Chiefs and community leaders in some forest-fringed communities in the Krokosua and Tano-Offin Forest Reserves have called on the government and Non-profit Organizations in the Natural Resource Sector to support them to undertake development projects in their communities. They made this appeal when a team from EcoCare Ghana donated some building materials to support development projects by 14 communities under that have been initiated by the 14 communities in which they are Piloting the Monitoring of Cocoa and Forest Initiative Commitments through Participatory Approaches (MoCCPA) project.
The team used the opportunity to remind them of the Cocoa and Forest Initiative commitments by the government of Ghana and License Buying Companies and entreated them to continue to monitor its implementation at the community level. Mrs Patience Olesu Adjei assured the communities leaders and members present in each community that, even though the MoCCPA Project was ending in December 2020, the Cocoa and Forestry Initiative is ongoing for the next 50 years, therefore ‘they must continue to use the knowledge gained to continue to monitor the process since they are the direct beneficiaries.
She urged them to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the CFI to directly engage government agencies such as Cocobod, Forestry Commission and the Licensed Cocoa Buying companies to inquire about the progress and how to access farmer based incentive packages such as free fertilizers, extension services, mapping of farms and other remunerations meant for cocoa farmers under the programme.
The team also went on two radio programmes on Rainbow and Akyeame Radio in Sefwi Juaboso and Bibiani respectively to create more awareness on the CFI project and the role of citizens in protecting Ghana’s forest reserves from deforestation due to cocoa. They also educated them on the need to plant indigenous trees in their cocoa farms ,whiles practising sustainable farming methods to ensure their existing farm is able to yield enough produce to prevent them from clearing new lands for cocoa farming.
Mr. Alfred Mensah, a project officer at EcoCare Ghana, thanked all the community leaders for always making time to engage the team anytime they visit the communities. He also expressed gratitude to the 28 community monitors who were trained by EcoCare for their effort in monitoring the CFI implementation at the community level and constantly sending alerts on any CFI related activity that stakeholders implement at the community level.
The Chief of Adumamam in the Sefwi Juaboso District, Nana Bennie II, called on other CSOs who work in the community to support the admitted communities in forest reserves since they are often neglected by government in its development planning.
Mr. Kofi Sarpong, the Assembly Man for Kyirayaaso, Bofaaso and Permruso electoral area expressed his gratitude to the EcoCare Ghana and Rain Forest Alliance for their support and pledge that he and his community members will continue to monitor the CFI implementation beyond the MoCCPA project.
Items donated by EcoCare Ghana, with Funding from Rain Forest Alliance include building materials, plastic chairs, computers, windows and door frames to support a variety of community development projects such as computer labs for basic schools, the building of teachers and police quarters, Chairs for community centres among others.
Beneficiary communities were taken from 2 district assemblies, Sefwi Juaboso and Atwima Mponua Districts in the Western North and Ashanti Region respectively who are classified as Hotspot Intervention Areas due to the high rate of deforestation due to Cocoa Farming in the districts. Communities who benefited in the Juaboso district are; Adumam, Nkwanta, Abrokofe, Kwawkrom, Seniegyakrom and Mentukwah. In the Atwima Mponua District beneficiaries communities were; Akantanso, Chyirayaaso, Bofaaso, Permuruso, Sereso, Kasotie and Kyekyewere.