Community members at Saamang, Abompe, Dome, Hemang, Nsutam, Dwenase, Bosuso and Kplandey in the Fanteakwa South district as well as Asikam and Ahwenease in Abuakwa South of the Eastern region, expressed joy after signing grant agreements with Advocates for Community Alternatives (ACA), an NGO, to carry out various development initiatives.
ACA is partnering with the Abuakwa South municipal and Fanteakwa South District Assemblies to support Ghanaian mining communities to implement the Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP), a process that was developed and popularized in East Africa by ACA’s partner organization, Spark MicroGrants.
FCAP is part of ACA’s community-driven development strategy, which encourages communities to create a common development vision and equips them with skills and financial resources – including a USD 9,000 microgrant – to pursue it.
Each community is receiving a $9,000 microgrant from ACA to pursue sustainable development projects that will put these communities, which are threatened by extractive development, in control of their own development and give them the tools to advocate for their own vision of the future.
In line with the District Assemblies’ medium-term plans, Hemang, Dwenase and Kplandey have prioritized the construction of mechanized boreholes while Dome is putting up a CHPS Compound (mini clinic).
Residents of Asikam, urgently in need of a maternity block to increase access to maternal health services and further facilitate the process of upgrading their CHPS Compound to a health centre.
However, their counterparts in Nsutam are in a dire need of a mini market. Classroom blocks are to be built at Saamang and Ahwenease.
Community members of Abompe and Bosuso are investing their grants in income-generating ventures to create employment and wealth among themselves.
While the people of Abompe are going into poultry farming, residnets in Bosuso are venturing into the production of soap in commercial quantities.
“I have learnt a lot from ACA over the last four months as regards project implementation and management. Thanks to ACA’s engagements with us, we are clear in our minds in taking our destiny into our hands and mobilizing resources toward a common goal. My community arrived at a consensus that we should have a health centre and we remain committed to ensuring the successful implementation of our project”, ·Gideon Ofori Boakye, the Assembly member for Asikam Electoral Area said after the signing of the grant agreement.
“This project will go a long way to help the community as this maternity block, which is about to be built, forms part of the broader plan to upgrade our CHPS compound to a health centre to improve access to good quality health care.”
The Mmrateehene (chief of young males) of Asikam, Obed Ofori Ansah, said, “The engagements between ACA and the local assembly and the community over the last few months have broadened our horizon on several issues. For instance, we learnt about effective planning and implementation of community-based projects. We are so grateful to ACA and its partners for the good work done so far.”
Sagyemase, Juaso and Nsuapemso in the Eastern Region, as well as Donkro Nkwanta, Kyeredeso, Nwoase and Salamkrom in Bono East Region have already benefited from the FCAP process.
Through FCAP, communities have successfully built key infrastructures, including clinics and community centers, and start-up collective enterprises, such as rice farms and black soap manufacturing.
In all, ACA intends to replicate the process in a hundred communities in Ghana’s mining areas in the coming years.
ACA has also sponsored Community-driven development projects in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.