February 25, 2024

Five Counties Benefits from Training and Livelihood Programmes

THROUGH SIXTEEN NGO’S UNDER UNDP SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM IN LIBERIA

Mornrovia, Liberia – In order to help women’s and youth groups, women’s groups, international water protection, waste management, mitigation of climate change, biodiversity, and the restoration of degraded land, the UNDP Small Grant Programme was implemented in Liberia.

Speaking to a group of media representatives, Samuel Boakai, the project manager for the UNDP SGP in Liberia, stated that sixteen non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations in Bong, Montserrado, Nimba, Grand Cape Mount, and Bomi Counties had benefited directly from the grant given to projects that protected the country’s mangroves and other endangered species. They also played a crucial role in maintaining the east Nimba reserve by reforesting and restoring land in the implementing counties, which had faced serious environmental difficulties.

He emphasized the positive impact of the livelihood component of the project on these communities, stating, “The UNDP SGP has significantly contributed to the protection of the environment, with a particular focus on critical areas like the mangroves in Liberia and the east Nimba reserve. The livelihoods of the people in these counties have been positively impacted through the implementation of various projects under the programme, helping with training in soap making and conservation farming activities.

At the press conference, Mr. Boakai provided data on the program’s reach and efficacy. In UNDP SGP-implementing counties, over 2,500 direct beneficiaries received specialised training in conservation farming, reforestation, land degradation, biodiversity, and environmental preservation. He said that through statewide awareness efforts, radio broadcasts, and large-scale training sessions, the programme also benefited over 60,800 indirect recipients.

Boakai emphasized that the livelihood component of the project was successful in reaching over 1,000 of the previously mentioned direct beneficiaries. These beneficiaries included women and other marginalised groups who gained significant benefits from learning how to make soap and country clothes, practicing conservation farming, and taking part in community-saving and loan programmes.

Currently, about 8 acres of degraded land have been filled in, saving over 15 lives annually from the mines that both legal and artisanal miners in Bong County were exploiting. Fresh maize, eddoes, peanuts, cassava, rice, cabbage, pepper, and other vegetable crops are grown on the farms of Nimba, Bomi, and Bong Counties and are partially sold to the market. In an effort to restore the forest and swamp, over 100,000 cocoa trees, forest trees, and mangroves have been planted in Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, and Montserrado. They have also been able to plant more than 10,000 palm seedlings as part of a long-term livelihood initiative that promotes and protects biodiversity, Mr. Boakai continued.

During the press conference, the UNDP SGP manager unveiled phase 8 of the programme, which will begin in July of next year. This announcement signals a new partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on gazetting and safeguarding essential mangrove ecosystems across the nation, which are vital to coastal ecosystems because they serve as natural barriers against erosion and provide habitat for a variety of marine life.

According to him, there have been noticeable gains in environmental conservation in Liberia’s communities, and the UNDP SGP has not only had a beneficial effect locally but has also been instrumental in raising public awareness and capability.

He concluded that although environmental issues still plague Liberia, the UNDP Small Grant Programme’s accomplishments demonstrate the value of teamwork in advancing sustainable development and safeguarding the country’s natural resources. These highlights highlight the significance of global collaboration and community engagement in tackling urgent global concerns.

About Author