Samuel Mbura Writes: 1 Village, 1 Dam; an effective policy Northerners must support for dev’t
So much has been said about the policy of 1 village, 1 Dam before, during and after the elections. Some individuals still hold divergent views about this policy that it isn’t feasible.
The popular mockery of this policy was during the campaign season where one of the politicians, Dr. Henry Lartey said, the dams would be breeding grounds for mosquitoes. But I don’t know what scientific basis he rode on to make his assessment.
Indeed, It is a fact that there is only one rainy season in the Northern sector making it impossible for farmers in this zone to embark on an all year round farming. A few have the opportunity to have access to dams for irrigation.
The rains come between May to late September in Northern agricultural sector each year. Meanwhile, majority in this part of Ghana are peasant farmers and dwell on that for a living .
So what happens to the remaining vacant months during the dry season in Northern Ghana? Most of the active population migrate to southern Ghana for greener pastures thereby imposing more burden in the urban areas in the south of Ghana .
It isn’t their own making that they have to travel out of the North but unemployment is the major factor!
Areas in the Upper East region such as Bawku to the East and Navrongo to the West are doing well in production of basic food stuff like; onions, pepper, tomatoes, garden eggs, cabbage, lettuce, green pepper, coco yam, fruits and a host of agricultural produce through irrigation.
I started a study on dry season farming in these areas last year and was amazed to see the major agricultural strides made by farmers in Jantia, a farming community in Bawku just a river divided the community to Burkina Faso. Farmers there used the dug out system to draw water from the river to supply water through water hose connected to water pumping machines they produced all manner of food stuffs during the dry season.
The white Volta Tributary in this area has also contributed massively to dry season farming in the Upper East Region.
Youth in these areas I spoke to told me ,” we rather prefer staying at home here to farm than to go to down south for work, we are making a living with this dry season farming”.
Most families in these areas do not have to buy food stuff in the market again. A mother remarked during a conversation that ” I now buy only salt from the market because I have food stuff in my farm” .
The scenarios above are just a minute of the efforts put in place by these farmers with their own resources, how about government intervening, imagine the boost that would be given to the dry season farming .
Away from the Bawku areas, another major area that is effectively engaged in this dry season farming is Navrongo and its environs. The farmers derive their water source from Tono Dam. The weather condition in this area most times look different from a typical Northern Community because of the green vegetation. I spent sometime in this area over the weekend just to monitor the activities of farmers in these areas and the impact made to the livelihood of residents here and it was impressive!
Riding from UER capital Town, Bolgatanga to Navrongo, I noticed that some agricultural products were displayed on the roadside for sale by some men and women as shown in the picture. I saw mangoes,cabbage,green pepper,garden eggs, tomatoes etc.
I felt I wasn’t in the Upper East region because, there was no difference in what is happening in Navrongo to the southern farming communities. There was cool breeze blowing from all angles!
These farmers selling their produce from the irrigation farming averagely bag home Ghs50 to support their families.
So with the agricultural developments in the few areas I have mentioned, imagine if the Vea irrigation project was given massive attention and other dams spread across the upper east region, the impact it would have made on the livelihood of the unemployed active age in this region.
I have painstakingly made efforts to visit these areas and know very well that if the people in the northern sector really rally behind government on this one village, one dam policy it would contribute to bridging the developmental gap between the north and south of Ghana.
It would also ensure food security and improve climate change.
Samuel Mbura | kapital971.com