Workshop on Three Dimensional Solid Map Modelling For Land Use Planning in Governance, Sustainable Agriculture-Natural Resource Management, Education, Flooding and Climate Change. VSO – Ghana
Ex Tee Crystal Hotel, Bolgatanga, Upper East Region, Ghana, May 23-27, 2011
3D Mapping: Expanding Rural Horizons and Decision Making for Development in Ghana
In 1992, Ghana passed a new constitution that enshrined the concept of decentralization as a fundamental structure for achieving democracy and equitable development throughout the country. Through the decentralization of government agencies and funding to strengthened local and District Assemblies, it is widely believed that average citizens will be drawn more effectively into influencing projects and policies that affect their lives.
Nowhere in Ghana has decentralization provided more hope for improvement in standards of living and reduction of extreme poverty than in the three regions of northern Ghana. While the southern and coastal regions of Ghana have benefited from centuries of educational and natural resource development, the north has been left with a predominantly subsistence agricultural base where up to nine out of ten people live below the poverty line (WFP, 2011). These physical and demographic limitations have also limited the political influence of the northern regions in policies and resources allocated by the central government in Accra.
So, amidst significant agriculture and natural resource potential, food security remains a perennial issue in the north. In recent years, due to climate changes and creeping desertification, this situation has been compounded by the increasing droughts and Volta River flooding of low-lying areas threatening livelihoods, causing damages to farmlands, properties, loss of lives and socio-economic dislocation. In September 2010, a total of 50,874 people were affected by floods in Northern Region of Ghana of which five died and three got injured (NADMO, 2010).
Local district assemblies in the north struggle to spread limited funding resources over local needs and also address natural resource challenges that require regional thinking and commitments. Gaining the knowledge, participation and support of local citizens is their second challenge. For rural farmers, government is often far away and not well understood. Transportation infrastructure is severely lacking and education and literacy are not widespread. For many rural residents, life centers on a few villages and the closest market for the limited crops they produce.
In such times of significant environmental challenge, solutions will require regional-level planning and local level knowledge, acceptance and action. They will require village-based people to look beyond the closest ridge and valley and expand their horizons to meet the mounting environmental threats that will challenge their ability to survive.
Land suitability assessment for agricultural production, Cropping season and calender planning, Cropping system planning, communicating the impacts of seasonal weather forecast based on ENSO system and disaster preparedness.
Identify and describe the perspectives, problems and goals relating to planning and sustainability as seen by District staff, farmers and community members.