World Vision Ghana’s (WVG) supported ultra-modern multi-purpose solar-powered limited mechanized irrigation facility has begun to improve household food and nutrition security as well as reduce youth migration in the Kpatinga community.
"All-year-round, cropping opportunities improved food and nutrition security and income among households in Kpatinga—thanks to the irrigation system World Vision constructed. ‘’Now we have 50 farmers doing irrigation farming, cashing in additional income through the sale of vegetables, particularly during the dry season," said Madam Asana Alhassan, a farmer.
According to Madam Alhassan, hitherto, the long drought and erratic rainfall, further worsened by climate change, had lowered the productivity of farmers at Kpatinga drastically, thus increasing food insecurity and widening poverty and gender equality gaps.
“An era when parents used to encourage their children's migration decisions as a desperate measure to meet their financial and livelihood needs has passed. Migration decision was a strategy to decrease household dependence during inactive agricultural seasons”, she added.
"Since the introduction of dry season farming, we (parents) no longer support our children’s decision to migrate to urban cities to undertake head porterage, also known as "Kayayee," because the irrigation facility now provides an opportunity for an additional income and livelihood within the community. She said, aside from reducing youth migration, the facility also reduced the burdens women and girls go through in search of water for household chores. "We no longer trek long distances to fetch water for household usage," Madam Alhassan added.
"We become more vulnerable by living without stable livelihood activities. Rainfall is no longer reliable for farmers to produce enough to feed their families. "The inauguration of the Kpatinga dry season gardening system has renewed our hopes," said, Abubakri, a farmer.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Gushiegu Municipality, Yajah Dawuni Robert, could not hide his joy as he joined World Vision National Director, Mr. Dickens Thunde, to inaugurate the 6-acre solar-powered irrigation system.
He noted that the facility does not only offer all-year-round cropping opportunities for farmers but also serves as a source of portable drinking water for over 500 residents. This has improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene services as well as relieved women and girls from trekking long distances to fetch water for household chores. "This facility is contributing towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 5, and 13," he said.
Before the inauguration of the solar-powered multi-purpose water facility, women, men, and young children, including pupils in Kpatinga, spent an enormous amount of their productive time in search of water. The situation was worse during the dry season, heightening poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, youth migration and WASH issues, among other things.
The MCE commended World Vision Ghana for its continued support and commitment to the most vulnerable people and communities. He urged other communities to adopt dry-season farming to build their resilience against climate change.
The National Director of World Vision Ghana, Mr. Dickens Thunde, said his outfit is committed to helping the most vulnerable children to become responsible and useful to society. “All our interventions, whether it is irrigation, water, income-generating activities, or empowerment, are all geared towards improving children’s education, lives, health, and wellbeing,” said Mr. Thunde. "We always want to make sure that children are the ultimate beneficiaries of all our efforts," he emphasized.
He commended the community for embracing dry season gardening as an alternative livelihood and income-generating activity. He urged them to properly take care of the facility so that its benefits would bring the needed transformation into the community. Thus ensuring food security, income, water, sanitation, and hygiene as well as building the resilience of the community against climate change. He urged other communities to adopt dry-season farming practices to also improve their lot.
In Northern Ghana, where protracted drought and irregular rainfall are causing food insecurity and growing poverty among poor farmers, further development of the water, energy, and technological infrastructure would aid in creating sustainable farming for improved livelihoods and adaptation World Vision Ghana’s supported solar-powered mechanized limited irrigation facility represents an era of change and climate adaptation measures that offer an all-inclusive opportunity for vulnerable farmers to improve and transform their economic and livelihood conditions and build their resilience against climate change.
World Vision is a Christian relief organization that focuses on helping the most vulnerable children overcome poverty and experience the fullness of life. We help children of all backgrounds, even in the most dangerous places, inspired by our Christian faith.