|Date||10 Jun 2015|
The Muni river is a large river, with its largest part in the Winneba municipality in the Central Region of Ghana. It stretches along the “Manko” mountain range and it is a very important source of drinking and irrigation water for the people in the Winneba municipality, and for important wildlife species within its catchment. For example, the bushbuck, which is hunted for the famous annual “Aboakyer” festival of the people of Winneba. Due to activities like bush burning by nomadic cattle farmers and biomass removal for charcoal burning, the mangrove around the Muni lagoon is being decimated, and the watershed of the river has been almost completely stripped, leaving a major part of the river bare. This has resulted in the destruction of spawning grounds, high water temperature which threatens spawning efficiency, high evaporation rates, and increased stress on wildlife especially in the dry season. Illegal fishing activities in the lagoon also threaten the survival and sustainable breeding of fish species like tilapia zilii, Africa catfish and herrings in the lagoon. Immediate measures are needed to arrest and reverse trends of illegal fishing, biomass over-harvesting and bush burning causing deforestation, habitat destruction and poor water quality of the river.
By engaging youth groups, school environmental stewardship clubs and churches, the project aims at planting 1000 mangrove tree species around the Muni lagoon. The project will also begin the restoration of the stripped watershed of the Muni river in the Winneba municipality. This will be achieved by planting a total of 3000 indigenous tree species along the banks of a 600 m section of the river in five (5) strips on each side (i.e. 1500 trees on each side).
In a whole, this project will make a little contribute to the realization of the forest reforestation and climate change mitigation plan of Ghana by planting a total of 4000 trees estimated to sequester about 302,445 tCO2 in 15 years (using guidelines from the CarbonFix Standards and conservative values for the Senna siamea tree species). Also, this project will supplement efforts by the Municipal Forest Services Division and Municiapl Fisheries Department to educate stakeholders on the importance of protecting the Muni mangrove, the effects of fishing in it, and the need to preserve a watershed for the river.
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