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General News Wed, 22 Jan 2003

Measures to Protect Mole National Park

The West Gonja District Assembly (WGDA) is determined to implement alternative source of livelihood to divert the attention of communities living closer to the Mole National Park from poaching the animals and destroying the woodland.

Speaking at the launching of the Wildlife Division Support Project (WDSP) at Mole, the district chief executive (DCE) of West Gonga, Yakubu Zakariah, said recent experience gained from confrontations with inhabitants closer to the park indicates that conservation of wildlife goes beyond just policing the people from poaching.

He called for alternative means of livelihood for them. Mr. Zakariah said the construction of a small-scale dam to irrigate about 100ha of land and the establishment of small-scale ruminant projects for the rearing of grass-cutters and rabbits on commercial basis would provide self-employment for the district's teeming youth.

He said plans were far advanced to introduce bee-keeping in two communities such as in Murgu and Laribanga.

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He said as part of a Capacity Building Programme (CBP) drawn up by the district assembly for the park, the assembly intends training the youth from Laribanga and some staff of the park as tour guides.

In a solidarity speech, the Wa district chief executive, Mr. Godfey Bayon, who stood in for the Upper West regional minister, Mr. Mogtari Shanunu, said because the park extends into the Upper West Region, it has close ties with the West Gonja district.

In order to alleviate the burden of the communities living closer to the park, the Upper West Regional Co-ordinating Council (UWERCC), as a matter of policy, has built clinics in Dosah and Chasey both in the Upper West region, which also cater for the health needs of staff of the park.

He said besides the provision of clinics, the UWERCC has constructed dams to provide the communities with water for their households and livestock.

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle
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