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UN Global Day to Combat Desertification, Ghana

Global Day to combat Desertification

G-lish Foundation and the Dulugu Youth Association marked the United Nations’ Global Day to Combat Desertification and Drought–June 17–on Sunday, June 19, with a tree planting exercise in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region of Ghana.

3 members of the Dulugu Youth Association ready to plant seedlings to mark the Global Day to combat Desertification and Drought, June 2011

3 members of the Dulugu Youth Association ready to plant seedlings to mark the Global Day to combat Desertification and Drought, June 2011

Background of the Day

The General Assembly of the UN declared June 17 the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought in December 1994. The UN General Assembly acknowledged desertification and drought were global developmental challenges because of their impact on all regions of the world, especially in Africa, where the dual impact of these phenomena is widespread and severe.

Countries were urged to commit this day to promoting awareness of the need for global cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought, and on the implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. Since then, signatory countries, civil societies, and other interested stakeholders mark this day with various activities worldwide on June 17 each year.

The Government of Ghana adopted the UN Convention to Combat Desertification on 17th June 1994 and ratified it on 26th December 1996.  Ghana developed a National Action Programme (NAP) to Combat Desertification and mitigates the effects of drought in April 2002. This NAP was approved by the Government of Ghana in 2003.

Planting time at the Dulugu Day Care Centre, June 2011

Planting time at the Dulugu Day Care Centre, June 2011

Brief speech on the Day by G-lish for Environmental Regeneration

Godwin Yidana, Executive Director of G-lish Foundation, explained to the participants that they were planting the trees to mark the UN Day to Combat Desertification and Drought and that the participants were joining other people globally to mark this day.

He said that the objective of celebrating the day was to create awareness about the impacts of desertification and drought and the need for concerted efforts to combat desertification and the impact of drought.

He explained further that the three northern regions of Ghana were suffering the severe effects of desertification because of a combination of natural and human factors such as bush burning.

Godwin ended his speech by thanking the participants for been part of this important event.

Deforestation and burning to clear land cause desertification in drought prone areas

Deforestation and burning to clear land cause desertification in drought prone areas

Deforestation photo by Maxim Gusakov.

The Tree Planting Work!

After the brief speech, the participants were divided into two groups for the planting exercise. Group one was responsible for digging the holes while group two took charge of planting the seedlings.

The digging and planting started at 3:00pm and ended at 4:30pm. Normally, this time of the day would have been too hot to plant seedlings. However, it had rained heavily an hour earlier and there was no harsh sunshine on this day. Hence, the organisers took advantage of the good weather to carry out the programme.

A total of 105 teak seedlings were planted around the compound of the Dulugu Day Care Centre and the Dulugu Methodist Church. A total of 12 youths participated in this event within a short notice of 30minutes.

 

Final remarks after the planting Exercise

Amos Kporshiebu, the Production Assistant of G-lish Foundation, thanked the participants for devoting their time and energy to planting the seedlings to mark the UN Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

Amos digging a hole for a Teak seedling, June 2011

Amos digging a hole for a Teak seedling, June 2011

He urged them to keep the communal labour spirit alive and to continue to plant and cater for trees around public places in the community to provide shade, fruits and help reduce the impact of climate change.

Ambrose Atogeyekie, president of the Dulugu Youth Association also thanked participants for coming out in their numbers to support the event. He also added that they need to now take care of the seedlings till they become trees, especially during the dry season where water becomes scarce.

Lunch

Participants were served a hot meal of rice and stew after the programme.

G-lish Foundation provided the lunch for the participants.

 

Lessons learnt

There were a number of lessons that were learnt during the event.

One is that the youth of the Dulugu community are aware of the benefits of trees. They are also committed to community development activities. They came to help plant the seedlings within short notice. Another lesson is that you do not need huge sums of money to make a difference. What is required is commitment and determination to follow through on your objective.

Tree planting is part of G-lish’s mission, the “environmental re-Generation” element of “Income Generation, re-Generation, next Generation” and our Environmental Conservation programme.

 

The team that planted 105 Teak seedlings around the compound of the Dulugu Day Care Centre to mark the Global Day to combat Desertification and Drought, June 2011, Ghana

The team that planted 105 Teak seedlings around the compound of the Dulugu Day Care Centre to mark the Global Day to combat Desertification and Drought, June 2011, Ghana

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