LEAN Project Consortium Conducts Field Verification in Kasena-Nankana West

Members of the Landscapes and Environmental Agility Across the Nation (LEAN) Project consortium, including Rainforest Alliance, Tropenbos Ghana, EcoCare Ghana, and World Vision, recently visited five communities in the Kasena-Nankana West district of Ghana.

This visit aimed to verify the progress and impact reported in the project’s Mid-Term Evaluation report documentation of the $5 million European-funded project.

The 5 million Euros project, funded by the European Union’s GCCA+ initiative, focuses on conserving biodiversity, improving livelihoods for smallholder farmers, increasing climate change resilience, and reducing emissions from land-use changes in Ghana’s savannah, high forest, and transition zones.

LEAN Project
LEAN Project

The consortium members, during their visit, actively engaged with the stakeholders, including farmers, local leaders, and project beneficiaries. They visited farms, conservation areas, and other project sites to observe the implementation and outcomes of the LEAN project’s interventions, emphasizing the crucial role of these stakeholders in the project’s success.

Miss Abena Dufie Woode, the consortium lead and the senior project manager of the European Union (E.U) LEAN Project, shares her impression of the project, acknowledging the collective efforts of the consortium members in making the project a success.

‘’ I believe the LEAN project has done very well in the past four years we have worked in the landscape. The project started in November 2020, and we hope to close out by the end of the year. With funds from the E.U., we have set up two landscape management boards in the Savannah landscape alone, as well as eight tree seedling nurseries with a minimum capacity of about 10,000 trees. Together on the project, we have raised and distributed 700,000 seedlings of both native and exotic species, some of which have been shared for restoration purposes among shareholders and stakeholders. We have also distributed some of these seedlings to the forest service division here of the Forestry Commission towards the Green Ghana Day, which is an initiative by the government of Ghana. Some of these trees have also gone into farmer management regeneration sites, degraded lands, and reserve lands for restoration, including wood lots fuel wood production and some community forests.

The project also improves the livelihood of smallholder farmers through a diversification project. We have currently trained over 500 beneficiaries and start-up kits to over 2/3 of these beneficiaries in areas such as beekeeping and apiculture, where some beneficiaries raise catfish and tilapia where necessary, and vegetable farming. Some keep pigs and ruminants.

One component functioning in the Savannah land is the saving for tea, where over 90 percent of women in the project have come together through the novel concept of World Vision to save for their and their children’s futures. In the past fiscal year 2023, the savings alone raised Ghc600,000 from the savings of women in the project. We are looking at doubling the amount,’’ she said.

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Miss Abena Dufie Woode interacts with beneficiaries in Paga
Miss Abena Dufie Woode interacts with beneficiaries in Paga

Joseph Edwin Yelkabong, the LEAN Project Manager with World Vision Ghana is excited about the output of the projects so far.

‘’It is solid for me; I’m very excited, and my excitement stems from the stakeholders’ appreciation. They are resonating with us.

During the visit, the consortium members witnessed several positive developments. Farmers reported increased yields and improved income due to the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices promoted by the project.

Additionally, communities expressed satisfaction with the project’s efforts to enhance natural resource management and promote sustainable land use practices.

However, the visit also highlighted some challenges. Access to water and markets remained a concern for some farmers, and the need for continued capacity building and technical support was emphasized.

The consortium members acknowledged these challenges and committed to working collaboratively to address them. They emphasized the importance of ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure the project’s long-term sustainability and effectiveness.

However, Mr. Edward Yara, a beneficiary who owns a nursery in Chiana-Kadognia, cultivated a variety of seedlings, including Mahogany, Calatheas, mango, cashews, rosewood, shea, and others.

Mr Yara is also pleading for more support in expanding his nursery.

‘’World Vision came and supported me with the fence, water tank, dress it for me; though they did not give me water, I have been able to get water of my own through Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), so that’s where I get my water to water the plants. So my doors are open for support from anyone,’’ he said.

Edward yara nursery
Edward yara nursery

The field visit to Kasena-Nankana West was a valuable opportunity for the LEAN project consortium to validate its progress and identify areas for further action.

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By prioritizing transparency, collaboration, and continuous improvement, the project aims to make a lasting positive impact on Ghana’s lives and landscapes.

Source: Harmattangh.com


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