GHANA: Farmers pool resources against climate change

Farmers near the banks of the White Volga river in Ghana are implementing bold initiatives to combat the increased frequency of flooding due to climate change. With the help of the Centre for Ecological Agriculture and Livelihoods (CEAL) , diverse tribal communities in the region are pulling together to survive the devastating surges of water when the nearby Bagre Dam overspills.

CEAL helps farmers respond to early flood alerts and helps with risk assessment – those crops that may be in the flood zone are harvested early if possible and farmers salvage what they can before the water arrives. In addition to this short-term measure, CEAL gathers together all the communities in the region and with their cooperation develops plans to mitigate future flood risks with the bold measure of sharing land. Diverse communities help each other cultivate land on higher ground and when the floods recede leaving fertile, rich soil, that is then shared together and cultivated with a cropping cycle that fits with the expected flood season.

“The initiative brings together community members such as chiefs, opinion leaders, family heads, landowners, youth and women’s group leaders and settler farmers all to discuss and find a way forward,” says Issifu Sulemana Jobila. “They discuss and help each other through community climate change vulnerability farm land sharing and redistribution, early cropping, compound farming and post-flood cropping.”

CEAL helps farming communities identify potential flood boundaries and assess their vulnerabilities, all in addition to agro-ecological plant nutrition and protection advice and support.

Di Dana, Chief of the Dibisi farming community under the Kpasemkpe Traditional Area, reveals that in the face of such challenges, all of the communities in the region are supporting each other: “We are all the same people. We have intermarried and we are one people: mothers, sons, uncles, daughters, cousins and nieces. We can help each other and do it easily.”

For more information on the work of CEAL, see: