Wetlands international, under sustainable Livelihoods and Biodiversity Project (SLBP) aims to sustain and restore wetlands in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. Four communities were chosen and RIVCHO is the local program manager handling Obi-Ayagha community in Ughelli south LGA of Delta State, which has wetland resources area of about 3 square kilometers, located between the Okpare creeks.
The objective of the project in Obi-Ayagha which started in November 2014 is to demonstrate how restoration of wetlands can be linked to improved livelihoods opportunities and engaging the community on integrated wetland values into development plans, with the ambitions to enhance Eco system and sustainable livelihood through incentive systems such as Bio right. The objective of the project is to link community based Bio rights financing mechanism and restoration/conservation of wetland ecosystem to livelihood improvement in Obi-Ayagha community in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.
A total number of 25 beneficiaries were selected from the community whose jobs are to plant the timber seedlings and were given micro-credit to begin an alternative livelihood. Series of trainings were conducted for the beneficiaries such as; training of livestock rearing, training on crop cultivation, training on timber planting, training of beneficiaries on crop planting were also trained and directed on development of business plans.
At the End of the year the beneficiaries has successfully cleared, till and planted seeds on the land provided by the community, the cash that was given to them was properly used for the purpose it was given and Bio right activities are doing well. Although some of the seedlings could not survive because of the unexpected floods that invaded the forest but this did not hinder the beneficiary’s determination to make sure the project is a progress.
We continue to thank the community leaders and members with whom we interacted during the course of our work for their understanding and cooperation and also staffs of Wetland International for their guidance and understanding in helping us to serve our people and at the same time contribute to the Ecosystem Based Approaches in Obi-Ayagha community.