district for two years.

The elected Chairman, Robert Dampare, thanked cluster committee members for the confidence they reposed in him and promised to galvanize support from the community level to protect the environment. He emphasized the need for the assembly to pass laws that can severely punish people found to be destroying the environment. 

The EU LEAN project has trained fire volunteers in 22 out of the 25 project communities of the district to help control bushfires. Other officials present during the election included staff of the District Assembly, the Forestry Services Division, and the Ghana National Fire Service. The District Fire Commander, Boniface Awiah, lauded the EU LEAN project, saying the activities of the trained fire volunteers are augmenting the work of his department.

“If you look at the communities where we have done these training, we have realized that over the years there has been some reduction in bush fire incidents because these fire volunteers are there to ensure that when fires begin, they are able to nip them in the bud.” 

Assistant District Manager of the Forestry Division in Charge of Navrongo Forest District said the activities of the volunteers will help to protect the 50 hectares of trees planted in the the Kassena-Nankana West District against bushfires and animal grazing.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Paga|Ghana

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