Rural Voices

Subtitle

In the Wake of Climate: Experts Call for Research into Agriculture 
Francis Npong, Tamale

Agricultural experts at a two-day training workshop on food security have called for a well research into disease resistance and high yielding food crops to serve the nation from the looming famine.

 

According to the experts, food production in the country was diminishing steadily because some food crops could not withstand new generation of crop diseases which would need a well research to serve local farmers from calamities.

 

“Climate change is adding new dimension to the failing agriculture and has tendency to reduce food production by 67 per cent”, they observed.

 

They observed that if Ghana failed to develop new technologies through research the country is likely to suffer from extreme famine in the near future.

 

 

“Our farmers are continually relying on disease prone local grains”.

It is against this background that they have recommended joint research effort between the government and crop seeds production institutions to come out with high yielding, diseases resistance and short period fruiting crops to enable farmers cope with the climate change effects.

 

The workshop which was organized by Community Life Improvement Programme (CLIP), a local NGO championing climate change campaign in northern region was aimed to develop strategies that would help ensure food security in the wake of climate change.

 

 

The participants include Agricultural extension agents,  agric and climate change experts, seed production institutions, NGOs in Agriculture, environment and climate change among others deliberated on climate change and coping strategies for local farmers.

 

It was also used to discuss issues affecting food security in Ghana and how to mitigate effects of climate change on agric to ensure sustained food supply in the country.

 

Speaking in an interview with the Enquirer, CLIP personnel in-charge of Food and Security Mr. Lukman Yussif explained that the workshop was parts of efforts to improve food production.

 

It was also to help prepare local farmers against climate change and adopt coping strategies to sustain food production and supply throughout the country.

 

He explained that research show that food production particularly rice and maize has reduced significantly for the past two years because of non availability of improved seeds, coupled with emergence of climate change hence the need for the country to prepare her farmers against effects of climate change.

 

He observed with concerns that majority of farmers were planting un-improved seeds or seeds which qualities could not be determining coupled with unavaibility of farm inputs dwindling food production.

 

He however appealed to the government to ensure that crop seeds supply to farmers are satisfied, diseases resistance, and high yielding to ensure continue supply of food in the country. 

Assembly Women Aspirants Face Socio-Cultural Challenges

 

By:Francis Npong, Gulinkpegu

 

The Assembly women aspirants in culturally-torn or segregated society particularly in northern region where women play “shadow role” or neglected and deny opportunity to take part in decision making process and in development are being prepared to face a unique challenges during the upcoming district assemblies’ elections as they face their male counterparts.

 

With funding support from European Union (EU), under the “Support for Women in Elections, (SWOPE)”, Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), a gender and development sensitive Non-governmental organization has organized ground-breaking community platforms for some women aspirants in the Yendi Municipality not only to disabuse community minds about women in leadership but also to showcase their talents and achievements.

 

 

The assembly women aspirants in the region are faced with various challenges including financial, socio-cultural and transportation difficulties that impede the campaign activities.Speaking to the Enquirer in an interview after a durbar of chiefs and people of Gulinkpegu Electoral Area in the Mion Constituency, the field officer of GDCA-SWOPE programme Madam Alhassan Faidatu pointed out that women face unique socio-cultural challenges that prevent them from taking part in decision making processes in society.

 

Women she said are spite in male dominated society of the region, a situation that needs a lot of time, energy, and resource to correct to pave way for women with leadership potentials to vie for both local and national leadership positions.  “Socio-cultural factors particularly in northern region put off women potentials because women are not allowed to practice their ideas gear towards transformation of society.

 

They are barred by socio-cultural norms to take up leadership positions or to participate development programmes. This however affected physical and spiritual development of women in north Ghana”, she stressed.Madam Faidatu indicated that women are good and influential leaders and could support the development of the nation when given the chance to participate in decision making processes at local and national levels.

 

The discrimination, marginalization and exclusion of women in local and national platforms were partly responsible for the lack of development in the country, she argued. She said it was against this background that GDCA in collaboration with SWOPE is supporting the course of women and advocating for increase number of assembly women for equal representation of gender in decision making processes saying the disparities in leadership in Ghana was too wide and needed to be closed.

 

The Yendi Municipal Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) Alhaji Alhassan Sulemana appealed to chiefs and people to desist from criminalizing and attacking women who aspire for a position.

 

He observed that the situation was not encouraging girl child education and women development. He however urged community members to support women to aspire higher position because women were sensitive to development and would be able to move the development of the community forwards when given the chance.

 

 

The Assembly woman aspirant for Gulinkpegu Electoral Area Ms Adam Habiba who complained of physical and verbal attacks and various accusations that put fears in them promised to champion.She pleaded with community leaders to ensure a fair play ground for all aspirants including women to the forthcoming district assemblies’ elections.

 

She said the constant intimidation, harassment and physical and verbal attacks from her male counterparts do not promote democracy where respect, responsibility, accountability and community interest is key.She thanked GDCA for the support and urged her colleagues women not to be deterred by the threats and accusations to declare their interest in the forthcoming district assemblies elections.  

GDCA Honours Enquirer's Reporter (Enquirer, 21 March 2011)

 

The Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), a non-for profit making organization based in the northern has honored the Northern Regional reporter of the Enquirer, Francis Npong for his dedication to issues affecting communities, women and children’s development in the Northern region.

 

A cash prize which was handed out to the reporter was an initiative by the organization to recognized hardworking individual journalists and media houses for their role in projecting women and children issues, security, socio-economic and situations relating to community development in the region.

 

The award is to encourage journalists in the northern region to project the issues affecting the region to attract the attention of policy makers to address the situation. The award was done after the GDCA-Media review meeting, a peer review mechanism to enable the organization plan and restructure its activities to meet the growing demand of their services.

 

The meeting which brought together journalists from various media houses in Tamale is the first of its kind in the region where activities of the organization are brought for critique to enhance its services to communities.Ghana Developing Community Association has subsidiary organizations including School for Life (SFL), Community Livelihood Improvement Programme (CLIP), Dalun simili Center, (DSC), and Empowerment for Life (E4L), Youth Empowerment for Life (YEfL), and Local Mobilization (LOM).

 

The Enquirer’s Francis Npong is the first Journalist to win this award since it was instituted a year ago by the organization and aimed to get journalists involved in community activities and advocacy.Speaking after the presentation, the Executive Director of GDCA Mr. Osman Rahman lauded the editorial team of the Enquirer newspaper for devoting spaces to national and community issues.

 

The Director praised our reporter for his hard work and appealed to journalists across the country to refocus their reportage on issues affecting community livelihoods, human rights and development, good governance and democracy.Mr. Rahman who expressed worry over the concentration of media on political issues said it was done to the detriment of important issues affecting people’s livelihoods at the grass roots level.

 

He said GDCA with support of the media could achieve a lot in the area of water, sanitation, good governance, micro credit, women empowerment, gender and children’s education, health and people’s social wellbeing.

 

Our reporter last year was adjudged the overall winner of an international climate change blogging competition organized by the European Journalism Center (EJC), the competition which about 960 journalists participating. He also won the regional Environmental Award by the Environmental protection Agency (EPA), and a proud winner of 2009 Peace, and Sustainable Development award by the Tamale metropolitan Assembly.

 

He holds diploma in journalism, and marketing from the Institute of business management and Journalism, certificate in  Climate change Diplomacy from Diplo Foundation (Geneva), Certificate, Decentralized Governance from the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN), Certificate, Human rights journalism (Journalism for Human Rights (JHR)), conflict reporting, among other qualifications.

 

He is an executive member of the Media for Sustainable Environment, and a blogger.
He attended many local conferences and published so many articles on water, sanitation, environment, peace, development, political, social and human rights stories.  

 

GDCA-CLIP Introduces new Technology to Provide Water to Communities

 

By: Francis Npong,
 
As water crisis hit rural communities in Northern region, a Non-for-Profit Making Organization, Ghana Developing Community Association (GDCA) has introduced low cost technology to provide water to underprivileged rural dwellers.
 
 
The technology which makes use of local materials is part of coping mechanisms to climate change. The organization is currently implementing the programme in Yendi, Karaga and Gushegu where water situation was critical.
 
 
Under the technology, simple tools are used to construct or dig river bed wells, and boreholes which are fixed with hand pumps for easy drawing of water. The initiative is part of efforts to meet theMillennium Development Goals on water.
 
 
The organization had also introduced “sand damming” to provide water to these communities that were in dire need of the drinking water and for household chores.
 
 
The programme Manager of the Community Livelihood Improvement (CLIP) Mr. Illiasu Adam who disclosed this during GDCA- media review meeting said that the practice is done at underprivileged communities in rural Ghana where evidence of climate change and water crisis is obvious.
 
 
He explained that the initiative was taken after the organization had deliberated on the government water policy which was realized would not benefit communities with the population less 300.
 
 
The programme manager said that there was the need to support these poor communities because the government was concentrating on urban and peri-urban communities in the provision of water to the detriment of rural communities who were without portable drinking water.
 
 
He said that the community members are trained to assembled and dismantled pumps fixed on river bed wells to enable them fix them at the time of needs. Pumps are often fixed to river bed wells during dry season and remove when the rains set in whereas clay sacks are used to create blockage of river tributaries to prevent water from run out of the river.
 
 
The system, the programme manager which is now been used to irrigate vegetables pointed out that was improving the socio-economic conditions of the people.
 
 
The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Developing communities Association (GDCA) Mr. Osman Rahman said the organization was committed to reducing poverty and improving socio-economic conditions of rural dwellers.
 
 
He said it was aganst this background that various initiatives are deplored to meet the target of the organization.