A training programme to equip planning officers of Municipal and District Assemblies in the three northern regions, to facilitate the mainstreaming of climate and water security plans, and the implementation of no and low regrets projects for community adaptation and resilience, is underway in Bolgatanga.
Professor James Grant Monney, National Training Co-ordinator of Country Water Partnership (CWP– Ghana) said, the training formed a component of Global Water Partnership (CWP), to build capacity of key personnel of Local Government and Rural Development, to help incorporate water security plans in their interventions.
Prof Monney said the training built on an earlier one held in the year, would serve as a hub to the programme that would help trainees engage Regional Coordinating Councils, and be able to respond to issues that require further insights and thereby harmonize issues across the country.
He disclosed that similar training courses would be mounted at the universities for planners, and interested personnel to pursue such programmes .
The training, according to him, had objectives such as acquiring skills and knowledge to develop a balanced portfolio of investment options that enhanced water security for climate resilient growth and development, learning how to prioritize no low regrets options and to make a clear economic case for investment, and applying new knowledge and tools from earlier workshops on real project cases.
The training also attracted personnel from the Water Resources Commission (WRC), Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Institute of Local Government Studies and NDPC.
Dr Emmanuel Obeng Tchere, facilitator at the training programme, took participants through climate risk screening on projects, and advised them on climate resilient , and climate risky projects and how to handle them effectively.
Mr Maxwell Boateng Gyimah, Executive Secretary and Project Manager, CWP-Ghana, in an interview, said changing weather trends were real, and the need to recognize farmers indigenous knowledge about the climate and how they followed events, was vital.
To this extent, the Project Manager added that the need for data and information-gathering, climatic parameters in terms of rainfall and temperature was important, especially increasing trend that had led to seasonal shift, and therefore the need to find ways for farmers to adapt with the trends.
He said it was not only farmers, but also as stakeholders concerned about farmers, it informed the CWP-Ghana decision to bring in District Assemblies which after a clear understanding of water security issues, would be in a better situation to help Assemblies plan and secure water resources in their jurisdictions for communities to use for improved livelihood and economic development.
He noted that CWP-Ghana in collaboration with partners endeavoured to address the climate change issues by building capacity of Assemblies to incorporate development interventions in communities through climate lens and to understand the pattern of development they had to undertake.
He said farmers were in the limelight because it is about water and so therefore the need to understand the need to embark on water security measures to improve their lives.
Mr Gyimah also called on government to institute targeted interventions to people at the grassroots which was possible through dialogue with communities and knowing what their livelihoods issues were in order to tailor interventions to address the gaps.
He added that If water security needs of communities are met, the rural poor will be able to turn things around. GNA