ADDRO NGCR Programme Report – Q1

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This is a report of activities that were implemented during the first quarter of 2019. The activities include; the selection of program participants, staff training on participatory learning and action tools (PLAs), formation of saving with education groups and monitoring of program activities.

Transect Walk

The participants selected for the year include; 200 crop farmers and 100 animal rearers. The program staff training had 12 participants attending comprising 2 females and 10 males. On saving with Education, 6 groups were formed with a total membership of 130 (1 male and 129 females). The monitoring of program activities at the field level was carried out by both headquarters staff and project officers at the field level to ascertain progress of work and make adjustments if need be.

A significant observation made during the quarter was the high level of enthusiasm demonstrated by community members during the community entry sessions to introduce the interventions. At Nagbere community under the ANWOC project, a participant expressed optimism that the introduction of the saving with education scheme will help transform their economic lives based on the information they had obtained about its impact in ANWOC project neighboring communities.

One key challenge encountered during the quarter was the sudden demise of ADDRO’s Executive Director who doubled as the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Tamale, the Rt. Rev’d. Dr. Jacob Kofi Ayeebo. His demise stalled activity implementation for some few weeks.

 Another key challenge worth mentioning is the delay in the approval of 2019 program plans which resulted in the shifting of the first quarter activities to quarter two.

2. FIELD ACTIVITIES

The following under listed activities were planned to be carried out during the first quarter;

  • Train and support 200 farmers on compost and manure production
  • Train 30 New Climate Resilience Volunteers (CRV) to assist project officers in the education of farmers on Climate resilient practices
  • Provide incentives for 30 new Climate Resilience Volunteers (Bicycles, bicycle spare parts, Branded T-shirts and bags, Wellington boots and Protective Clothing, etc.)
  • Bicycle spare parts for 20 old Community Resilient Volunteers
  • Provide capacity building for 12 staff – Participatory Learning and Action tools
  • Conduct monitoring of project activities

However, due to the delay in the approval of program plans and release of funds, and later the sudden death of ADDRO’s Executive Director, most of the above activities were shifted to the second quarter. The activities successfully carried out thus, include the following;

2.1 Selection of program beneficiaries

During the quarter, project officers at the respective project centers conducted community entries in selected communities and sensitized community members on the interventions of ADDRO. Interested participants were asked to form solidarity groups and apply for the interventions of their interest. Following the sensitization meetings, many applications were received, screened and final lists of participants selected to participate in the 2019 program year. The crop farmers selected for the year were 200 and 100 beneficiaries were also selected to receive animals. Dry season farmers were yet to be screened and selected.

2.2 Staff training on participatory learning and action tools (PLAs)

A three-day staff training on participatory learning and action tools was organized for program staff members from 6th to 8th February, 2019 at Friends Garden Guest House, Zebilla. The participants were 12, comprising 2 females and 10 males. The training which focused on climate resilience employed some participatory learning tools such as historical timelines and transect walk to make the training more participatory and practicable. The program coordinator, Ebenezer Ndebilla led participants to come out with their expectations for the training workshop. The following were some of the expectations outlined;

  • To get the better understanding of PLAs
  • Understanding the PLA tools and how to use them
  • To know the tools used to identify the whole idea of PLAs
  • To learn how to use PLA tools when dealing with beneficiaries
  • To know how to use PLAs in community analyses to identify community needs

Mr John Awumbila, a co-facilitator led the next session on global warming and climate change, its causes and effects

 Participants were put into three groups and supplied with some reading material dubbed ‘Basics of climate change’. In their respective groups they were tasked to answer the following reflective questions;

  • What is global warming?
  • How does your community contribute to global warming?
  • What are the effects of global warming to your respective communities?

Group one shared the following as their responses to the reflection questions;

They defined global warming as the gradual heating of the earth as a result of emissions of certain greenhouse gasses. For example, Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide

They also enumerated the following as  activities in their respective communities do that also contribute to global warming; engagement in illegal mining activities, bush burning, industrial emissions, deforestation, vehicular fumes, charcoal burning, livestock burning, and the use of chemical fertilizers.

The following were also outlined as the effects of global warming on their communities; it leads to drought, heat waves, low yields from farms, and diseases such as skin cancers, CSM etc., and soil erosion.

Group two had the following responses;

Global warming refers to the process that cause the earth’s temperature to rise and therefore makes the earth warmer.

On the contributions their communities make towards global warming, the group had the following as their responses; tree felling, bush burning, industrial activities.

For the third reflection question, changes in rainfall pattern, extreme weather condition, health effects and poor water quality were the effects of global warming on their communities.

Group three defined global warming as the gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere which generally attribute to the greenhouse effects caused by increased level of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

They reviewed that their communities contribute to global warming by cutting down trees, charcoal burning, bush burning and farming very close to water bodies.

Thus, global warming has an effect on their communities since it leads to drought and floods, loss of animal lives, health problems such as CSM, reduce farm productivity, power cuts due to water sources, shortage of water for human consumption, and rural urban migration.

The facilitators went round with participants to review their presentations and applauded all groups for the good presentations.

In summary, facilitators indicated that global warming, which is the gradual increase in temperatures in the earth surface, has become a global canker affecting all spheres of life and thus, entreated participants to support beneficiary communities to implement activities or policies that are climate friendly to help reduce its devastating effects.

The table below summarizes the causes, effects and proposed solutions of global warming as discussed by participants;

SUMMARY OF CAUSES, EFFECTS AND PROPOSED SOLUTIONS OF GLOBAL WARMING

Causes or activities of communities’ members that contribute to global warming Effects of Global Warming Proposed solutions
Illegal mining activities Pollution of water bodies Enactment of laws to stop illegal mining
Bush burning High rising temperature Use control burning where necessary
Industrial emissions Diseases such as cancers Enactment of laws to control emissions
Deforestation Low rainfall, high rising temperature, drought Planting of trees, laws to control illegal felling of trees
Vehicular fumes Air pollution, respiratory diseases Enactment of laws to regulate it
Charcoal burning Low rainfall, high temperatures Planting of trees to replace fell trees, enactment of laws to stop illegal felling of trees for charcoal
Use of agrochemicals Destroys soil organisms leading to low yield Promotion of organic farming systems
Tree felling Low rainfall, rising temperatures, drought Planting of trees
Farming very close to water bodies Pollution of water bodies Enact laws to prevent farmers planting close to water bodies

Table 1: A table showing causes, effects and proposed solutions of global warming

The next topic was transformation in relation to climate change. Participants as usual were put into groups of 3 to brainstorm on the topic and some of the responses they came out with include the following;

 Transformation as related to climate change means tackling the root causes of climate change problems and finding lasting solutions to them. It also means fundamental changes in the deep structures that cause or increase vulnerabilities and risk as well as how it is shared within societies and the global community. Examples of activities that are transformative include; planting of trees, practicing climate resilience agriculture, avoidance of bush burning.

On how transformation could increase climate resilience, participants shared the following; the enactment of community bye-laws on bush burning and indiscriminate felling of trees and increase in the capacity of community members on environmental protection etc.

From the various groups discussions, transformation is seen as measures that help bring lasting change solutions to climate change variabilities.

The table below summarizes the transformation activities and their positive impact on climate change

TRANSFORMATION ACTIVITIES AND THEIR IMPACT ON CLIMATE

# Transformation Activities Positive Impact on the Climate
  Planting of trees Increased rainfall, increases crop and animal productivity, good weather conditions
  Climate smart agriculture Increased production and productivity, increases soil nutrients
  Enactment of bye-laws Restoration of soil cover, increase crop and animal productivity, increase in rainfall etc.

Table 2: Showing the transformation activities and their positive impact on the climate

In summarizing for the day, the program coordinator, took time to brief participants about the intended field trip the next day to practically demonstrate two PLA tools; transect walk and historical timeline.

Participants were put into groups of two; one for the transect walk and the other for the historical timeline. They were charged to assign roles such as a recorder, a facilitator and observers. He later took participants through the tools and their relevance in climate resilience.

 In day two, participants were sent to Alotam community under the Teshie traditional area for a field trip on the PLAs. At the community, community members some of whom were beneficiaries of the program gathered for the exercise. The Project Manager, Rebecca Lariba Seidu responsible for that community, thanked the community members for responding to our invitation to come out for the exercise and also for accepting and welcoming us into their community. She further introduced the ADDRO team to the community members. The program coordinator then followed up with an explanation on the exercises to be done, the procedure and the relevance to the community. They were later divided into groups of two; the transect walk and historical timelines teams to join the ADDRO groups.

The transect walk group set off to one end of the community to start the walk and the historical timeline group also entered a nearby house to start their exercise. After about one and half hour, both groups reconvened for debriefing. The community members who actively participated in the exercises did the presentations of their respective group works. The results from the exercises revealed a lot of things about their community that until then, they didn’t know of and promised to use the results to the benefit of the community.

The following results emerged from the exercises on transect walk and historical timeline;

  • The historical timeline revealed a once fertile community garden with high water table used for dry season farming but currently dry with low yield. This, they attributed to the felling of the trees and excessive use of agro-chemicals around the area.
  • The results also revealed reduced rainfall from March to October, to May to September. Indiscriminate felling of trees was ascribed as the cause to this phenomenon.
  • High incidence of some diseases such as heart attacks, liver and kidney diseases leading to deaths of the youth. The use of agro-chemicals was noted as the cause of such ailments
  • Loss of soil fertility and thus low yield. The loss of soil nutrients was attributed to the use of agro-chemicals which kill the micro-organisms in the soil.

Thus, to ensure the restoration of soil nutrients and increase in productivity, community members were admonished to desist from indiscriminate felling of trees and revert to organic farming systems which enriches the soil fertility and produce healthy foods.

Introduction to resilience analysis was next on the agenda. Participants were again put into groups to define climate resilience and the various capacities related to climate change.

 Some of the responses given during the group exercises include; climate resilience is about enhancing the capacities to productively and positively manage change in a way that contributes to a just world without poverty. Others defined it as the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to hazardous events, trends or disturbances related to climate.

They identified three types of capacities namely; absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacities.

  • The absorptive capacity refers to taking intentional proactive action to cope with known shocks and stresses. In other words, it is the ability to bounce back after a shock. Examples that were given include;
  • the use of early warning systems
  • saving with education schemes
  •  promotion of kitchen gardens.
  • Adaptive capacity was defined as making intentional incremental adjustment in anticipation of or in response to change in ways that create more flexibility in the future. Examples in relation to our program include;
  • promotion of the use of drought resistant varieties
  • promote the provision of diversified livelihoods.
  • Transformative capacity was defined as the fundamental changes in the deep structures that cause or increase vulnerabilities and risk as well as how it is shared within societies and the global community. Examples include;
  • strengthening institutions (formation of resilience or disaster committees),
  • strengthening policies (enacting a grazing policy) etc.

 In responding to climate variabilities in our communities require a proper diagnosis of the              situation and an appropriate capacity employed to solving the situation.

On day three, which was the last day, the first topic was on risk/resilience equations. A case study from the diocese of Tangayika, Tanzania was given to participants to discuss and respond to the following reflection questions; identify the hazards, vulnerabilities, and capacities as captured in the case study. The various groups identified the indicators; the capacities, vulnerabilities and hazards and presented to the plenary for discussion.

Facilitators gave out the formula for a resilience equation as:

 Resilience equation = capacities / vulnerabilities * hazards. Facilitators revealed that to ensure resilience, communities’ members must pursue activities or actions that reduce their vulnerability and reduce hazards levels, and promote activities or actions that enhances their capacities.

The program coordinator led a power walk session with all participants to demonstrate to participants how leadership at various levels could affect climate change. At the end of the session participants were excited about the exercise and expressed shock about how one’s status can have serious implications on climate change. The lesson learnt from the walk was that in making decisions about climate change issues, all stakeholders must be consulted to ensure their views are properly considered rather than consult powerful people in society who might not to be affected by the decisions being made. The following sample questions were used for the power walk;

Questions for Power Walk

  1. Take one step forward if you have had or will have opportunities to complete my education.
  2. Take one step forward if you don’t worry about having enough food to eat.
  3. Take one step forward if you can earn enough money to make a good life for myself and my children.
  4. Take one step forward if you can determine when and how many children I will have.
  5. Globally more than 1/3 women/girls are victims of violence. Take 2 steps back if you are a female.
  6. Take one step forward if you could get a bank loan to start a business if I wanted one.
  7. There has been a drought. Take 2 steps forward if your livelihood is affected by a drought.
  8. Take one step forward if you can make household financial decisions

Take 2 steps forward if you are part of a social network such as a Savings group, cooperative or Church group

The following descriptions were chosen by participants and to assume the roles therein;

I’m a Rev. Minister and owns a three-bed room apartment

I’m a housemaid with no formal education

I’m a man with 10 children and a community toilet keeper

I’m a widow, no job and with 5 children

I’m a development worker with 3 children and owns two cars

I’m a girl living with my aged grandmother in a single room

I’m a traditional leader with 10 wives living in a big house

I’m a single mother and buys pastries to sell for a little profit on market days

I’m a Banker and owns a range over car

The last on the three-day training agenda was on program direction and reporting. Facilitators employed the Asset/Impact prioritization test to demonstrate to participants how to test for the impact of program activities. At the end of the exercise or test, it revealed that those activities that make use of low community assets and have low impact are not worth implementing. However, activities with high impact and high usage of community assets are encouraged to be implemented. An example of such activity revealed during the training was the saving with Education model.

““

2.3 Formation of saving with education groups

During the quarter under review, field officers visited and sensitized community members about the saving with Education model. Field officers explained that saving with Education model was a village led saving model where community members are facilitated to form their own saving groups, elect their management members and set out rules to govern their activities. Out of the 12 groups that have been targeted to be formed in 2019, 6 were formed in the first quarter of the year. The total membership of the groups was 130 members, comprising 1 male and 129 females.

The table below shows the performance of the existing saving groups for the last saving cycle (12 months period);

SAVING GROUPS LOAN DISBURSEMENTS

ITEM/ACTIVITY NUMBER/VALUE
Number of loans disbursed 1,161
Value of loans disbursed $28,558
Cumulative value of group saving in last cycle $18,505

Table 3: This shows saving group loans and value

2.4 Standing Committee Meeting

Following the death of the Executive Director (ED) Rt Rev Dr Jacob Ayeebo, a cross-section of the Annual General Meeting (AGM), referred to as the Standing Committee, held an emergency meeting in Bolgatanga on the 12th March 2019 to take decisions on behalf of the Annual General Meeting.

By the organizational structure, the standing committee is the part of the AGM, that can meet and take decision on behalf of the AGM where it is not possible for the entire AGM. The Standing committee took decisions on the management of the organization, as well as planning for the funeral of the late ED.

3.  FIELD MONITORING

Monitoring of program activities were in two-fold; one undertaken by program field staff and others by headquarters staff. During the period under review, field officers visited program beneficiaries to ascertain progress of their activities and also used such monitoring visits to recover loans from program beneficiaries. Saving with education groups were also monitored during the period to observe their saving meetings and offer advice where necessary. Program officers at the headquarters level also visited project centers and field level to assess progress of activity implementation. The program coordinator joined the field staff of BACH at Zebok, a new community under their operational area for community entry to introduce the interventions ADDRO intends supporting them with. In outlining the interventions, the project Manager for BACH revealed that ADDRO has changed its strategy of fertilizer usage to natural farming systems. This he said will rely mainly on the use of organic compost, and that interested beneficiaries will benefit from a climate smart training session and supported with improved maize seed to plant. The improved seed, he said was a loan and will be repaid after harvest.

The following observations were made during monitoring visits to some communities at respective  project centres;

  • There was active participation and high level of interest shown by community members during community entry sessions to select new beneficiaries at Zebok community under BACH project.
  • Saving groups were adhering to the rules set out by themselves at Sumbrungu during a monitoring visit by the monitoring and evaluation officer
  • Low recoveries of loans in BACH program center. Program coordinators urged field staff to intensify efforts in raising their recoveries by the end of quarter two. Beneficiaries were also admonished to do a thorough market survey to ascertain the viability or otherwise of their businesses ideas before starting.
  • During community entry sessions both at Kansogo and Zebok communities under ANWOC and BACH respectively, community members expressed reservations whether without chemical fertilizer, maize will yield well. Project officers explained that the use of chemical fertilizer only produced good yield in the short term but it destroys the soil structure and nutrients in the long run and there by producing very low yield. However, with the organic farming, the soil nutrients are maintained and provides sustainable agricultural activities for a longer period.

4.  CHALLENGES & RECOMMENDATIONS

Challenge Possible solutions to try Question for Episcopal Relief & Development? Changes needed in activities or project plan?
The sudden demise of ADDRO Executive Director, Rt. Rev’d Dr. Jacob K. Ayeebo Structures were in place for smooth transition    
Delays in program plans approval despite early submission by ADDRO Timelines could be set and strictly followed by both ADDRO and Episcopal Relief and Development for submission and review of PPWs    
       

5. PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS

The programme participants include crop farmers, small ruminant farmers, environmental clubs, entrepreneurs (micro-credit beneficiaries) and community climate resilience volunteers. Microcredit and small ruminant support beneficiaries are actively engaged in business activities and rearing of animals respectively which is helping improve their livelihoods and their dependents. School Environmental clubs determined and willing to grow trees to help fight climate change in their communities.

Crop farmers: These beneficiaries will receive training on climate smart agriculture and supported with improved maize seeds to plant and repay after harvesting

Small ruminant farmers: Beneficiaries will receive training on animal husbandry and supported with two ruminants; goats or sheep to grow and repay with two offsprings after two years.

School Environmental Clubs: These are school based clubs who have been supported with mango seedlings to grow

Micro-credit beneficiaries: These are micro business owners supported with small amounts of cash loans to do businesses and repay

Climate Resilience Volunteers: These are community members selected by their community leaders to serve as a link between ADDRO and the community and also support the field staff in activity implementation.

These participants are currently engaged in performing their respective roles in the program, and thus contribute individually and collectively in the achievement of the program objectives.

6.  NEXT PERIOD ACTIVITIES

The following activities are planned to be implemented in the second quarter of the year;

Demonstrate climate-smart crops using 4 farmer field schools
Train 100 targeted farmers on small ruminant’s management techniques 
Train 200 farmers on Climate Smart Agriculture
Support 200 targeted farmers with improved seed varieties (maize, groundnut and soybean) on a credit basis
Empower 100 farmers with improved breeding stock of goats and sheep
Train 30 New Climate Resilience Volunteers (CRV) to assist project officers in the education of farmers on Climate resilient practices
Train 50 climate resilience committee (CRC) members to respond to climate change issues (5 members per committee)
Provide incentives for 30 new Climate Resilience Volunteers (Bicycles, bicycle spare parts, Branded T-shirts and bags, Wellington boots and Protective Clothing, etc.)
Bicycle spare parts for 20 old Community Resilient Volunteers Form Savings with Education groups Organize training sessions for SwE groups Provide supportive supervision to savings groups Sensitise communities on environmental and climate issues through community durbars   Sensitise identifiable youth groups in  communities to engage in tree growing and other environmental and climate issues   Adopt or develop 300 SBCC materials, in line with national environmental policies, for local areas   Facilitate the planting of 250 as replacement for 2018 dead trees by members of school environmental clubs. Conduct monitoring of project activities  

8.  HUMAN INTEREST STORY

During a community field visit to the Aloutam community, in the Bawku West District for the staff training on participatory learning and action (PLA) tools, after having gone through the Transect Walk and presentations made, a member of the community, Mr. Baba Akugri exclaimed that “So all these assets exist in this community and we never knew!” Thus, he expressed appreciation to ADDRO for opening their eyes to things that they never knew had value until that day.

Another community member. Mrs. Agatnaba Adasneego also expressed shock and disbelieve after undergoing a historical timeline exercise and presentations, that all the changes happening in their community are caused by their own actions and inactions. She says “she thought these changes were signs of end time and not their own creation”