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  • Writer's pictureZoe Cawthorn

Growing Hope in Ghana: Over 6,000 Tree Species and 97 Hectares of Woodlots Planted

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Tree Aid is helping communities and replenishing forests in Ghana through their Grow Hope project. By training communities in sustainable farming enterprises, providing seedlings and recruiting tree planting volunteers, the Grow Hope project is creating a happier, greener future for communities in Ghana.

In North-eastern Ghana, natural resources that local communities depend upon for survival are being threatened by deforestation and declining soil fertility. Many trees are destroyed by logging for firewood or through forest fires. Tree Aid's Grow Hope project is tackling this land degradation by helping communities move towards more sustainable incomes, which protect and restore forests instead of consuming them. They do this by promoting non-timber forest products - the seeds, nuts and fruit produced by trees - which can be harvested without harming the tree. These products provide food but can also be processed into products such as shea butter, which can be sold at markets.

To provide a sustainable source of fuelwood, 97 hectares of woodlots have been established through the project. Communities are being supported by Tree Aid to manage woodlots effectively and alleviate pressure on natural resources. They have also trained 21 communities in bush-fire management. To restore tree cover, the Grow Hope project is training 210 new volunteer farmers in how to plant and care for seedlings.

Photo: Tree Aid

Enterprise groups have been set up to produce sustainable forest products, and have provided them with processing equipment to reduce time and labour. Three warehouses have been built for storing products, to keep them in better condition for longer, maximising their value in the market.

One of the project's participants, Batabe Atasu, got involved with Grow Hope after seeing how the project was providing business training and empowering women. They were taught to embrace forest resources and how to generate income from them. Batabe is now part of a women’s enterprise group that produces shea butter and soap, which they sell at market to increase their income. As a result, she can provide for her family and pay her children’s school fees. Batabe said:

Photo: Tree Aid
“It was difficult to get funds to start a business, buy my children school items or buy food for my family. I would worry a lot about how to feed my family... it has changed my life in so many ways... now I support my family."

Batabe and her community have embraced the Grow Hope project, with most of the women supported in baobab and shea enterprises. She has hope that her community will be without poverty in the future.

Tree Aid helps people in the drylands of Africa to lift themselves out of poverty and protect their environment. They work with local communities to help them protect and grow trees, for themselves and for future generations. Find out more about their great work by clicking here. You can also help in the simplest of ways. TreeAid are supported by Ecosia - a search engine which uses its income to plant trees. Simply switch to Ecosia for your default search engine and you'll be providing trees to projects like Grow Hope, without leaving your chair!

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