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POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN THE NORTHERN ECOLOGICAL ZONE OF GHANA; SADA AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS: GOING BEYOND THE POLICIES By ACHANA T. W. GODWIN. Introduction The Northern Ecological Zone The Concept of Poverty SADA and Poverty Reduction The Kassena-Nankana West District
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POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN THE NORTHERN ECOLOGICAL ZONE OF GHANA; SADA AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS: GOING BEYOND THE POLICIESByACHANA T. W. GODWIN
The poor today, especially in the developing countries like Ghana and particularly in the NEZ are still a force to reckon with in spite of various efforts made to alleviate poverty in the country.
So the question remains, with all these efforts, and given that the poor are still a force to reckon with, where did they go wrong in addressing the plight of the rural poor in Ghana?
The Authority purports to hold a lot of promise for the zone than the previous programmes due to its comprehensive nature.
efforts are coordinated and well directed, programmes properly identified, implemented, monitored and evaluated with the right commitment to the course of poverty reduction.
Drylands are largely seen as marginal areas with little economic value.
The NEZ abounds in human resources, grasslands for the rearing of livestock, vast land for the cultivation of grains and tubers, a good number of under-developed tourists sites, largely unexplored for mineral resources, lots of runoff during the rainy season etc. and yet the people are poor!
So SADA would have to contend with many other obstacles in the zone in bid to improve upon the livelihoods of the people.
Poverty and inequality are no longer to be treated as soft social issues that can be traded for maximizing total economic output but are to be seen as ethical issues.
Lack of assets does not mean complete absence but in relative terms.
So SADA’s efforts to reduce poverty should be relevant to the local conditions of the people that are either directly or indirectly implicated in the poverty situation of the people.
income, and that these deprived people also lack the power to claim redistribution.
It is the months of May and October that the Northern parts of Ghana come under the rainy season.
The figures portray that majority of the people in this community had a monthly estimated income of less than a dollar a day.
With the onset of the schemes, the figures given by the people in both communities, indicated that the level of farmer household income had increased remarkably.
The issue of ownership of the schemes was a bit murky especially in Paga-Kazugu.
Another issue was the process of immediate shift in ownership, operations and management of the schemes from government to the communities.
In addition, the old issue of high cost of fertilizer and pesticides, and the lack of market for the produce came up.
The question of the schemes being a means of promoting sustainable livelihoods in the Upper East Region remains.
With these challenges among others, the question is whether actual poverty reduction, especially in the rural areas, is one of the issues that keep most politicians in a developing country like Ghana awake at night?
Projects of these kind benefit substantially from a multi-sectoral approach right from the feasibility studies to their implementation, management and operations.
Farmers’ stake could be increased in the form of the provision of various facilities and inputs in order to elicit the needed entrepreneurial spirit of the farmers.
To ensure environmental sustainability, farmers should be provided with incentives by SADA to produce manure from the grasses and stalks available instead of setting fires to these at the onset of the dry season.