MANGROVE RESTORATION REPORT ON PRA (YABIW) AND AKWIDAI WETLANDS
Wetlands play a key role in ecosystem services providing diversified flora and fauna. Most people consider wetlands as wastelands without considering it ecological and economic significance. Wetlands are found in all six coastal districts of western region of Ghana but these valuable natural resources are under threat due to human behavior and activities. Key human activities include reclamation of land for expansion of extractive industries, human settlement and indiscriminate cutting of mangrove forest as fuel wood purposely for fish smoking.
It is within this context that CSLP in collaboration with key stakeholders initiated mangrove restoration intervention activities in three communities at Yabiw and Krobo in Shama district and Akwidai in Ahanta-West district of western region of Ghana. Purpose of restoration initiative as to sensitize catchment communities in wetland areas about ecological and economic importance of wetlands, support community nurseries to raise mangroves seedlings to replant portions of degraded mangrove sites under their jurisdiction, and facilitate development of community management action plans for restored areas.
From 2014 to date, CSLP has provided technical and logical support to four communities in Shama (Yabiw/ Krobo,/Anlo Beach ) and Ahanta-west (Akwidai ) districts . These community nurseries raised 22,536 mangrove and cassia seedlings that were replanted in portions of the degraded mangrove areas. Cassia seedlings were given to interested farmers to establish fuel wood plantations for domestic and commercial purpose. Out of 263.18 hectares CSLP mapped as areas under community management of wetlands and mangrove forest, 25.15 hectares have been replanted.
CSLP in collaboration with HM/FoN/SNV have built capacities of Volunteer group members to oversee and manage restored mangrove areas. Community management action plans have been developed to guide management activities. Key mangrove restoration challenges include raising of mangrove seedlings, nurturing and transporting of seedlings from nursery sites to restoration sites for replanting. Existing structures with responsibilities to lead in management of wetlands are weak and need to restructure as well as develop their capacities to champion wetlands and mangrove forest management. Donor support is needed in near future to reach out to more communities in the six coastal districts of western region to sustain the wetlands due to their ecological and economic significance.