Tropenbos Ghana has, as part of its advocacy for optimised forests and land use, organised series of field trips and training for some community leaders in mining plagued areas in the Ashanti Region.
This is to expose them to the degree of destruction of illegal mining and the approaches in regaining soils and fertility of degraded lands.
Selected members from a total of 18 communities drawn from the Asante Akim Central Municipality and Amansie West District, have so far benefitted from the field tour.
They were made up of small-scale miners, farmers, community leaders, chiefs and elders as well as assembly members.
The exercise was under the “Securing Food and Ecosystem Services in Mining Plagued Regions in Ghana Project,” which was initiated in 2018 with funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation (NORAD).
The project among other things, sought to create a diversified, harmonised land-use in the mining communities in Ghana, analyse drivers of artisanal small-scale mining and degradation.
It also considers economic cost benefit of small-scale artisanal mining in relation to food security, agriculture landscape and analyse components of pollution threats in the mining communities.
Mr Kwame Appiah Owusu, a Project Manager at Tropenbos Ghana, speaking to the media after a tour of a demonstration reclamation and rehabilitation site at Yawkrom in the Amansie West District, noted that although land reclamation was possible, the cost involved was high.
He cautioned mining communities to collaborate with miners to implement and enforce mining reclamation laws to restore degraded mined sites.
Tropenbos under the project has set up 3.88- and 2.4-hectares experimental rehabilitation plots at Manso Yawkrom and Asarekrom respectively.
It has also established a rehabilitation plot at Agyareago in the Asante-Akim Municipality.
The project had in the last 18 months, supported these communities in covering mined pits, levelling grounds, filling sites with topsoil and planting trees.
Mr Owusu noted that the development caught the attention of one of the heavily mined communities, Asuoyun, to initiate a rehabilitation field.
He said they provided technical assistance in terms of demonstrating to them how to properly plant the trees.
Again, the project supported the Asuoyun community with 800 seedlings of “Acacia”, “Mahogany”, Ofram” and “Mere” on the Green Ghana Day in 2021 and more than 90 per cent of the seedlings had survived.
By Florence Afriyie Mensah, GNA