The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has commissioned the rehabilitation of 10 dams in four regions in northern Ghana as part of efforts to reduce the impact of climate change on livelihoods.
It will enable the communities to have all-year-round access to water for crops irrigation especially during the dry season and also for other uses. The dams are expected to be constructed within six months.
The intervention falls within a four-year project being implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and with support from the Adaptation Fund.
"The Government is happy to be working with UNDP and other state agencies to provide these interventions, with funding from the Adaptation Fund Board. Please protect the water bodies, stop cutting the trees and replant more trees," Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said.
"Our reservoirs get dried up within the year, and our women have to walk long distances in search of water. The livestock too suffer, so we are grateful for the rehabilitation", noted Naa Ayidaana Atampugre, Chief of Adaboya in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region.
The Assistant Resident Representative of UNDP, Mr. Louis Kuukpen, mentioned that giving the communities access to clean water is in line with the objective of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which aims to ensure clean water access and proper sanitation for all by 2030.
He also urged the communities to own the initiatives and take care of them.
"This project is very important to us because it responds to climate action. As we invest a lot of resources in it, we will like the Chiefs and people of the communities to see the projects as their own, maintain them and keep them for generations to come," advised Mr. Kuukpen.
The project is seeking to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of rural communities to climate change impacts and risks on water resources in Northern Ghana. In this area, an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events is worsening water scarcity and impacting negatively on livelihood activities of communities.
The project is also providing boreholes to improve access to clean water in the over 50 communities being covered. As part of the project, trees are being planted around the dams to increase the capacity of the catchment area to retain flood water, prevent erosion and siltation of the reservoirs.
The communities are also being supported with other interventions such as shea butter and groundnut oil extraction, beekeeping, fish farming, tree seedling nurseries and dry season gardening, all to help reduce the impacts of climate change on their livelihoods.