Women groups from four districts in the Upper East Region who are engaged in processing baobab and Shea nuts have received four motor tricycles from the Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS-Ghana).
The donation valued at GH¢26,000.00, was supported by the Aduna Company Limited of United Kingdom, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Great Green Wall benefitted women groups in the Naaga-Chaaba, in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal, Kayoro-Kwuru in the Kassena-Nankana West and Zeng in the Builsa North and South Districts.
Presenting the motor tricycles to the women at Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District, Mr Julius Awaregye, the Executive Director of ORGIIS-Ghana, said his outfit over the years had been building the capacity of rural women to take advantage of the Non-Timber Forest Products to help improve upon their economic livelihoods.
He said the women had been empowered to process the Non-Timber Forest Products such as the baobab fruits and the sheanuts at the ORGIIS-Ghana factory for export to the United Kingdom, India and other international markets.
Some of the women had also been empowered to use the raw materials from the Non-Timber Forest Products to make local dishes and drinks for sale at the community level, he added. Mr Awaregye said it had helped to reduce cheating by the middle men who purchase sheanuts and the baobab fruits at cheap prices.
Mr Clifford Amoah Adagenara, the Programme Manager of ORGIIS-Ghana in charge of the UNCCD Programme, stated that apart from the programme building the capacity of the women in the area of value chain, they were also sensitized not to abuse the environment by cutting trees indiscriminately for charcoal production.
He said the project also encouraged the communities to use clean energy cooking systems and motivated them to grow trees particularly economic trees.
One of the major objectives of ORGIIS-Ghana is to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of reducing poverty and climate change.
Mrs Talata Kweku, a 39 year- old woman and one of the beneficiaries of the project from Chiana-Saboro in the Kassena-Nankana West District, thanked ORGIIS-Ghana, the UNCCD, Aduna Company and the Great Green Wall for the support.
Mrs Kweku testified that, through ORGIIS-Ghana many of the women had been able to pay for the premium of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and also pay for their children’s school fees up to the tertiary levels.
“Others have also been able to support their husbands with building materials to put up houses”, she said.