Friday, October 26, 2012

Eight Deprived Communities in Ghana Take Destiny to Own Hands

A decision making for climate resilient livelihoods and risk reduction training workshop aimed to build capacity of vulnerable communities in the northern and Upper East region has ended in Bolgatanga with a called on the stakeholders in development to as a matter of urgency integrate climate change into community development projects.
The training workshop organised by CARE International under the auspices of Adaptation Learning Programme in Africa (ALP) used participatory Scenario Planning approach to support eight participating vulnerable communities including Garu, Farfar, Tariganga, Akara Kugri in the Upper East region and Zambulugu, Jawani,  Demia and Saamini in the northern region to develop climate response livelihood strategies.
This is not only to prepare these poor communities to adapt to climate variabilities and climate change but also to build their capacities to be able to recognise the underlying causes of their vulnerabilities to help them design coping strategies to effectively adapt to climate change and climate variability.
Addressing the participants, the Manager of ALP, Mr. Romanus Gyan said that, the weather pattern has become erractic and climate systems now unpredictable. This, he said makes communities whose livelihoods largely depended on weather more vulnerable.
Community Strategy mapping, Picture: Npong Francis
He said, it is against this background that CARE International Adaptation Learning Programme in Africa (ALP) was developed to support poor and vulnerable communities in Africa to effectively adapt to climate change and climate variability.
Working in partnership with local civil society and public institutions, the Adaptation Learning programme is being implemented in 40 communities across some selected African countries including Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, and Niger.
The training workshop assisted the participating communities to develop the most important climate change adaptation strategies after identifying the underlying causes of their vulnerabilities. The strategies proposed to be implemented by these communities to help them cope with the changing climatic events include tree planting, dry season gardening, livestock rearing, use of organic manure and engage income generating activities.
Other strategies these communities proposed to adapt were; drought and disease resistant crops, early maturing crops, formation of community savings and loan schemes, encourage the youth in vocational skills projects, advocate for good road network to connect them to markets centers  and construction of strong foundation for their houses to withstand floods and rainstorms.
These proposed strategies they said would not help to supplement their income but also improve the soil fertility and protect the environment. Speaking to the Enquirer after the training workshop, the National Advocacy Manager for Care International Ghana, Mr. Baba Tuahiru said diversification of livelihoods activities was the sure way that can reposition the poor communities to be able to cope with the effects of climate change and climate variability.
According to him, ALP is currently being piloted in some communities in the northern and Upper East region of Ghana considered to be vulnerable and that the programme is empowering the people to not only diversify, design coping strategies but also demand for accountable from duty bearers.
The Monitory and Evaluation officer for Care International Ghana, Mr. Thomas Ayamga who took the participating communities through the processes of Community Adaptation Planning (CAAP) helping communities to design their strategic plans would help them redirect their attention to the most important and pressing development projects that can help improve their living conditions.
section of participants at the training workshop. Picture Npong Francis
The governance officer for Care International Ghana Mr. Avura Francis urged the government institutions to always consult communities when they intend to undertake development projects in communities. He said this help them to design such projects to feed into the community development plan else the projects might impact positively on the livelihoods of the people.

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