As part of its commitments to empower certified farmers to strengthen the communities they live and work in, Kukuom Cooperative Union, a member of Fairtrade Africa, has built a water facility in Siana, one of its member communities, to provide potable water.
The funding was possible due to the payment the farmers received from Fairtrade premiums which are competitively priced to enable cocoa farmers gain favourably from the global commodity trade to undertake development activities in their communities.
The borehole was commissioned at an event which was held on the 28th August 2019 and was attended by senior officials of Fairtrade Africa, the chiefs and community leaders.
The GHS 15,000 project is located on the premises of the Siana District Assembly Primary and Junior High School serving the people in the entire community. The project is being implemented as part of the Youth Inclusive Community-Based Monitoring and Remediation (YICBMR) programme that Fairtrade initiated. YICBMR is an effective participatory and rights based model that is used by Fairtrade to address child protection issues.
The YICBMR approach puts the youth and children at the centre of social protection. The programme is being implemented under the supervision of the district department of social welfare. The Kukuom Cocoa Farmers and marketing Union Limited is currently piloting this model.
The idea of building the borehole was introduced to ensure that children take full advantage of all their school hours instead of walking long distances to fetch water from nearby streams and rivers.
Speaking at the commissioning event, the Executive Director for Fairtrade Africa, Dr. Nyagoy Nyongo commended the cooperative union for taking a firm stand to ensure that the local community addresses water and sanitation.
She added: “Fairtrade Africa advocates for better trade and pricing for its member producers so that they are empowered to fulfil their potential and decide on their future. By providing access to water in communities like Siana, farmers ensure that their communities are not left behind in working towards sustainable development goals.
Nana Gyamera, Head of the Kukuom Farmers Union expressed his appreciation at how the 29 producer associations are committed to improving their own social conditions by addressing issues such as social protection.
“This borehole initiative shows that as a cooperative, our farmers are concerned about contributing towards the education of our children and supporting them with the conducive and safe places to harness their potential.”
Akua Nyarko is a parent whose two children attend the school. “We are happy that this borehole will provide water for our community.
This means that our people will no longer be exposed to the risks of water borne diseases. The water will also help the school canteen to provide meals made with clean drinking water”
The Chief of Siana, Nana Kwadwo Boadi II, commended Kukuom Union and Fairtrade for the initiative to address water and sanitation (WASH) in the community whiles ensuring the right for every child to be in school.
Fairtrade Africa is committed to ensuring that farmers benefit from global trade in a way that helps them not only to improve their livelihoods, but also to empower their current and future generations to live a decent life. And for Siana community, this aspiration also includes having access to safe, drinking water for all!