INTERVIEWS WITH PEOPLE IN EXTREME POVERTY IN GHANA
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Different inhabitants of Salpiiga have been interviewed for the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty in 2018. Here is an excerpt of what they shared: 

"Mahamadu M. is my name. I am 82years old. I have one wife and 5 children. I am a farmer but has no support to expand my farming business. My house has collapsed due to the heavy downpours. Seven of us sleep now in a small half cubicle (hut). That hut you can see was used previously to store cereals but has now become our room. Our state of extreme poverty started over twelve years ago. At that time I tried to put up a block house to give the family a befitting place but my life has turned upside down. Since then I have been living from hand to mouth. What has become my headache now is my ability to give the children food but sometimes they have to go hungry to bed. I am worried about the way I wanted to support my children education. Right now, I am only trying with the little I have but cannot tell if all my five children will complete primary and basic education.

"Akolgo A. is my name. I am 45yrs and have five children. My current situation has made some of the children feel I am punishing as a father, looking at where we live as a family. Two of my children have dropped from school. I am a peasant farmer and depends on my farming for survival. In the last farming season, I embarked on large scale farming to raise money out of my farm produce to work on my dilapidated house which now lies in ruins but the rains washed almost everything away rendering my family homeless. I felt to give up in life. I was just fortunate to have a small cubicle which I used to store farm produce, that is what my whole family is using as a bedroom. I was also fortunate because someone passed on as a beneficiary of the LEAP (Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty). The only social intervention the Government provides is just to relieve us to make life better for my children education. The amount comes every three months totaling GHC 130 which is about $26. I must say that, there is no more hope in getting assistance to build and roof my home."

WHAT CAN THEY DO PRACTICALLY TO FIGHT POVERTY IN THE FAMILY, COMMUNITY?

There was an open forum with respect to gender in which most of them gave local strategies they can take to fight poverty and ensure all their children enjoy their fundamental human rights and freedoms to education. They are more willing to work, but the opportunities are not there.

  1. Education, their greatest priority. Currently, the School Feeding Programme has not yet been extended to the community school children. This is a state social intervention policy to motivate and encourage all school going age children to be fed one meal a day in order to be regular and retained in school to learn. In the case of Salpiiga, the school children are not enjoying school meals, as s result it affects the children education in the village. This creates low enrollment. They have decided to be very serious to send their children to school since it is one of the surest way to fight poverty in the future. The school which was built in 1999 needs renovation and extension to provide space for quality education for the growing children population.

  2. Dry season farming. They want support to do farming in the off-season (dry season) to be able to fend for the whole family and fight poverty.

  3. Potable drinking water in the village is a serious problem and if there is no immediate solution, the entire village may suffer a hard hit pandemic of communicable disease which may result in people’s losing their lives.

  4. Livestock rearing. They are interested to do rearing of animals (sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, rabbits). In order to keep them safe, they have to confine the animals by building or fencing them with local technology.

  5. Vocational and Technical skills development. They want to have training in vocational skills to be able to help themselves grow in diversified skills. The women are ready to learn dressmaking, hairdressing, weaving, soap making, manicure and pedicure to make money in order to support their families move out of poverty. The men want to venture into carpentry, masonry, welding and fabrication, artisanship.

  6. Join hands in the fight against corruption in the community and district assembly to prevent the public purse from leaking rendering the people impoverished.