Monday, September 28, 2015

OXFAM Ghana Tackles Climate Change Issues In Northern Ghana

OXFAM Ghana, an international charity organisation– is implementing a three-year Climate-Resilient Agricultural and Food Systems (CRAFS) project in Northern Ghana, targeting a total of 4,500 farm households who are living in poor conditions.
CRAFS is a three-year project (April 2015 – March 2018) and it is being implemented in four (4) districts in Northern Ghana. The districts include East Mamprusi (Northern Region), Garu-Tempane (Upper East Region), Nandom and Daffiama-Bussie-Issah (Upper West Region) covering a total of 20 communities. 

“The goal of the project is to contribute to the fight against poverty and the negative effects of climate change, by enhancing the livelihood security and capacity for community-based adaptation measures for the most vulnerable in Northern Ghana”, Mohammed Anwar-Sadat Adam, Programmes and Campaigns Manager at OXFAM Ghana said this at an orientation and training workshop in Tamale.  

The training and orientation workshop which was organized by OXFAM Ghana in collaboration with the Media Advocates for Sustainable Environment (MASE-Ghana), brought together over 30 media practitioners, journalists and other civil society organizations.
Advocacy Officer with OXFAM Ghana Mrs. Lilian Mwintome Kuutiero explained that, the workshop sought to create awareness of the CRAFS project and its objectives, and to enhance media practitioners understanding of climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
She said it was also intended to build the communication and reporting skills of participants on climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction, and to create an opportunity for OXFAM to work with a network of media practitioners in communicating communities’ experiences.

Mr. Adam enumerated a number of projects being implemented by OXFAM Ghana in the regions and districts targeted at addressing climate change effects on the livelihoods of farmers. He envisaged that, by March 2018, 3,150 women of the total of 4,500 beneficiaries would have understood the likely impact of climate change on their lives and livelihoods.  

Cross section of participants at workshop
Mr. Adam also projected that, by the end of the project, the 4,500 small-scale farmers in all 20 beneficiary communities would have had access to improved farming methods and demonstrating climate sensitive models of livelihoods which are economically viable and environmentally friendly.

Furthermore, about 100 community savings and safety net initiatives he believed would have been strengthened, whereas 4,500 women and men small-scale farmers being able to secure and improve the fast-depleting natural resource base which their livelihoods depended on.

Till date, OXFAM Ghana has spent about 200,000 British Pound Sterling on the CRAFS project. Whereas £12,000 is being spent to support 100 people to establish tree nurseries and train 100 people to construct energy-efficient stoves, £27,400 is also spent to support people to diversify their livelihoods through trainings, create community saving groups, and enable farmers to make compost and use water resources during the dry season in a sustainable manner.

Moreover, £62,100 is being spent to raise community awareness on the effects of climate change through mass public communication, establish two Climate Information Centres, train 100 farmers in climate sensitive techniques, and create field schools in the four beneficiary districts.

Mrs. Kuutiero further explained that series of meetings have also been held with 20 communities and local authorities in the four districts to enable local people to identify key challenges they face and support them to work with the authorities to address these challenges.

According to her, the organisation has also raised community awareness on climate change and how community people could cope with erratic weather conditions. “We have disseminated 10,000 leaflets, working with five radio stations, advertising on 45 billboards, running clubs in 25 schools and training 30 journalists to report on the issues”, she noted.

Oxfam Ghana is an international confederation of 19 organisations networked in over 90 countries with the common aim of building a future free from the injustices of poverty. Since 1986, Oxfam has invested in water and sanitation, education, agriculture and other sectors in Ghana, especially Northern Ghana. 

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