Regional News of Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Source: GNA

Lecturer adjudged best writer on Desertification

Mr. Frank Arku, a Senior Lecturer at the Presbyterian University College, Akropong Campus, has been recognized as one of the best 10 writers globally on desertification and drought.

Two articles written by Mr. Arku: “I Cannot Drink Water on an Empty Stomach;” and “ Gender Perspective on Living with Drought” were among the best 10 articles selected to commemorate the United Nation’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought which was observed on June 15 this year.

To support the World Day to combat desertification and drought, Routledge, world acclaimed publishers, usually selects a collection of the 10 top articles on the key themes of desertification and drought for online publication and this year, the collection included that of Mr. Arku.

The articles were to raise awareness on the issues with the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Convention to help combat desertification across the globe, especially in parts of Africa.

The article co-authored by his wife, Mrs Cynthia Arku, discussed the impact of drought on livelihoods of agro-based rural communities in the Volta Region and how rural women, in particular, attempted to survive during drought periods.

Drought, which negatively affects both men and women in some respects, affects more women due to their combined reproductive and productive workload.

The article suggested that to reduce women’s excessive workload, seasonal migration of men and hunger arising from drought, development organizations needed to incorporate irrigation into rural water supply projects in agro-based economies that were drought-prone.

Mr. Arku, who holds a PhD, has a background in geophysics, physical and human geography and rural and socio-economic development.

His research interests are community participation, rural community and multi disciplinary perspective. He has supervised and coordinated the development of rural and Aboriginal communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Fort McMurray Canada.**