Access to land remains a hindrance to many Jirapa women

Jirapa (U/W)� Lack of access to land in Jirapa by many women is a major challenge hindering their participation in government’s pro-poor agricultural interventions.

Out of a total of 20,264 cashew seedlings that were raised and distributed to 264 farmers within the Municipality under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), only two females benefited compared to 262 males in the programme.

Another three women out of 80 farmers benefited from the distribution of 9,000 polyclonal cashew seedlings under the programme as against 262 male beneficiaries.

Again, out of a total of 7,320 beneficiaries of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme, 1,363 women benefited as against a total of 5,957 males.

Mr Samuel Oteng Poku, the Jirapa Municipal Director of Agriculture, at a meet the press forum in Jirapa, said the Assembly was very gender sensitive but were constrained by the prevailing cultural practice.

Despite the advocacy work by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to increase women access to agricultural land in the Jirapa Municipality, the cultural challenge still persists though women contribute significantly to agricultural production in the Upper West Region.

Madam Christine Bombaire Amadu, the Jirapa Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), in a presentation made on her behalf, said the Assembly has prioritised Community-Based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds and that has led to a decline in maternal deaths from two recorded deaths in 2016 to no death till date.

She said there have been a 315.67 per cent increase in household toilets from 2016 to 2019 whiles the number of Open Defecation Free (ODF) communities also increased from nine in 2018 to 34 in 2019.

This feat resulted in the Municipality being awarded the most promising Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) implementer among the 11 Municipal and District Assemblies in the region.

The Municipality was also able to improve its ranking on the District League Table from tenth to eighth position in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Water coverage also increased from 82.15 per cent in 2016 to 86.70 per cent in 2019 mid-year while electricity coverage has moved from 51 per cent in 2016 to 61 per cent in mid-year 2019.

On employment, the MCE said the Municipality recorded a total of 397 full time employment in the health, education and agriculture sectors and 158 others were employed under the Nation Builder’s Corps (NABCO) programme.

The Ghana Education Service (GES) also had a total of 255 new teachers employed comprising 53 double track, 94 limited recruitment and 108 newly trained.

Low Internally Generated Funds (IGF), poor Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) performance rate, inadequate medical doctors, inadequate warehouses, lack of vehicles for GES and haphazard spatial development in the Municipal capital, Jirapa, are some of the challenges confronting the Municipality.

Source: Ghana News Agency