April passed in a blur with wedding plans etc. It seems like ages when we were in Wa in Ghana. We travelled to Wa from Accra via the overnight public bus. They travel in convoys of three with armed guards on the first bus, mainly because of the risk of bandits on the open roads. As you travel into the north of the country there are no lights on the road and only speed bumps warn you of the small communities you are passing through. They play very loud videos (not in English) on the bus and keep the air con very cold all through the night so by the time you arrive you are definitely shaken and stirred! I won’t mention the toilet stops……..
The goats going into the boot (!) of the bus for the 12 hour journey to Wa – they did survive.
Wa is like a different world to Accra, the northern part of Ghana being much poorer and less developed than Accra, as well as more rural. We met with our partners, C4C who run our seedbank and fruit tree projects in the Upper West and Upper East regions of Ghana.
A lady selling food just outside where we were staying.
We visited one community that are doing the Seedbank project in a very rural area outside of Wa. The poorer women of the community are given 6 large bowls of soya beans to plant one acre of land, and then they return that amount at harvest (in order the maintain the Seedbank), keeping the remaining 30 bowls for themselves. The land is ploughed by a tractor that was generously donated by a local East Riding farmer which was sent by JWA several years ago. This community is a christian community that were struggling because their only water supply, which was from a bore hole, was running low. Instead of a stream of water there was only a trickle and so it was taking much longer to fill their containers. We were concerned that they would not survive until the rainy season. Even the river nearby was completely dry.
We prayed with this community and Alistair prayed for rain – although no one there had ever seen rain in Northern Ghana in February /March during the dry season.
Alistair talking to the women of the community.
By the time we were leaving the community it had become very windy and there were a few spots of rain. By the time we reached Wa it was starting to rain – it rained heavily for 12 hours and flooded the area. Even in the rainy season it only rains for a few hours a day. Everyone was amazed – what an answer to prayer! We are hoping to find a donor / raise the money to build a bore hole for this community so that they will be water secure for the future.
One 3 year old girl in the community had an infected burn caused by hot porridge and was unwell with a temperature. They did not have transport or money to take her to the nearest medical centre. We took her ourselves and bought the medication she required. Even the medical centre did not have any dressings! She also had malaria which could have killed her if left untreated as it is a leading cause of death in children under 5.
We also visited the Eastern Region of Ghana where JWA with C4C’s help have planted several fruit tree orchards. One headteacher in particular had motivated his pupils to look after their trees and was so grateful for the support of our donors to enable them to have mangoes in the next few years.
Alistair with the headmaster talking to the children at a school in Upper Eastern Region, Ghana
Uphold the weak, be patient with all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14