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Building Resilience in Climate Displaced Island Communities in Ghana

Empowering climate displaced Island Communities in Ghana to develop resilience in rebuilding community and developing sustainable adaptation

Photo of Lovans Owusu-takyi
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

Overharvesting of mangroves as fuelwood in Bomigo and surrounding Island communities is causing high depletion of the mangroves and rendering the community susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change and rising sea levels. The high level of depletion is also due to a lack of economic opportunities for the youth and indigenous people within the community. Lack of access to energy and economic activities is driving the youth from the community into the major capital cities. These challenges and others have been a matter of concern to the Chief, Community Elders, Leaders of the Bomigo Youth and Development Association who are trying to find ways to develop the community and build resilience to adapt to the potential threats of climate change, lack of energy access, low economic opportunities and deforestation. Whiles these efforts seem to bring possible solutions, there is inadequate financial support to help the community adequately address its challenges holistically as well as bring about the change that will make the community and its surrounding neighbors on this Island build resilience and ensure safety.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

The Bomigo community is an island comprised of around 1500 inhabitants in the coastal areas close to Anloga in the Keta District of the Volta Region of Ghana. It is a post surrounded by the salty waters of the Keta Lagoon, around 146 kilometers from the regional capital, Ho, with a final journey by boat the only way to reach the island from the mainland. Bomigo is off the electricity grid, with minimal access to public services – it is one of the poorest and most deprived areas of Ghana.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

The project seeks to build the resilience of Bomigo Island and surrounding Island communities to respond to the challenges of climate change, high rate of youth migration, mangrove depletion, and low economic opportunities through community-based participatory design approaches, skills training, environmental consciousness, energy access interventions as well as learning exchange between the community leaders and other thriving communities, to develop relevant tools and solutions to adapt.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

We believe that by providing energy access, environmental restoration initiatives, alternative woodlots and solar water irrigation systems for farming within the island, whilst providing an awareness and education programme alongside, we can make a huge difference to the lives of local youth, women and men – improving their health, improving their livelihoods by reducing the overharvesting of mangroves as fuelwood, introduce other alternative livelihoods initiatives, use participatory approaches to enable community members develop locally own solutions and policies to address their needs holistically and improving their surrounding environment. Using the Ecovillage Design Education approaches, through the socio-economic, ecological modules and community-based learning tools, coupled with interventions - we are hopeful that the community will further learn about ways to build resilience, strengthen their economic system, encourage youth to stay in the community and restore mangroves.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

1. Improved understanding of the impact of current systems of living and depletion have on the environment and a realization of the problems. 2. Enable community members to develop a community-based action plan, policies and procedures to address their needs and create a better learning environment for youth. 3. Create a local economy by cultivating economically viable crops and process them through the installed solar water irrigation systems, solar electricity, and farms 4. Develop resilience to climate change by replanting depleted lands with alternative woodlots whiles replanting depleted mangroves to ensure secured water banks against flooding, erosion and rising sea levels. 5. About 100 community youth will return to the community to support development initiatives initiated through the project and enhance resilience building 6. Increased access to solar lighting will help improve education, improve night security, reduce social challenges and increase incomes of indigenes

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

Building resilience to climate change in climate displaced Island communities is key. The United Nations has prioritized Island Communities and states as critical in the fight against climate change since they are most vulnerable. Community-based approaches that help develop resilience, motivation through participatory approaches and action-oriented initiatives helping to bring fulfillment within a community fighting for peace, joy and hope to build resilience to the adverse effects of climate change is critical in this dispensation. If nothing is done the challenges might escalate and in the next 10years, majority of people would have migrated from the once beautiful traditional ISland community to seek greener pastures in urban communities causing additional challenges to the problem of migration, social vices among others.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

The Bomigo community is an island comprised of around 1500 inhabitants in the coastal areas close to Anloga in the Keta District of the Volta Region of Ghana. It is a post surrounded by the salty waters of the Keta Lagoon, around 146 kilometers from the regional capital, Ho, with a final journey by boat the only way to reach the island from the mainland. Bomigo is off the electricity grid, with minimal access to public services – it is one of the poorest and most deprived areas of Ghana. The community members are hardworking and committed to finding solutions to their challenges. They have initiated a community-based self-help initiative that seeks to develop areas within the community, such as a community hospital, a community basic school, a community working group, and opinion leaders, where accountability meetings are held to inform community members of how their initiatives are helping develop their communities.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

The community members are already involved in actions that seek to improve their livelihoods. However, the biggest challenge of climate impacts still saddles them With fertile land for cultivation, the people see that increasing farming, and fishing activities through solar-powered systems might go a long way to bring a change in the community As well, developing ways to build resilience in the community through education and awareness, mobilized community action towards sustainable growth is key. Providing further tools to help in the community resilience building and initiatives, by teaching an EDE with community members will help in prioritization

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

The Bomigo Youth and Development Association is a mobilized youth association committed to the development of the Bomigo Island and surrounding communities. The Keta District Assembly including the department of Forestry commission, Department for Community Development, the department for Agriculture and department for youth. Civil Society Organisations such as the Global Ecovillages Network Ghana - www.genghana.org, will be using its ecovillage Design Education Learning Tools to help build resilience among community members and leaders to develop locally grown solutions to climate change.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Other

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Systems design: Solutions that target changing larger system

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Pilot: We have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users. The feasibility of an innovation is tested in a small-scale and real world application (i.e. 3-15% of the target population)

Group or Organization Name

Institute for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Solutions (ISEES)

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

The Institute for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Solutions (ISEES) is a non-profit development organization committed to research, training, community empowerment, and technology deployment in the areas of renewable energy, climate change, natural resources, water, and sanitation. Our aim is to improve the lives and livelihoods of residents of some of Ghana’s poorest communities, by introducing climate-smart sustainable technologies that will improve the environment and the efficiency of households and small enterprises across Ghana and Africa. ISEES works primarily with women groups in local communities to improve access to modern, affordable and efficient energy products and services aimed at improving livelihoods and health as well as mitigating climate change by enabling women to switch from the use of traditional cookstoves to improved cookstoves, introducing sustainable fuelwood production, and providing access to water and sanitation services.

Website URL:

www.iseesghana.org

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country

Ghana

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Accra

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Photo of John Yongo
Team

Lovans, you have a bright idea, I hope your team will go with the idea, like the photo it looks like in one of our villages in south Sudan. I am encouraging you not to look back you can even join other organization and put your idea to get some resources, In case possible buil;d a relation with some organization to do more cooperation.