Audio postcard: Understanding climate change leads to CHANGE in Ghana

In sub-Saharan Africa, climate change has emerged as one of the most important issues for many small-scale farming families, and one that is very complicated and confusing. Extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, are becoming increasingly frequent in Ghana (particularly in the northern regions), with severe effects on the livelihoods of residents. Crops are being destroyed, making for minimal harvests, and the income levels of many households are dwindling. This is placing farmers, especially small-scale farmers, in a precarious position.

In this audio postcard, Lisa Marie Borrelli, an intern at the FRI office in Accra, discusses her involvement in focus group discussions and key informant interviews as part of the Climate Change Adaptation in Northern Ghana Enhanced (CHANGE) project.  She explains how the results from these assessments served as the basis for developing radio programs targeting listening communities in the Bolgatanga region of the country. Twenty weeks of climate change adaptation programming dubbed “Understanding Leads to Change” is currently being produced and broadcast in northern Ghana thanks to a partnership between FRI and Canadian Feed the Children.

Climate change and climate variability are major obstacles to food security in northern Ghana. The three northern regions of Ghana are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and the adaptive capacity of the local population  is very low due to deep-rooted poverty. The CHANGE project will work with 84,000 women and men small-scale farmers in 17 project communities in the districts of Savelugu-Nanton, Northern Region (NR), Sissala East, Upper West Region (UWR), and Bolgatanga, Upper East Region (UER), to improve adaptive capacity and resilience to the impacts of climate change on agriculture, food security, and livelihoods. The project will improve the quality and accessibility of locally relevant information about climate, weather, and innovative agricultural practices, and strengthen community- and radio-based agricultural extension services. As a result, farmers will have better-informed responses to their changing environment to maintain agricultural productivity and ensure uninterrupted household food security. Supporting women to develop and scale up non-agricultural income-generating activities will help reduce poverty and decrease women’s dependency on male-dominated farming income.

This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.


About the author
Lisa Marie Borrelli participated in a three-month internship with Farm Radio International in Accra, Ghana. She is completing a Masters degree in European Studies in Malmö, Sweden, and has a keen interest in communication for development, particularly on the African continent.

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