WUZDA Ghana and its main partner, Bread for The World in Germany have met to look at possible ways to scale up on a project they have partnered to run as pilot for two years.
The project “Farm Promoting Urban Waste For Food and Livelihood Security” took off with implementation in 2016 and ended in 2018.
Within the two year period, WUZDA and its partner Bread for The World provided interventions that sought to help alleviate poverty in six communities in the Tamale metropolis and Sagnarigu district.
The interventions include vegetable gardening using innovative drip irrigation technologies, rearing of small ruminants and co-composting.
The other intervention WUZDA Ghana introduced to enhance the attitude of savings in the community members is the Village Savings and Loans Associations.
The VSLA has groups in the communities who meet at least once in a week to make contributions into a box, which is secured and kept by members of the group to ensure transparency and accountability.
The idea behind this initiative is for the project beneficiaries to save some of the money that comes from the sales of their vegetables, to solve their future financial needs.
The meeting at the WUZDA Ghana office with the German donor pointed to a large success in the pilot project.
It was also realized through a report of a mid-term evaluation carried out in 2017 that there were some challenges that hindered the projects scoring of a higher achievement than it has been able to do.
The mid-term evaluation report revealed how some approaches on implementation of some of the interventions were for short term.
Giving an overview of some of the challenges the project faced in the last two years, WUZDA Training Coordinator and Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Ibrahim Abdul Ganiyu said the issue of land was core in the challenges the farmers were facing since they did not own them and risked losing them at any time.
He added that based on this revelation, a team was formed with support from technical expertise from Dr. Shaibu Ganiyu, a lecturer at the University for Development Studies, which met opinion leaders of the various communities to explain to them the need for lands to be allocated for the vegetable cultivation, which will inure to the larger benefit of the community.
The results of these engagements according to Mr. Ganiyu, is that lands were secured in each community for the vegetable cultivation, which comes without any costs, litigation or arguments.
On marketing the produce from their farms, the training coordinator indicated that the farmers had difficulties accessing ready market.
This was addressed by the introduction of buyers into the community to whom the farmers can sell their vegetables, without any difficulties.
Other challenges were outlined including the group constitution, issues of effective water flow from water source to the vegetable gardens through the drip system, capacity building of staff on the project and others.
According Mr. Ganiyu, all the issues raised in the mid-term evaluation report have been dealt with to a large extent, but it gives a bigger idea of what needs to be done in the next phase of the project to avoid further challenges and to achieve better results to make impact.
Programme Manager at WUZDA Ghana, Mr. Ziblim Abdul-Karim said the pilot project accorded WUZDA Ghana the opportunity to make all the basic mistakes, know what works and what needs re-strategizing into the next phase of the project, which seeks to solve community problems and to alleviate poverty in the project communities.
He added that even though much data was collected before the commencement of the project implementation, the mid-term evaluation provides a clearer way forward into the scale up phase.
On her part, Dienst Johanna, Programme Officer at Bread for The World for Ghana and Togo said communication has been one of the major challenges the organization has been battling with, in relation to information flow and response to its partners, but that has improved in the last two years.
She however made it clear that the project will be continued because Bread for The World is very much impressed by the general output.
She stressed that WUZDA Ghana has been so much committed to the agreements entered into by the two parties therefore, the partnership needs to be continued to bring out a larger impact into the communities.
WUZDA Ghana is therefore putting together new and improved strategies to re-enter a contract with Bread For the World, for the next phase of the project to kick off later in 2019.
The scale up which will cover a three year period, is expected to extend to more communities with newer interventions added to the already existing ones from the pilot project