Upper East Region is one of the regions in Ghana that experiences one farming season. This often starts from June and between August and September, the rains intensify thus, getting farms in low-lying areas especially those along the White Volta Basin flooded.
A visit to the White Volta Basin farming community of Pwalugu by A1 NEWS’s Joshua Asaah last Friday revealed that almost all the farms, predominantly maize farms, had submerged under flood waters. Except a handful of farmers who were seen using canoes to harvest their early maize, most of which were not completely matured, the rest of the framers would have nothing to harvest this year.
Though this has become an annual ritual that framers on that basin lose their crops to floods, the farmers say the land is fertile and would prefer to gamble by cropping in the area than to travel to nearby communities like Arigo and Goborigo where the land is equally fertile but without floods to farm.
A farmer who gave his name as Nsoh Ayine and his colleagues said they were willing to form groups for the government to provide them with farming machinery and agrochemicals to enable them farm uplands to avoid the perennial flooding of their farms that eventually worsen their poverty situation.
The Talensi District Director of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Lantana Osman, revealed that farmlands in four communities in the district have been submerged. She explained that the major cause of the floods was as a result of siltation of the White Volta caused by farming activities on its banks.
According to her, her department last year planted about 15,000 bamboo seedlings on the banks to prevent further siltation. Due to the harsh weather however, she said some of the seedlings survived but others could not.
The director said:
This year, we took some again thinking that the floods would not come because we are looking at buffer zone protection. You know there is a law that you are not supposed to do any farming activities 100 miters away from the river bank so that is actually what we are trying to get the farmers to adhere to, and the main reason why we are encouraging the planting of the bamboo so that the farmers will do their farming activities after the 100 miters zone.
Madam Osman disclosed that a team of agriculture officers from her office have since visited some four major communities affected by the recent floods. Some of the affected communities include Yinduri, Lungo and Pwulugu, all in the Talensi district.
By: Joshua Asaah|a1radioonline.com|101.1Mhz