EU supports Mole National Park to preserve wildlife
The EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly, has handed over some equipment and items to the Mole National Park in the Savannah Region to support management in their fight against poaching to preserve wildlife in the area.
It included a four-wheel vehicle, communications equipment, patrol headlamps, a sub ranger camp site, tents, raincoats and staff combat uniforms, among others.
The gesture formed part of the EU Monitoring of Illegal Killings of Elephants (EU-MIKES) and the Savannah Integrated Biodiversity Conservation Initiative (SIBCI) projects being funded by the former.
The MIKES project seeks to protect the lives of elephants and other animals at the park, while the SIBCI project is into improving biodiversity, environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation within the park enclave.
The Є1.8 million projects are being implemented by the National Park, the Forestry Commission and the Ghana Wildlife Society.
Ambassador Razaaly, who handed over the items at Mole during his two-day tour of the project sites, said the intervention sought to preserve wildlife in the park to attract more tourists into the country.
He said the major component of the project was to improve livelihoods in beneficiary communities who depended largely on the reserve for survival, adding that empowering the people would go a long way to preserve the biodiversity of the park.
While reiterating the EU’s continuous support to the park, he admonished the people to take proper care of the facilities to serve their intended purpose.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Iddrisu Musah, said that 33 local communities within the park who depended on the wildlife resources for their livelihoods had now been empowered to engage in alternative ventures.
"Effective monitoring and conservation of wildlife is best achieved by supporting and providing alternative sources of livelihoods for the people," he added.
The Director of the Ghana Wildlife Society Conservation Programme, Richard Appoh, said "we have trained five districts and municipalities within the Mole landscape on strategic environmental assessment to ensure sustainable visits".
He said that under the project, 60 people from the park and community resource management areas (CREMAs) had been sensitised to good management practices to safeguard the park's future.
The director added that 17 dedicated tour guides had also undergone specialised training in eco-tourism, saying "these guides are not just interpreters of nature but also custodians of sustainable tourism practices who would ensure that our visitors have memorable experience while respecting the park's fragile ecosystem".
The Manager of the Mole National Park, Ali Mahama, thanked the EU and the other partners for their various interventions.
"Our staff are now well equipped to operate effectively to protect the park's integrity because they have been supplied with uniforms, bags and boots, among others," he said.
Writer's email: mohammed.