Regional News Mon, 31 Jul 2006

Fifty Women use aid to invest profitably

Dua (U/E), July 31, GNA - Fifty women in the Upper East Region, who benefited from the Partnership Poverty Reduction Project of the Navrong-Bolgatanga Diocese of the Catholic Church, have large plots of cultivated land and other benefits to show for the help they received. The women were given a package of a Donkey, cart, plough and harrower while their husbands or a male relative were trained to use the donkeys for ploughing. The women said they were able to expand their farmlands as they used the donkeys for ploughing and also money they earned from hiring out the services of the donkey to buy seed for their farms.

Madam Comfort Asuntaba, one of the beneficiaries in Gowrie, said she used her donkey to cart water to build their new house, saying, "we have increased our farmland from two hectares to three hectares and I am able to buy school uniforms and sandals for my children in school=94. Madam Asuntaba was talking to a visiting nine-member team of Americans from the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin State, which is funding the project. At Dua community, Madam Veronica Akolbire, another beneficiary, said apart from the farm work she used her donkey to cart fuel wood and water to brew pito, a local alcoholic beverage for sale.


Mr Eric Schiedermayer, Leader of the team, said they were impressed that the project was of so much benefit to the people. "It is so nice to see all these people working so hard under difficult conditions to help themselves", he said. He said they were visiting the project on behalf of their Diocese, which was in partnership with Navrong-Bolgatanga Diocese to interact with the people and also see what they were doing. Mr David Azupogo, Project Manager, explained that the project had started with only 50 women on a pilot bases and might be expanded to reach more people. He said the items given to each woman cost between 4.2 million cedis and 4.6 million cedis depending on the cost of a donkey, as that was not fixed. The women were expected to pay back 15 per cent of the cost, about 680,000 cedis, which is used as a revolving fund to help others. The team had earlier paid a courtesy call on Mr Boniface Gambila, Upper East Regional Minister.

Source: GNA