ActionAid Ghana has recommended that the Northern Development Authority (NDA) promotes agroecology and food sovereignty in northern parts of the country in order to mitigate the ever growing threat of agriculture unproductivity and food insecurity.
Making a presentation at University for Development Studies’ Harmattan School, on the theme, ‘Bridging the Gap between North and South; the NGO’s Perspective’, Head of Programmes, Campaigns and Innovations at ActionAid, Justine Bayor, posited that climate change is playing a major role in stifling development in the north.
"The vulnerability in the North include the threat of floods, prolonged droughts, rising temperatures, unreliable rainfall, severe windstorms and other climate-related emergencies which are already negatively impacting agriculture and threatening productivity and food security” he noted.
Fatalities due to floods in Northern Ghana are reported to be alarmingly high and burdensome and are usually occasioned by the spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso.
Indeed, between 2018 and 2020, 78 people were killed by floods, 23,371 houses were collapsed by floods, rendering 100,000 people homeless, and 94,379 acres of farmlands were destroyed and resulting in food insecurity in Northern Ghana, data from the National Disaster Management Organization has said.
Equally, the World Food Programme has indicated that at least three out of every 100 households in the north, was either severely or moderately food insecure and that the poor nutritional status of children in the North was about double the national average.
Besides, more than 70 percent of the population of Northern Ghana depends on unimodal rain fed agriculture for their food, income and livelihoods.
The over-dependence on rainfall, declining soil fertility etc, coupled with limited access to inputs according to Mr. Bayor, had resulted in low agricultural productivity and incomes.
“It is estimated that for a period of 7-8 months in the year, most of the agricultural population in the North has no alternative or complementary means of securing their livelihoods, as infrastructure to support off season agricultural activities is underdeveloped or non-existent” he said.
ActionAid also recommended for government to work swiftly to ensure enhanced women’s secured access to and control of land and other productive resources by lobbying and engaging landowners on the economic value it brings to women and their families.
“We also suggest that the Northern Development Authority promote climate justice to address loss and damage by supporting development partners to build the resilience of at -risk communities through the development and implementation of climate adaptation plans”.
ActionAid called on the NDA and other agencies to add their voice to the advocacy on the passing of the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill 2022 into Law for the closing down of the witchcraft camps in the Northern region.