Hope for Ghana
Sumaila Seidu Saaka (Director FONAR) describes:
Ghana lies between the Atlantic and the Sahel
"Ghana, formerly known as the “Gold Coast”, sits on the Atlantic Ocean in West Africa and borders Togo, Cote d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. The country, about the size of the United Kingdom, is home to more than 30 million people.
More than a third of the population is under 15 years old. In the past two decades, it has taken major strides toward consolidating democracy governance under a multi-party system.
Ghana consistently ranks in the top three countries in Africa for freedom of speech and press freedom, with strong broadcast media, with radio being the medium with the greatest reach. Factors such as these provide Ghana with solid social capital."
Reversing Land Degradation for improved livelihoods in the Upper East Region, Ghana
"The Upper East Region (UER) is one of 16 administrative regions of Ghana. It is located in a semi-dry agro-ecological zone that lies in the transitional zone between the dry Guinea and Sudan savannah grassland parts of West Africa bordering the Sahel. The region covers an estimated land area of 8,842 km², of which 80% suffers from moderate to severe land degradation.
The UER had a total population of roughly 1.04 million people in 2010, with an annual growth rate of about 1.2 percent. The average population density of the region is 118.4 people/km², as compared to the national average population density of 103.4 people/km². The mainly rural population of the UER, where more than four in every 10 people are poor, is dependent on rain-fed subsistence agriculture.
Desertification resulting from rapid environmental degradation due to negative land clearing practices has been identified as the most serious environmental problem in the region. The livelihoods of rural farm households are thus threatened by increasing agricultural drought and loss of soil fertility."
Visions of a better future
"The Forum for Natural Regeneration (FONAR) is a Ghanaian registered environmental non-profit and non-government organization (NGO), currently operating in the Upper East region of Ghana. FONAR was founded in 2014 to promote the widespread adoption of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) as a simple and cost effective technique for the restoration & re-vegetation of degraded lands in the communities in which we work.
We do this through social mobilisation, advocacy and nurturing genuine partnership. The main reason for loss of tree cover in the Upper East region of Ghana, where we work, is clearance of land for agriculture using the traditional “slash and burn” method.
To reverse the trend, FONAR works with local communities and its partners to promote the uptake of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) for re-greening degraded farmlands and communal lands and working through school environmental clubs to inculcate positive environmental behaviours in the youth."