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Thousands of jobs to be created through reforestation
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A total of 30,000 jobs is to be created through the implementation of a National Forest Plantation Development Programme (NFPDP).

The programme, to begin in 2010, would initially be implemented in 100 districts and 300 jobs would be created in each district, thus creating a total of 30,000 jobs.

In 2011 and beyond, the NFPDP would cover all the 170 districts creating a total of 51,000 jobs, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Henry Ford Kamel, said in Parliament on Monday.

It was in response to a question on plans to expand the acres of forest plantations established under the Presidential Special Initiative on forestation by the previous government.

The Deputy Minister said Cabinet had already given approval to this plantation programme and modalities were being developed for its implementation in 2010.

"The main objective of this plantation programme is to increase the tree cover of the country through massive recruitment of reforestation work gangs, mostly unemployed youth, to improve environmental quality, reduce the wood deficit situation and provide avenues for the country to tap the emerging benefits from climate change markets under the Clean Development Mechanism and Carbon Sequestration," he said.

Mr Kamel said funding sources for the programme had been identified as monies from the Mining Levy, HIPC the District Assemblies Common Fund and the Mineral Development Fund among others.

In response to another question on when government would start mining iron ore deposit at Sheini in the Zabzugu/Tatale district, he said a company, Inland Ghana Mines Limited, had been granted a six months non-exclusive Due Diligence Permit over the area.

He said should the due diligence confirm the suitability of the grades and tonnage available, the company would proceed to prepare a feasibility study report.

Mr Kamel said after the study, a mining lease might be granted to cover the mine but until the feasibility report was received from the company, no definite time lines could be given.

Mr Kamel said the Sheini deposits were located in the Northern Region, about 160 km east of Tamale and the deposits contained total resources of 1,270 million tonnes at 30 per cent iron which could be upgraded using beneficiation.

He said some 200 million tones of the deposit were estimated to contain a higher grade of 45 percent iron.

He said the requirements for the ore beneficiation and transportation of the ore were major challenges but it was expected that energy from the Bui dam and other sources and the development of the lake transport system would help address the problems.
Source: GNA

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