James Hansen

photo James Hansen

Piku Laar is a 35-year-old farmer and petty trader from Farfar community in Garu-Tempane District in the Upper East Region of Ghana. His livelihood is being affected by erratic rainfall brought on by climate change. To help him increase his crop yields, he needs to be able to better predict when and how much rain is likely to fall so that he can plant his crops appropriately. Forecasts and past rainfall data if available at all, are general for northern Ghana and difficult for farmers to understand and use. Using rain gauges can enable him and others to keep a record of actual rainfall season by season which will reflect changing
rainfall patterns over time.

“Before the rain gauge installation, we would sometimes hear rainfall information on the radio, but we did not know how they were getting the figures or what that meant for us,” says Piku. Some community members did not trust radio forecasts because they did not know where the information was coming from. “We now understand it is us that can gather information for the experts.” Also, in the past, Farfar community members did not understand the reasons for the shift in the rainy seasons and the impacts on their crops. They attributed these changes to their own sins or the displeasure of the gods. With the installation of the rain gauge and ALP’s lessons on climate change, Piku and other Farfar citizens have gained an understanding of how climate change affects their agricultural practices and how the rain gauge information that they themselves generate will, in time, help to make their farms more productive. The purpose of the rain gauge is to help determine the amount and distribution of rain in a year and monitor changes over the long term. Read more of this inspiring story: here