Tuesday, March 31, 2015

CARE International Extends ALP Project for Two More Years

Romanus Gyang
CARE INTERNATIONAL,  an international NGO operating in Ghana has extended its Community Based Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP) for Africa by two more years to further address existing development challenges such as food and income security, poverty, disasters, diseases, environmental degradation and women marginalization among others.

The five (5) year ALP programme which started in 2010 in Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya and Niger and was expected to exit in this year 2015, is now extended to 2017 for all the target countries except Mozambique.

The ALP Programme Manager for CARE Ghana, Romanus Gyang at seperate meetings in Gambanga and Gara-Tempane to reflect on the successes chalked by the programme in the beneficiary communities, hinted that the ALP programme which was supposed to exit in January 2015 is now given a two more year extension.

So far, eight (8) disaster prone communities in the Upper East and Northern Regions of Ghana are benefiting from the ALP programme. They include; Jawani, Saamini, Zambulugu and Dimia all in the East Mamprusi District of the Northern Region and Akara, Farfar, Kugri and Tariganga also in the Garu-Tempane District of the Upper East Region.

Mr. Romanus Gyang disclosed that the ALP programme by CARE International was fashioned to combat climate change and build the capacity of vulnerable people in sub-saharan Africa to adapt to the impact of climate change. It is also to influence the incorporation of Community Based Adaptation (CBA) into goverment policies and programmes.

The CBA framework he indicated has four inter-relating strategies which include the building of resilient livelihood to improve cultivation of variety of crops such as onion, pepper, okro, tomatoes and early maturing cassava among others to mitigate the impact of climate change. Most of these communities are now into dry season farming for the cultivation of the aforementioned crops. CARE International also provided the communities with Water Pumping Machines for the dry season farming.

The second strategy is about Disaster Risk Reductions Strategy which is integrated into the district development plan and aimed at protecting the development investments or livelihoods of the people from any form of disaster be it rainstorm, floods, fire or draughts and to also make their districts or communities more resilient to climate change.  

The third strategy as outlined by Mr. Romanus Gyang was about Building Local Organisational Capacities (also known as Adaptive Capacity) which is also aimed at building capacity of community people to have the requisite knowledge to act in the rightway, design their own strategies to bridge development gabs and respond to climate change impacts and the fourth strategy is about Poverty Reduction Strategies which also is empwering the local women to play critical roles in reducing the impact of climate change and also increase thier incomes.

The ALP programme according to the Programme Manager had created a strong collaboration between district assemblies or duty bearers and the local people towards promoting common development goals.

Farmers with early maturing cassava
With the Community Based Adaptation strategy, development interventions are now decided or designed based on the understanding of the current and future impacts of climate change. At the moment, every development activity or projects executed by the district assemblies are determined by or done with the explicit concern of the people.

In further broadening the knowledge base of the people on climate change, CARE International under the Community Based Adaptation has established Climate Information Centres each in the two districts to educate the people on climate dynamics.

The District Coordinators for Gambaga and Garu-Tempane, Zakariah Abudulai and Philip D. Baazeng respectively in seperate speeches read for their District Chief Executives commended CARE International introduction of the ALP which they admitted had broought unimaginable transformation in teh beneficiary communities.

They indicated that the initiative had made the work of the assemblies very easy in terms of planning and winning the support of the community people.

The ALP according to the Coordinating Directors had also helped the assemblies to design several implementable disaster risk reduction and mitigation plans and also helped them to encourage the communities to plant more trees within localities.

There were other presentations by the various District Planning Officers and communities monitoring teams on the general performance of the ALP programme and how it had impacted on the lives of the people and the communities at large.

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