The Intervention Strategy Workshop (ISW) held March 23-25, 2015 in the West Africa Resilience Innovation Lab hosted by University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale Ghana attracted 23 participants drawn from the central region of Ghana, government, private sector, the academia and the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) West Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (WA RILab) participating communities including Senegal. Discussions at the ISW focused on the thematic area of the RILab, rapid urbanization as a resilience challenge. This ISW was aimed at reaching a common understanding in relation to the intervention pathways appropriate for addressing issues related to the RILab’s resilience challenge. Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale Ghana opened the ISW. In his opening remarks, he warmly welcomed all to the University and expressed concern about the manner in which agricultural lands in Tamale were being used for residential buildings, to the neglect of food and animal production. He said, “Talking about rapid urbanization in this country, the least said about it the better, towns are springing up, our agricultural lands are being taken for housing, and finally I don’t know where we will all be growing our food crops”. Professor Teye said due to rapid urbanization, places that were used for farming and as grazing fields for animals, especially in Tamale, had been used for housing and construction of fueling stations, which would not augur well for planned nation building. He tasked the WA RILab and wider RAN stakeholders, to find innovative ways of strengthening the resilience building strategies in the affected communities, to ensure that the effects of rapid urbanization do not ruin these communities. “The problem of rapid urbanization in Tamale, Ghana is made worse by the ever-increasing population in the urban centers. This has outstripped residential and social amenities, natural resources and the capacity of sanitation and hygiene infrastructure, calling for collaborative efforts towards addressing even the related problems” noted Niagia Santuah, Programme Coordinator in the WA RILab. He added that in many parts of the cities in Ghana, huge amounts of waste were generated every day, and that much of the waste stayed for weeks without being collected and properly disposed, a situation he said, needed urgent attention. This situation had led to an overall deterioration in the quality of the urban environment and the livelihoods of the people. He added that, “The sheer numbers concentrated in a small area compounds the abuse of available water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities. This, coupled with a weak law enforcement body challenges the achievement of a long-term and sustainable WASH project”. The possible intervention Pathways identified from the ISW were further developed during the Collaborative Resilience Innovation Design (CRID) workshop held March 26, 2015.

CRID Participants discuss innovative projects

CRID Participants discuss innovative projects

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Atleast I have one Innovation-Farmer Participant shares

Atleast I have one Innovation-Farmer Participant shares

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