The Bongo District is one of the driest areas in the region. Desertification has resulted in deforestation along the river banks, leading to erosion. The forests we plant will reverse the land degradation, create jobs for farmers and combat climate change through carbon sequestration in our trees.
The Bongo District is one of the nine districts in the Upper East region of Ghana, extending over almost 500 km2 of savannah. The baobab tree is at home in this landscape, and every now and then elephants and lions can be seen in the nearby national park. The Bongo District has an important water source: the reservoir of the VEA Dam, into which the Yarigatanga River flows. Farmers depend on the dam for irrigating their land, and it provides drinking water for the surrounding villages.
With just 70 days of rain a year and poor soil, desertification forms a threat. Farmers feel the need to move closer and closer to the river banks. The deforestation of the river banks leads to erosion, causing the river and the VEA reservoir to silt up. In the long term, this also means that farmers will no longer be able to irrigate.
In order to turn the tide in the Yarigatanga River basin, Trees for All is aiming to plant 220,000 trees, create 150 hectares of agroforestry and reinforce the river banks. 20 local villages in the vicinity of the river will be involved and 1600 farmers will be trained in sustainable land use. We are also collaborating with Blue Deal, whose goal is to provide 20 million people all over the world with access to sufficient clean and safe water by 2030.
Photos (C) Rowan Griffiths – Daily Mirror
This reforestation project will reverse the degradation of the land, strengthen the socio-ecological functions of the rivers and create jobs for farmers; particularly for women and for young beginner farmers. We will therefore be helping to combat poverty in the region and to protect the environment.
It is often difficult for farmers to live off the produce of their land. Over two-thirds of the population in the district is therefore living below the poverty line. Agroforestry can make an important difference to the farmers. The mixed planting of trees and agricultural crops means there is permanent growth of crops on the land, which ensures soil recovery. And the farmers can harvest a variety of crops all year round and run less risk of crops failing.
By donating trees, you can make a contribution to the recovery of this beautiful area. You will protect the habitat of a wide variety of animals, help the local population and contribute to a green, healthy planet.
In Ghana, they say ‘Water is life’. Water retention is crucial, and trees play a very important role in retaining water.
Jaap Bos, coordinator Blue Deal North Ghana