By Anthony Apubeo, GNA
Kologo (U/E), July 12, GNA - Tree Aid Ghana in collaboration with the Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS- Ghana), a local non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO), has commissioned three warehouses in the Upper East Region.
The projects, valued at GHȼ330,314.00, were constructed at Kologo, Nakolo and Katiu communities in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and the Kassena-Nankana West District.
The storage facilities are meant to support women groups who are into sheanuts, baobab, dawada, moringa and sesame processing among other Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) for storages.
Whilst the warehouse at the Kologo community is a 30- ton capacity facility made up of storage room and office space, those of the Nakolo and Katiu communities are 50-tons capacity each; including the storage room an office space, washrooms and water storage systems respectively.
In addition to the storage facilities, the women groups have also been provided with motor tricycles, tarpaulins, weighing scales, stitching machines and protective clothing.
ORGIIS- Ghana provides capacity building for the women groups to add more value to the processing of the NTFPs as well as support them to market the products at the national and international level.
In a speech read on his behalf at separate functions to commission the facilities, the Country Director of Tree Aid Ghana, Naaba Anecham Jonathan, said plans are far advanced to provide shea butter extraction machines by September this year to two communities.
The Country Director said his outfit in partnership with ORGIIS-Ghana begun the implementation of the Grow Hope Project in September 2018 which is expected to end in 2020 and said the project is working with 21 villages and 54 village enterprise groups with close to 90 percent women membership in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and West District.
He said the project, which is being implemented with funding support from the Leventis International Leveraging Support on Jersey Overseas Aid Commission (JOAC), provides support to the beneficiaries to collect sheanuts, process sheabutter and baobab fruits to sell and increase their incomes.
He said in 2016, Tree Aid Ghana partnered ORGIIS-Ghana to support the Buru Cooperative Union with a set of shea butter processing machine to increase shea butter production, improve quality and to maximize sales and profits.
The Country Director said one of the major challenges identified by the project at that period was the lack of storage facilities for organic sheabutter and organic sheanuts (kernels) and baobab powder.
He said this prompted the project to construct five warehouses across the three regions of Northern Ghana including the Pindaa community in the Kassena -Nankana Municipality.
“In this year 2019, we have constructed three standard warehouses to benefit the Sanyega Cooperative Union at Katiu community, Buru Cooperative Union at Nakolo community and Kolbita Cooperative Union at Kologo community to address the storage challenges”, the Country Director said.
Mr Julius Awaregya, the Coordinator of ORGIIS-Ghana, said ORGIIS-Ghana has over the past 12 years been working with more than 416 women groups with a combined population of 11,000 spread across the Northern, Upper East, and Upper West Regions and the Nahuru Province of Burkina Faso in the areas of non-timber products.
He said ORGIIS- Ghana which operates in the five regions of Northern Ghana has the goal of building the capacity of women in the areas of agro-processing, value chain and to link them up to marketing centres.
Naba Clifford Asobayire Abagna IV, the Paramount Chief of Kologo Traditional Area, thanked the NGOs and the funding agency for supporting the communities adding that the project is a game changer in the quest to improve the livelihoods of many.