Patrick watering his dad's farm

Solar-powered irrigation pump makes learning easy for children in Burankoun

Fetching water is a routine chore for any child growing up in the Burankoun community. Water is a necessity for every household but it is not readily available.

Patrick, a 15-year-old JH2 Pupil from the Burankoun community tells us that "for the past two years, I always help my father to water his two-acre onion farm after school and during weekends by using watering cans. Because of the weight of the cans, I always get so tired after watering and most times, I am not able to do my homework or study at home and sometimes I don’t usually wake up early to go to school”.

Like many other children his age, Patrick would have to walk sometimes up to three kilometres to fetch water for the household. One trip for water was never enough and thus, with no means of transportation, children like Patrick would often be required to make multiple rounds before going to school.

World Vision's Garu-Tempane Area Programme in Ghana identified the high level of absenteeism and tardiness in nearby schools. The Area Programme found that children were often too tired to attend class. This was because parents needed water for their farms during the dry season, which is often a difficult time in the northern parts of Ghana. Families like the one Patrick belongs to find themselves without any sustenance. As such, there is a need to embark on dry season farming.

The challenge was finding a way for parents to embark on this lucrative venture without compromising the education of their children. World Vision constructed a dugout at the Burankoun dam in 2019 to help households to undertake all-year-round farming on 64 acres of land. Given the difficulty farmers go through to get water into their farmlands, the Area Programme also supported farmers with a solar-powered mechanised pump that can pump about 9,000 litres of water every day to enable them regularly water their crops meeting the minimum water requirements. In addition, the Area Programme continued to fence the 64 acres of irrigable land area for dry season vegetable production.

This is what Patrick had to say about the pump: ‘’Thank you World Vision for lessening my burden. Watering using this pump has become fun and easy. I only need to dip the pump into the water and start watering the crops in the garden. I am so glad this has come to help me and all other children in this community. Before this pump, I used to spend about two to three hours each day watering the crops in the garden. But with this pump, I can use less than 30 minutes for this same piece of land. I will now be able to have more time for my studies at home. I am hopeful that this solar pump available will help me to learn to become a doctor In the future. God bless you World Vision for your timely intervention!”