Farmers who practice dry season farming in Kazugu, a farming community in the Kasena/Nankana West District of the Upper East Region have abandoned their vegetables farms after water shortage hit the only lake from which they source water to irrigate their crops.
The situation is dire and worse so much that several farms of tomato, okro, garden eggs and pepper in large amounts have all been left to wither away after alternative means to source water by the farmers failed.
According to some of the farmers, the water shortage has always been a challenge every year in their community in spite of several measures put in place to check it. They blamed the small size of the water body and the defunct water canal system which is constructed at the basement of the lake to help transport water further inland for easy access for their current predicaments.
They have called for support from government to expand the lake to avert future occurrences and food insecurity in the community.
“The problem is with the size of the dam. It’s too small and needs to be expanded. The chief built it some years ago including the water canals but it has not been given any facelift to further expand it. So, we want to appeal to the government and the authorities in charge of agriculture development to come and see the situation for themselves and help us.”
Meanwhile, A1 News has learnt that an agreement facilitated by the chief has been reached with the entire community and farmers have been asked to reserve the remaining water in the lake for livestock. Pepper farmers who are the majority and worse affected have since been urged to harvest the green ‘immature’ fruits for sale.
” We used to irrigate our crops every three days, then moved to every four days but where it has reached now, it is so bad that we have had to stop because we won’t have water for our cattle, goat and sheep if we continuously draw the water from the dam. The chief called us and we agreed on that. So now all we have been urged to harvest our pepper in its green stage” One of the frustrated farmers said.
During the seventh formal celebration of the Womdai-Abu festival in Kazugu, the chief, Parekuri Thomas Asangchera Aluah for his community prayed government, through the Water Resources and Sanitation Minister, Honourable Joseph Kofi Adda, to consider the development and further expansion of Lake Dumpolo. He said as the only lake in the entire Buru-Kazigo area with water all year round, expanding it will allow for the cultivation of crops and encourage fish farming which will in turn create jobs for his people.
A1 Radio News|A1radioonline.com|Ghana.