*Wildfire is a threat to afforestation in Upper West Region*

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Mr. Francis Brobbey, the District Manager of Forestry Commission, Lawra, has indicated that the major threat to afforestation in the Upper West Region is wildfire and as such appropriate measures must be taken to avoid it if not minimise it.

It is in line with this that, the Lawra District of the Ghana Forestry Commission under the Sustainable Land and Water Management Project, organised a capacity building programme in Wa. The aim of the programme was to enlarge the knowledge base of farmers who are beneficiaries of the project, Chiefs and as well as opinion leaders who matter as far as the project is concern.

Briefing participants during the programme, Mr. Francis Brobbey said, the Sustainable Land and Water Management Project which will last for an initial five years started in 2015 and will end in 2020, but was quick to add that there is a high likelihood that the project duration will be extended in year 2020.

He said the project is currently ongoing in the Daffiama/Bussie/Issa District and the Wa East District of the Upper West Region.

He again added, the capacity building included a local study tour for participants to learn from other beneficiaries on how they nurtured their seedlings in other to be abreast with the right nurturing practices that will go a long way to helping the progress of the project of the Forestry Commission.

According to him, the Lawra District alone intends to plant of about 500,000 trees this year.

He finally challenged participants to act positively towards the project success.

However, participants lamented over suspected cases of arson on project fields and suggested that by-laws be enacted and enforced by community leaders so as to ensure the success of the project.

According to them, hunters should as well be educated on the negative implications of wildfire so as to curb them from setting project fields and the bush in general on fire for games.

The tour covered Kataa, Banungoma and Bayiri communities in Wa East District and Jimpensi and Jolinyiri in Daffiama/Bussie/Issa District where participants had practical experience on what is done at the fields.

The participants also learnt that practices such as topsoil backfill after digging a pit before planting seedlings, “moon shape” creation, mulching, fencing, watering seedlings or plants during dry season, farming on the plantation and fire protection measures around the plantation and how all these are employed for better growth of trees in the Upper West Region.