|Experiences on Multiple Use Dams in Sissala West District, Ghana
|Year of Publication
|Adu-Wusu, GK, Roberts, L, Debrah, KA
|International symposium on MUS
Plan Ghana works in the Sissala West district in north-western Ghana. The main livelihood of indigenes is rain-fed farming and livestock rearing. Northern Ghana experiences an 8-month long dry season each year, during which farming and livestock watering become extremely difficult. Food shortages occur and people lose their animals. Moreover, rainfall patterns are irregular, causing young crops to wither in incidental prolonged dry periods, a situation aggravated by climate changes. Plan partner communities requested support for the construction of dam facilities to support dry season farming and livestock watering. After feasibility studies, 8 dams were constructed with the aim of improving livelihoods and health of people through sale and consumption of produce from the following intended uses; Irrigation, Fish farming and Livestock watering. Over 1000 households are benefiting from the dams. A total of 95 hectares of land has been put under irrigation growing mainly vegetables. Leafy vegetables are now available on the market in the dam communities. Income levels have increased through the sale of surplus produce. Some community members have taken up fishing whilst livestock have sufficient water. Apart from the intended uses of the dams, they are serving other practical water needs which were not catered for in the design, and bring in additional sources of income; Moulding bricks, Watering dirt-roads and Household cleaning. Data collection on use demands and patterns, especially on the unexpected additional activities, needs to be continued to guide future multiple use of water projects in Plan's MUS programme.