Senin, 11 Maret 2013


some of members of the village going about their farming buisness
AKOTOE, a small farming village in the Upper Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region, needs social amenities urgently.

Located about 21 kilometres from Asesewa, the district capital, the village shares common boundaries with communities such as Akateng, Manya, Asekeso, Sisiamang sisi, Akrusu Yiti and the Volta Lake.
The common language spoken by the people is Dangme.

The history of Akotoe is closely linked to the history of Manya Krobo. Oral tradition has it that by 1861, the Krobo who resided in the Krobo Mountains started purchasing land outright from the Akyems and the Akwamus.

The earlier settlers of Akotoe then purchased a land from the Akyems and the Akwamus who were the original owners of the land and this happened many years before the Akosombo Dam was built.

Akotoe was then a densely populated community and a closely knit society which was actively involved in the cultivation of maize, plantain, oil palm, vegetables and some cash crops such as cocoa and oranges, among others.

some of the vegetables grown in the village.
Through communal labour, the community put up a local church, primary and some middle schools in 1941. In collaboration with other communities, the people also constructed a road that linked the community to Asesewa, a market centre which is now the capital of the Upper Manya Krobo District.

In the early 1960s, the construction of the hydroelectric dam drastically changed the life of the people to the extent that a number of elders died from shock.

More especially, the youth migrated to other farming areas and a large track of land was swamped. The dam changed the climatic conditions of the area and the village intermittently experienced prolonged drought.

Farming activities were no longer lucrative and the people’s standard of living declined.

While the dilemma lasted, the few people that remained in the community decided to take up fishing and the cultivation of food crops, especially vegetables, along the banks of the Volta Lake.

They were also engaged in the rearing of animals and with time business started booming for the people and this attracted people from Ningo, Ada and the Ewes to Akotoe.

Most of the youth who left  the community in search of greener pastures due to the flooding of the fertile land by the Volta Lake heard of the new success story and came back to settle in their own homes.

Akotoe now has a population of about 2,000 people and is one of the major fishing, animal rearing and vegetable producing communities in the Upper Manya Krobo District under the Lower Brepaw Electoral area.

The Volta Lake 
The main sources of water for the community include the Volta Lake, four boreholes, a stream and a hand-dug well.

Water from all the boreholes is salty and as such the people do not patronise it as expected. The hand-dug well and stream serve as the only sources of water for the entire community.

During the dry season, the people of Akotoe walk a distance between five to 10 kilometres to fetch water from the Volta Lake.

Some of the people, especially women, are bitten by snakes as they walk through the bush to the lake to fetch water while some drown in their attempt to fetch the water.

The only traditional midwife in the village

Unfortunately, the people of Akotoe cannot boast of any health facility. The nearest facility to the community is about 21 kilometres away and accessing health care is not only difficult but also time consuming.

Some community members are forced to rely on herbal medicine while some also die on their way to the hospital in the main town because the road is very bad and drivers feel reluctant to ply the road.

Some pregnant woman are forced to stay in the main town anytime they are due, while others who cannot afford extra accommodation are left to give birth in the village with the help of a traditional midwife.

 Between 1994 and 1996, Plan Ghana International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), assisted the community to construct a six-unit classroom block, an office, teachers accommodation, a Kumasi Ventilated Improved Pit (KVIP) latrine and a library.

The organisation also assisted the youth in the community to undertake irrigation projects which would enable them to farm all year round since rainfall during the rainy season is not reliable.

This prevented the youth from migrating to the urban centres for greener pastures and non-existing jobs.
Board Chair of Plan Ghana interracting with the people.
The project has, therefore, led to economic empowerment and prosperity of the youth, which is making life better and helping the youth to meet their social and economic responsibilities to the community and their families.

Members of the community have since come together to form an association dubbed: “Akotoe Millennium Farmers Association” and other cooperative groups in order to get credit from financial institutions to expand their businesses.

The government has also used the Millennium Challenge Account to build a kindergarten block and drill two boreholes for the community.

However, these interventions are not enough as the village also lacks electricity. For this reason, people in the community cannot preserve their farm produce. They are, therefore, forced to sell at cheaper prices during market days in order to avoid  carrying the goods back home.

It is, therefore, important that the government channels its resources in revamping farming communities like Akotoe with the necessary social amenities in order to boost economic activities in the community.

The youth could also be trained in financial management, farm management, record keeping, and other farming methods in order to sustain economic growth in the village.

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