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Regional News of Thursday, 28 February 2008

Source: GNA

TechnoServe provides water filters for farmers

Wa, Feb. 28, GNA - TechnoServe, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with the assistance of Guinness Ghana Limited has provided 500 water filters to sorghum farmers in the Upper West Region who lived in communities where access to clean water was a real challenge. The items formed part of the 22,000 water filters valued at 30,000 dollars that the NGO provided for the 2007 floods disaster victims in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

Mr. Stephen Mwinkaara, Project Manager of the West Africa Sorghum Value Chain Development Project who presented the items, said since 2003, TechnoServe, in partnership with Guinness Ghana had been actively involved in the development of the sorghum industry.

He said lessons learnt from the past years had stimulated the establishment of the West Africa Sorghum Value Chain Development Project, which is collaboration between Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited and the common Fund for commodities and TechnoServe.

He said the implementation of the project in April 2006, has so far assisted more than 3,000 farmers to produce and supply 2, 000 metric tonnes of sorghum valued at 825,000 Ghana Cedis.

Mr. Mwinkaara said, apart from sponsoring the project, Guinness Ghana has also provided market for the sorghum produced. In addition to helping to produce and supply sorghum, they have been concerned with the other socio-economic needs of farmers. The Project Manager said under Guinness Ghana Water for life Porject, it was providing boreholes for rural communities in phases and 10 boreholes were being drilled in Northern Ghana under this phase. He mentioned Poyentanga and Goziiri in the Upper West Region, as two communities that would benefit from the project while the second phase would be implemented this year to benefit more needy communities. Mr. Mwinkaara said it was the hope of the NGO and Guinness Ghana that the filters and boreholes would help reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases among farmers in the flood affected communities. He urged farmers to reciprocate the gesture by taking their farming activities seriously to enable them to earn more money for themselves. Receiving the items on behalf of the farmers, the Upper West Regional Minister, Mr. George Hikah Benson, expressed regret at the devastating nature of the floods to the people and thanked TechnoServe and Guinness Ghana for the items.

He said proper utilization of the water filters would help keep the farmers healthy and productive and encourage more farmers to go into sorghum cultivation to reduce poverty in the north. He said he and District Chief Executives in the region would go into sorghum cultivation this year to motivate others to emulate them.

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