That they said would help improve the livelihoods of the people in the Kassena-Nankana West District in the Upper East Region.
SWOPA is working with 400 women who are into pottery, basket weaving, wall painting, tie and dye and leather works, and depends heavily on water from the Nyangolingo and Gunwoko Dams for their work.
Addressing a stakeholders’ sensitization forum, sponsored by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund, the Director of SWOPA, Ms Bridget A. Akasise, stressed that not only were the two broken dams affecting the activities of the women at the centre, but was also hampering activities mapped out by the community to help address the issue of climate change.
Ms Akasesi indicated that the rehabilitation of the two dams would not only lead to re-forestation of the area, but would also help to empower the community members to do dry season farming.
“As it stands now people in the community who have the desire to go into dry season farming and animal rearing cannot do that since they lack water to undertake such viable activities. Our women and children have to travel far distances in search of water for communal and other social needs such as building of houses and washing of clothing in the dry season,” the Director lamented.
She therefore appealed to the Regional Coordinating Council, District Assembly, the Ghana Social Opportunity Project (GSOP), the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Forestry Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and Non-Governmental Organisations to come to the aid of the area and restore the dam.
Assembly members for Nyangolingo and Gunwoko, Mr. Atanga Robert and Mr Aduko Banabas, reiterated that the rehabilitation of the dams would help create employment, reduce the rural urban drift, reduce poverty as well as create wealth for the people.
The Consultant of BUSAC, Mr Joseph Awantuugo, explained that the phase two advocacy programme of the BUSAC Fund aimed at empowering SWOPA and other stakeholders to build alliances with state agencies responsible for public infrastructure development and concerned development partners to facilitate the rehabilitation of the two dams in the area.
Among the stakeholders who attended the forum included representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Forestry Department, the District Assembly, Assembly Members, Water Resource Commission and NGOs.