Tolon: Tali Chief Urges Govt To Establish Vocational Training Centre

Minister For Emplyment
Minister For Emplyment

Naa Abdullai Alhassan Tali, the Chief of Tali in the Tolon Traditional Area of the Northern Region, has appealed to the Government to establish a vocational training centre in the community to give young women the entrepreneurial skills to be self-reliant.

That would help prevent them from migrating to the south to engage in menial jobs, including head porterage, commonly known as (kaya), he said.

“For some time now, I have been advocating for vocational training centres in Tali as a measure to curb young women from migrating to Accra, Kumasi, and other places to engage in kaya,” the Chief said.

“The only major source of livelihood in our community is agriculture. However, sewing, weaving, and craft-making could serve as alternative livelihoods for the young women to make them work here and become productive members of our society.”

Naa Tali made this known when a team of researchers called on him at his place to discuss how climate-induced migration and economic mobility are affecting the ability of the youth to contribute to productivity and the development of the area.

He said another challenge linked to life around the Tolon Traditional Area is water scarcity, which also forced the young people to migrate.

“I can’t say I’m proud of our source of water. The water quality is a primary concern for our people. Unfortunately, the people of Tali drink from the same water source, a dam, which has become muddy as we struggle over it with cattle.”

“And this water source is drying up. Climate change is affecting it, resulting in water scarcity and inhibiting access to many of our people.”

Throughout the Tolon District, waterborne illnesses spread through unsafe drinking water and that was a major health challenge affecting the productivity of residents, especially the youth, forcing them to migrate, he said.

“We are only asking for clean and safe water for our people and training centres to help the young ones become industrious in our community,” Naa Tali said.

Mr Muntaka Chasant, a Researcher and Social Entrepreneur, who led the team, said those issues were at the intersection of climate-induced migration, youth bulge and exclusion, and economic mobility.

He said his study of the area indicated that many of young women had only two choices – help in the farm or migrate south to engage in head porterage.

However, Tali was one of the areas at risk of the effects of climate change, he said, and that Tolon and nearby communities were semi-arid and received only a few months of rain each year, making agriculture a risky venture.

“This means that smallholder and subsistence farming practices in these areas heavily rely on rainfall, therefore, a slight change in the pattern could have significant impact on production and food security.”

Mr Chasant said to escape those living conditions, many young women went south to find jobs but a lot returned to their communities with neck and spinal injuries, having spent years head-carrying heavy loads.

He said a vocational training centre could provide skills for most of the young women to work and make ends meet while contributing to developing their communities.

On water scarcity, Mr Chasant called for urgent interventions to help the people of Tali, adding that; “Water is life and residents should not be denied this basic necessity”.

“Many young women, in an attempt to escape these harsh living conditions to Accra and other urban areas, only end up in environments where they are further marginalised.”

“Life appears harsh back home and even worse in the cities. We, indeed, have fewer resources to tackle these critical issues but neglecting them would only deepen regional inequalities.”

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