A solar mechanised borehole has been constructed at Kpatinga in the Gushegu Municipality of the Northern Region for irrigation on a six-acre dry season vegetable garden to boost food production and incomes for farmers.
The solar mechanised borehole, constructed by World Vision Ghana, an international non-governmental organisation, eliminated the challenges the farmers faced in working in the garden as they no longer carried water from outside into the garden to irrigate their plants.
The cultivation of vegetables in the garden began in 2018 as a major source of income for the farmers. However, the dam that provided water for the dry season farming broke its banks forcing the farmers to look for water elsewhere and carry it in buckets to the field to water their plants, a situation, which was taking a toll on their operations hence the construction of the facility.
Currently, 50 farmers, who take care of 200 children, have been engaged in the garden, and the solar mechanised borehole also supplies adequate potable water to over 500 people, who hitherto depended on unsafe water sources for drinking.
Mr Dickens Thunde, National Director of World Vision Ghana, who spoke during the inauguration of the solar mechanised borehole at Kpatinga, expressed the need for the farmers to use the benefits derived from the garden to take good care of their children to reach their full potential in life.
He said, “All the things that World Vision does, children are the focus. If we provide water for you, we want children to benefit. Our support for you is to enable you to support your children to attain their highest potentials.”
He lauded the community for its progressive thinking in using the same water source for drinking and dry season vegetable farming and encouraged other communities to emulate it.
Madam Sana Alhassan, one of the beneficiary farmers, said prior to the start of the dry season garden in the area “We always remained idle during the dry season. Our children did not go to school, and those who were in school also dropped out and migrated down south to do head porterage. Now, with the dry season garden, we do not remain idle during the dry season. Our children now go to school.”
Another beneficiary said, “Prior to the dry season gardening, we ate vegetables only on Kpatinga market days when vegetables would be brought from Tamale and Yendi for sale in the area. Now, with the dry season gardening, we eat vegetables every day. This is good for our nutrition and good health.”
Mr Yaja Dawuni Robert, the Gushegu Municipal Chief Executive, said the provision of the solar mechanised borehole in the area had come at an opportune time for the farmers as it provided enormous benefits including income support to the beneficiaries.
He noted that the initiative formed part of the broad project intervention for food security and resilience in the area, adding “The farmers will also be able to grow a variety of vegetables or crops that provide proper nutrients for an improved healthy life of people at Kpatinga.”
He advised the beneficiary farmers to take good care of the facility to sustain it, adding “the Department of Agriculture will provide extension services support to the beneficiaries.”
He said the government’s one-district, the one-dam initiative was on course in the area as it had completed the construction of the Kpatinga Dam, adding, “the Bambuli community dam is currently underway under the Ghana Safety Net Project while a lot more communities in the municipality are still waiting to benefit under this policy.”
He expressed gratitude to World Vision Ghana for the over two decades of enormous support and partnership on life-saving and life-changing interventions in the Municipality in the areas of education, women and girl-child rights and empowerment, water, sanitation and hygiene, and food security, saying, “These interventions, have over this period, significantly contributed to strengthening and supporting the Municipality towards the attainment of the Sustainable Developments Goals.”
By Albert Futukpor, GNA