Covid-19 – Challenges and Hopes
In April, the people in Ghana became more and more aware of the health threat through the Corona Virus. Immediately after Walisu contacted us, we started an emergency activity organizing Veronica Buckets (water stations), soap and hygiene instructions for the people in the villages.
Walisu went several times to the villages talking to the people and checking if the person in charge was taking care of the several new water stations in the village. He is still visiting the villagers trying to support them when there is a need.
The Ghanaian government started quite fast with measures and an information campaign to fight Covid-19. However, it is not easy to reach all the people in the country due to many villages widely scattered through the country, some of them quite remote. In the beginning, everything about Covid-19 was new and frightening to most of the people of Kulaa and Gbirimah. All the more the instructions and talks became important to the people. Over time it becomes more and more obvious that many of the measures (like social distancing and hygiene masks), more or less copied from Western countries, were more dangerous for the poor as the Covid-19 disease. The effects on the daily (small scale) economy were immense. It seems that the people in the North of the country are not that much affected than people living in dense and populated areas like Kumasi and Accra. Nonetheless, it remains necessary to continue with information and stay alert if there are other threats the villagers are faced to.
Planting Trees – hopeful sights into the future
Ghana’s Northern Region is dry and very sensitive to the effects of the climate crisis. When the Government shut down all the schools countrywide, Walisu proposed us to start a tree-planting-activity with the schoolgirls who are supported through Dagomba Association and now have to stay at home without any school activities. We decided to support this idea. Once, it is a hopeful and constructive activity for the youth and they can do something for the community and, second because tree planting is one of the most effective means to support the soil and the microclimate in the villages.
With help from the gardener, Mr Abdulai Mohammed from the Catholic Guesthouse in Tamale, the girls got instructions and help on how to plant and taking care to the plants. All the trees are fruit trees, like mango or Shea nut trees; they provide fruit, shade and function as wind protection.
Now there are 48 new trees growing in the two villages and hopefully, bring some prosperity to the villages. 24 girls have committed themselves as Tree Caretakers, each girl managing two trees, one a shady or wind protector, the other a fruit tree. We are all looking forward to seeing the trees growing and blowing.