TAMA Foundation collaborates with STAR Ghana Foundation and NADMO to address flood disasters in Northern Ghana
The TAMA Foundation Universal has in collaboration with STAR Ghana Foundation and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) mapped out strategies to help address the perennial problem of floods disasters in Northern Ghana. The development of a Roadmap for Sustainable Management of floods in northern Ghana through a broad consultative process is a key outcome of the collaboration. The roadmap[size=3] provides a coordinated approach to preparing, responding, and building back lives and properties whenever flood disasters strike.[/size]
Northern Ghana is always plagued by flood disasters every year around, especially between the months of July and September, wreaking havoc on lives and property. [size=3]The main causal factors of flood disasters in Northern Ghana have been identified as its topography, extreme weather events due to climate change; the spillage of the Bagre Dam; poor drainage systems and hydrological engineering works; non-enforcement of land use and spatial planning laws; non-compliance with the Ghana Riparian Buffer Zone Policy and low investments and adoption of Afforestation and Green Ghana Campaigns.[/size]
The first widely reported flood disaster in Northern occurred in 1999, where incessant rains in the month of August, aggravated by spillage of water from the Bagri Dam in Burkina Faso caused a displacement of 332,060 people; 15,000 in Upper West Region, 17,060 in Upper East Region and 300,000 in Northern Region. It resulted in the destruction of the farmlands, roads and telephone lines, crops and livestock, buildings, polluted potable water sources (wells and rivers) and led to the outbreak of Cholera in some communities.
Northern Ghana again, suffered one of the most devastating flood disasters in 2007 when heavy rainfall coupled with the spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso, led to the loss of lives, livestock, destruction of farmlands, houses, bridges, schools and health facilities, as well as damage to the water supply, irrigation systems, food storage and processing facilities. Over three hundred thousand (307,127) persons were affected. Thirty-one (31) people died in the Upper East and 10 in Upper West). In November 2010, 55 communities in the Central Gonja District were affected by floods, about 700,000 people were displaced, 3,234 houses collapsed, and 23,588 acres of farm-lands were destroyed, estimated at a cost of $ 116,340.22. Buipe, an urban center within the district, was the most affected with 12,418 people displaced, 1,196 houses collapsed, and 81 acres of farms destroyed at an estimated cost of 48,410.76 US dollars. Also highly affected was the Yapei community, where 784 people were displaced and 298 acres of farms were destroyed at an estimated cost of 31,912.26 US dollars.
In 2018, 34 people were reported killed, 196 km of farmland destroyed and over 100,000 people displaced by floods when the White Volta River overflowed its boundaries coupled with releases from the Bagri dam in Burkina Faso.
Again, the spillage of the Bagri dam in Burkina Faso in early October 2019 caused serious flooding and extensive damage to farmlands, houses, properties and killed 29 persons. Between 1,000 and 4,000 buildings were reportedly destroyed or severely damaged, including almost 2,000 in Kassena Nankana Municipal, which includes the town of Navrongo and 830 in Bongo district. In 2020, over 100,000 people were displaced by the 2020 floods.
The approach of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), established under the National Disaster Management Act, (Act 517 of 1996 with the mandate for disasters management in the country. has largely been about the distribution of relief items such as shelter tents, roofing sheets, blankets, clothing, vaccines, household utensils, etc. Not much of its mandate to build capacities of communities and populations prone to natural disasters such as flooding with coping mechanisms and strategies for improved resilience is being done.
The country also has no long term national and regional framework for preventing, mitigating and disaster recovery measures, including floods. This has led to a situation of fragmented and reactive response to floods with a skewed focus on emergency and relief. The response is ad-hoc, with relief items arriving late and inadequate to meet needs of affected communities. Most often there are no resources for post-floods rehabilitation and reconstruction which leave affected communities more vulnerable and less resilient.
The TAMA Foundation Universal, STAR Ghana Foundation and the NADMO collaboration is therefore an effort to help address these challenges by promoting and advocating forward planning and the mobilization of local resources as solution the perennial flood disasters. Collaborating under the Innovation for Localisation project, we seek to pilot local philanthropy and mobilization of local resources initiatives for addressing community and humanitarian issues.
A LAUNCH AND TRAINING WORKSHOP ON MAARO-NOYINE HELD AT TAMALE REGAL HOTEL
Tamale, Dec. 3, GNA – The Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has launched the “Maaro-Noyine Elections Monitoring Portal” to help citizens to report and capture possible electoral violence and other irregularities.
The portal, which can receive both image and audio reports, is to help election managers and peace ambassadors as well as security agencies to have quick information on such issues for a swift response.
The electoral violence prevention monitoring system formed part of “Youth Vigilant for Peaceful Elections and Development (Y-VPED) project, being implemented by a consortium of NGOs, including; ISODEC, TAMA Foundation and Centre for Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies (CECOTAPS).
The project, being implemented in the five Northern regions, with support from the STAR Ghana Foundation, sought to promote peace and development in its operational areas. Mr Tay Awoosah, Executive Director of ISODEC, said at the launch of the portal that the system was developed to help individuals who had access to the internet connection to report on possible electoral violence and other anomalies for a quick resolution. He said the portal would be linked to key stakeholders such as the Electoral Commission, Police, National Commission for Civic Education, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, among others. “The portal’s interface has been designed in such a way that anyone at all with internet connectivity can turn in a report they come across during this time of election activities and the idea is to help relevant institutions to resolve possible misunderstandings as quickly as possible,” he noted.
Mr Awoosah encouraged members of the public to regularly use the “Maaro-Noyine Elections Monitoring Portal” to help prevent violence before, during and after the 2020 general elections.
He appealed to electorates to tolerate each others’ views as the country was heading towards the polls on December 7 to ensure the country remained peaceful. Individuals can access the “Maaro-Noyine Elections Monitoring Portal” via www.maaro.org. GNA
Enhancing The Capacities Of Mining Communities For Accountable And Transparent Natural Resoure Governance In Northern Ghana
TAMA Foundation Universal secured funding from the Fordfoundation to implement a project that will lead to transparent and accountable extraction of natural resources in Northern Ghana with particular focus on mining. The goal of the project is to ensure that the extraction and utilization of minerals resources is beneficial to mineral rich communities and contributes to a balanced and sustainable development of society in general. This will be achieved through the building of capacities of community leaders with advocacy and communication skills so that they can effectively engage with mining companies, regulatory agencies, duty bearers and other key stakeholders for their share of the benefits of mining and for reduced environmental impact.
As mining expands across Northern Ghana, it holds a potential to contribute to reducing north-south inequalities. However, this is only possible if mining communities have the knowledge and capacity to engage effectively with mining companies, government, and other relevant state institutions to claim their rights sand entitlements and where the needed accountability mechanisms and structures exist, alongside a strong civil society, playing its facilitating and oversight role to ensure gold resources are extracted and utilized in a transparent and accountable manner.
It is in this regard that TAMA Foundation Universal conducted the trainings to build the communication and advocacy skills of community leaders to help amplify their voices to engage effectively with mining companies to optimize community benefits whilst minimizing the environmental consequences of mining to communities. The trainings were conducted in collaboration with the Minerals Commission of Ghana, the state agency with the primary responsibility of developing and coordinating mineral sector policies and monitoring their implementation and with experienced trainers/consultants from the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Studies.
In all, 300 community leaders, made up of Paramount chiefs, Queen mothers, Opinion leaders, Elected District assembly Members, Divisional Chiefs, Leadership of women’s groups, Leadership of small-scale miners and Representatives of Mining companies were trained across the five regions of Northern Ghana, namely the Upper West Region, the Upper East region, North East Region, Northern Region and the Savanna Region. An adult learning approach was adopted targeting Assembly members from mining communities, female opinion leaders, youth leaders, community champions, traditional Authorities, and other relevant stakeholders. The trainings were conducted at six different locations in all the five regions of Northern Ghana. Two locations in the Upper West Region and one each in the remaining four regions. The trainings were basically a coaching and mentoring sessions where participants were guided on existing laws, processes, and mechanisms for exacting their entitlements from minerals extraction whilst safe guiding their environment, livelihood sources, cultures, and traditions. The resource persons led the process with PowerPoint presentations, followed by participants comments, observations and/or clarifications. Relevant documents relating to laws, regulations, statutes, international conventions etc were then shared with participants for their further readings and research.
The trainings in the Upper West Region benefitted 24 mining communities in two districts where Azumah Resources Limited, the main large scale commercial mining company is operating. Community leaders in fifteen (15) communities in the Nadowli Kaleo district and 9 communities in the Wa East district were trained. The training sessions witnessed the full participation of the District Chief Executives (DCEs), District Coordinating Directors (DCDs), the District Planning Officers (DPOs) and other core staff members of the assemblies.
In the Nadiowli District, which was the first call for the trainings, representatives of Azumah Resources Limited failed to participate but subsequently attended the sessions in the Wa East District, turning up rather very late. There was very high interest among community leaders in the trainings, judging the high-profile chiefs, queen mothers, tindaamas , political heads and technocrats who turned up, sat through and actively participated in all sessions.
3.1. Key Issues from trainings in the Upper West Region The following key issues emerged from the training sessions in the Upper West Region:
Azumah Resources has been operating in the region for close to 20 years but still claims it is prospecting and NOT mining.
Mining communities are of the view that the company is hiding behind the law and stealing their mineral resources
That the company did not do any proper community entry as required by law Azumah Resources has brought soldiers to occupy their land and terrorising the citizens of the region
They have been deprived off their livelihood sources since they can access their lands for farming purposes, a main occupation of the people
They need the support of TAMA Foundation and the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated studies to help engage effectively with the mining firm and the state.
A Divisional Chief of the Nadowli Traditional Council expressing anguish over the operations of Azumah Resources in his area
In the Upper East Region, the trainings targeted mainly communities in the mining enclave of the Talensi district, where two major multinational mining companies are operating. Fifty (50) participants, made up of Queen Mothers, Assembly members, Paramount and divisional chiefs, assembly staff, community opinion leaders, youth and women leaders and representatives small scale miners. The District Coordinating Director, who stepped in for the District Chief Executive praised TAMA Foundation for the initiative and expressed the assembly’s readiness to work with CSOs to resolve the mining challenges confronting the district.
4.1. Key issues from training programme Mining communities request of the assembly to ensure the mining companies in the area conduct property community entry procedures for proper engagements. That the mining companies should sit with community leaders to design and sign a memorandum of understanding That a committee be set up as an interface between mining companies and mining communities.
In the Northeast Region, the training took place in Arigu, a community around which two major quarry companies, namely Mawums Quarry and SS Logistics quarry operate. Quarrying activities in the area has led to increased tensions in the community. The training was therefore to increase knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the laws of the land so that when properly applied, peace, equity and understanding will prevail. As is elsewhere, the major issues of concern in the area were issues of lack of effective consultation, improper community entry, absence of a Memorandum of understanding between community and quarrying companies among others.
In the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region, sandmining has become a major mineral extraction activity in the area. With increased sandmining and entry of companies with heavy sandmining equipment, many of the indigenes have lost their livelihood source. Not only have they been replaced by the use of heavy equipment, but they cannot access their farm lands and water sources as a result of gullies created by the use of the heavy equipment. This has been a source of tensions and potential conflict in the area. The training was therefore to help enhance knowledge and understanding so that community member could effectively negotiate and claim their entitlement.
In the Savanna Region, the training took place in the Yapei community with over 50 community leaders participating. Yapei is also a sandmining community and just as Kumbungu in the Northern Region, there are also increased tensions between community members and sandmining companies in the area as a result of lack of proper consultation, livelihood displacement, exclusion, lack of accountability and transparency in the operation of sandmining companies. The training was therefore to help create awareness and understanding among community leaders of the requirements of the minerals and mining laws and their rights and entitlements so that they could engage effectively with sandmining companies for their fair share of the resources.
TAMA Foundation promotes even, balanced and transformational development in Ghana and the West African sub-region, drawing on the unique cultures, ingenuity, natural resources and locational advantages of the marginalized regions for their transformation. Our model is to promote multi-disciplinary partnerships for research and critical analysis, for information-sharing, spatial planning and investments into the marginalized areas for jobs and sustainable development.
Our vision is a prosperous, peaceful, green and equitable Ghana with equal opportunities for all
Gender Equality and Social Inclusion