The Forestry Commission and the Volta River Authority have signed a Memorandum of Understanding intended to plant bamboo to protect the Volta Lake.
The two agencies have agreed to collaborate by pooling their resources to protect the Volta Lake which houses the Akosombo Dam with bamboo plantations for effective power generation.
The project dubbed, ‘Bamboo for the Protection of the Volta Lake is part of Government’s agenda for promoting Sustainable Development through the development and utilization of bamboo and rattan resources.
The use of the Bamboo species, according to the agencies, is to help protect the volta lake by serving as a means of demarcation of the 280ft above mean sea level, which fall under the VRA acquired lands. It is also to create a buffer zone to avoid encroachment of the VRA acquired lands, protects against erosion as well as promote socio- economic importance of bamboo for sustainable development of the riparian communities.
Addressing the media prior to the signing in Accra on Thursday, the Deputy Chief Executive officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Alottey said the partnership has become necessary due to the fact that the catchment area of the lake, including the gorge is threat by deforestation on daily basis as a result of livelihood enhancement activities in this area.
Such activities, Mr Allotey said, has affected the lake adversely which sometimes manifest in the form of unsustainable generation of hydro- electricity culminating in intermittent power failures.
He said land owners and District Assemblies would join hands with the Forestry Commission and the Volta River Authority to “reforest the lands within the VRA acquired 280 feet contour with water tolerant plant, bamboo, and extend it to other parts of the lake in other geographical jurisdiction in the subsequent years.”
He explained that the three- phased project which starts in 2019,is supposed to end in 2032 and by the time of completion, it is intended to among other things ensure that a 270- hectare bamboo plantation is established along the banks of the lake to sustain hydropower generation.
The Deputy CEO stated that, “the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is necessary to set the ball rolling for the commencement of the planting Bamboo for the protection of the lake which is a natural heritage to solve power outages challenges in Ghana.
“All hands are therefore called to be assembled on deck to make this project a success for both current generation and posterity.”
On his part the Deputy Chief Executive of VRA, Mr Ebenezer Allotey said the MOU is a significant step forward in the relationship between the two agencies in achieving their corporate as well as national objectives in the environmental protection of natural resources in Ghana.
He said the collaboration with the Forestry Commission has raised the need to strengthen the joint initiative not only in the Forest reserves but non forest area as well as Volta lake basin in Ghana.
He was hopeful that the collaboration would open doors for agencies to provide relevant financial and material support to the VRA and the Forestry Commission in the protection of the volta lake which serves as source of water for power generation for three major hydropower station at Akosombo, Akuse and Bui with a total installed capacity of 1580 MW representing about 36 percent of total installed capacity in Ghana till date.
In a separate event, the Commission also signed a tripartite agreement between it, the Owirenkyiman traditional Council and Praxis Africa to among other thing plant to plant and nurture about 48,000 medicinal tree species in the traditional area and to help protect the environment.
By Mohammed Suleman