Sekondi-Takoradi’s Twin City is Ghana’s third largest city, after Accra and Kumasi. Sekondi-Takoradi is gradually becoming a hub for oil and gas activities in the West African sub-region and is now a destination for economic migrants originating from other parts of Ghana and the sub-region.
The city’s population of nearly one million inhabitants growing at a rate of 4.8% annually has spurred housing and infrastructure development to meet the demand for such services. Unfettered expansion of built-up areas is crowding out green spaces and the remaining arable land in the twin city. This has resulted in unmitigated environmental degradation such as erosion, soil sealing, bio diversity loss, the depletion of plant stock, rising urban heat and food insecurity by some measure. The consequences of accelerating urban development are manifested in overall decrease in the functions and services provided by urban green spaces.
Motivated to reverse the negative impacts of urban development patterns on people and ecosystems of the twin-city, Goshen Global Vision (GGV), with funding support from the United States Forest service, is collaborating with the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) and the Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly (EKMA) to implement the Urban Forestry Project titled “Greening the Sekondi Takoradi Twin City” project. Dr, Festus Nero of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi facilitated the creation of awareness on the values of urban forestry in these contemporary times, tree inventory, tree species selection and soil analysis and the recommendation of the “Zai approach” which has been attributed to about 92% tree survival rate.
Our greatest top notch has been the use of indigenous and scientific methods to break dormancy of native species ranging from the use of hot, warm and luke warm water, coconut solution and other methods which gives us over 95% seeds viability germination rate.
STMA contributed land with all-year-round water supply to establish the tree seedling nursery a. Additionally, they detailed the Metropolitan Parks and Garden and the Farmer Field School, Senior horticulturist Officer of Parks and Gardens and yearly allocation of National Service personnel to support the management of the urban forestry nursery.
We also work in close collaborations with the following in the 2 Assemblies;
- Department of Food and Agriculture
- Urban Roads
- Physical Planning Department
- Ghana Education Service
- Forestry Commission
- Wildlife Division
The project is aimed at building capacity for restoring degraded urban green spaces and for boosting urban food production while utilizing climate-smart agriculture practices. Currently in its second year of implementation.
The project has accomplished the following up to date:
- Trained over 50 volunteers who are mostly women and the youth in identification and mapping of urban green spaces;
- Established an integrated climate-smart agriculture demonstration farm and farmer field school model to fit the urban context;
- supplied over 12,000 fruit tree seedlings to urban dwellers to enhance urban gardening and address food security issues;
- Trained over 70 farmers in organic agriculture practices who are mostly women and the youth in collaboration with the University of Cape Coast
- GGV through consultation with STMA and EKMA have identified two (2) communities to pilot Village Savings and Loans Associations in the Urban Setting.
- Planted 13,000 ornamentals and trees in the following areas in Sekondi-Takoradi:
- Road Median from Appollo to Nkroful Junction with the Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly
- Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly’s Head Office
- Ghana Education Service, Head Office
- Sekondi Youth Center
- Road Median from Fijai junction to Effia Nkwanta Hospital
- Adiembra Secondary School,
- University of Mines and Technology – Essikadu
- Fijai SHS
- Rev. Pinanko Basic School
- The Church of Pentecost, Tanokrom
- Tessark International School
- Axim road cluster of schools
- Takoradi Technical University Road Medians
- School parks and public spaces in 13 communities through EKMA NADMO
- Institutions, households, schools and communities in SHAMA District Assemblies through NADMO.
- To enhance urban and rural climate-smart vegetable, mushroom production, catfish rearing and supply through our Agric-business sector AD Goshen Investments.
- To provide the youth with hands-on farming skills and business start-up tools for sustainable entrepreneurship in urban agriculture;
- To establish demonstration farms, formally referred to as “Farmer Field Schools”.
- Boost the income level and credit access to the urban poor through the Village Savings and Loans Associations.
The demonstration farms are designed to serve as training centers on organic and climate-smart agriculture practices to fit the urban context.
The curriculum includes climate-smart agriculture, hydroponics (soil-less farming), home and rooftop gardening techniques and vegetable production.
There is also training into new techniques for soil and seed treatment, plant propagation/nursery preparation, application of organic manure and pesticide, pest and disease identification and mitigation, including integrated pest management.
- To orient and train the youth (especially students) into becoming agents of change in urban agriculture and climate change advocacy;
- To increase organic vegetable production to meet the growing needs of the population;
- Develop the value chain to open up the industry and diffuse the contribution of participants beyond production.
- Students in basic schools;
- Students in Senior High School ;
- Interested youth in the communities – unemployed or pursing supplementary income;
- Student researchers – study and develop new approaches/theories for field application
The project has pursued the following activities over the period:
- General cooperation agreements some schools in the twin city, mostly Senior High Schools;
- Specific capacity building agreement with the Agriculture Department of a Senior High School aimed at practical knowledge and skills transfer towards the establishment of climate-smart institutional farms to complement the theory-heavy curriculum and generate interest and income for studies;
- Embarking on periodic greening and tree planting drive in earmarked zones, including school lands and green spaces eg the youth center in the city;
- General sensitization on the nutritional and environmental benefits of organic foods.
- In the process of setting up a weekend market for the farmers
- Establishing market linkages for the farmers and helping to improve the value chain