Washington — Farmers of the Northern Savannah Zone of Ghana are to benefit from a scale-up of Sustainable Land and Water Management (SLWM) interventions in selected watersheds and forest fringe communities, under a second additional financing Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant of US$12.76 million.
The Additional Financing grant will help the project scale-up ongoing SLWM interventions from an original 6,000 hectares to 15,000 hectares, expanding the coverage of the project from an original 10 to 12 districts in the Northern Savannah Zone of Ghana. The Northern Savanah is characterized by vulnerability, low climate resilience, and high poverty.
The Sustainable Land and Water Management project will contribute to enhanced food security and increased resilience of the beneficiary communities to climatic variability. The agricultural landscape and the corridor areas under sustainable land and water management have been made productive through farming techniques such as contour bunds, zero tillage, crop rotation, intercropping with legumes, composting, mulching, protecting buffer zones and planting trees along river banks. Forest fringe communities will continue to be trained on wildfire management and volunteer fire squads equipped with field equipment.
"This project addresses environmental and land degradation through improved community-driven management of natural resources based livelihoods," said Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana. "It complements the World Bank's poverty reduction and shared prosperity efforts supported by other Bank financed projects in Northern Ghana and is consistent with government's development agenda."
Some of the project's key achievements since it became effective in 2011, include among others a total of 9,388 land users adopting SLWM practices covering an area of 3,090 hectares and 24,224 persons benefitting from the project interventions, of which 40 percent are women. The project's priorities are aligned with Ghana's vision of modernizing its agricultural sector to improve food security in an environmentally sustainable manner with a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly in the most fragile ecosystems.
"The SLWM project uses an integrated landscape approach and is highly demand driven," said Task Team Leader of Sustainable Land and Water Management Project, Martin Fodor, "Demand from farmers for financial support exceeds financing by two-fold."
The second additional financing grant to SLWMP brings the total GEF grants to US$29.7 million and with in-kind contribution by the Government of Ghana equivalent to US$12.3 million.