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YARO organizes dialogue on Climate Change

The Youth Advocacy on Rights and Opportunities (YARO) in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation Ghana Office has held a multi-stakeholder dialogue in Tamale on the need to generate new strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change in Northern Ghana.

The dialogue, which was on theme, “Building Inclusive Climate Mitigation and Adoptation in Northern Ghana”, gave the opportunity to stakeholders across the country to talk about the impact climate change have on small scale farmers and women in Ghana, and the need to change the narrative across the country.

In his remarks on Friday at the Conference Hall of Regal Hotel Mr Douri Bennin Hajei, the Executive Director of YARO observed that women and children are the most vulnerable when climate change come ‘biting’, hence there is the need for all stakeholders to put their heads together to find various ways of minimizing its effects.

Mr Hajei therefore call on government and its agencies including Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), policy makers, researchers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the media to appreciate the need for climate justice which would ensure that small scale farmers, women and children in our communities did not suffer unduly as a result of climate change.

In that regard, he insisted that, “climate change affects everything within our socio- economic lives including our health, what we eat, and even shelter, and there is the need for a collective effort towards a responsible action by all stakeholders”.

Prof Samuel A. Donkor, Dean School of Applied Economics & Management Studies UDS

Professor Samuel A. Donkor, Dean School of Applied Economics and Management Sciences at the University for Development Studies (UDS) in his key note address on the overview of the effects of climate change in Northern Ghana urge stakeholders especially policy makers to demystify misconceptions farmers have on climate change.

Explaining on the need to change the narrative of climate change in Northern Ghana, the Dean indicated that the impact of climate change is caused by human activities, and as a result, there is the need for stakeholders to educate people to avoid bush burning.

“People must put a stop to indiscriminate felling of trees especially the shea tree. They must stop cutting down trees for charcoal burning”, he stated.

He encouraged Ghanaians to adopt gas and solar energy for domestic use. He also urged the government to introduce various interventions that will prevent farmers from engaging in illegal felling of trees for charcoal. 

Mrs Emelia Ghansah, Head of Education and Training at General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU)

Mrs Emelia Ghansah, Head of Education and Training at General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) in her presentation on emerging issues on climate change in Northern Ghana revealed that climate change affects men and women in our societies at different levels of their domestic lives insisting that it affects women more than men.

“When the long periods of drought come in, fetching water and looking for firewood and other domestic things that women do, has become even more difficult. And women cannot even cut the trees for firewood. They have to walk long hours to be able to fetch the dried tweaks for firewood”, she said.

She also observed that “climate change also affects women’s health severely. The kind of fertilizers that farmers are using as a result of the land infertility, has become so indiscriminate that it is having health issues on women. For example, in one of the communities, they made us aware that the chemical fertilizers affect their fertility, their child birth, their menses and also affects their sight. So, sometimes we ask ourselves how does climate change affects women and men differently?”.

Mrs Ghansah further indicated that during the dry season farming, women are not able to cope like men, and have to migrate to urban centers to carry loads or ‘Kayaye’. “Have we ever linked climate change to ‘Kayeye’ in Accra?”, she quizzed.

The multi-stakeholder dialogue is under the Economic Policy Competence Center (EPCC) which is a regional project of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation Ghana office with support from the General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) and the Kazuhiko Takeuchi Centre for Sustainability and Resilience (KTCSR) of UDS.  

Story By: Mohammed Mutaka | |Ghana.

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