Vulnerability is contextual and must be assessed within a specific time frame and situation. In Ghana, vulnerability may be viewed as the "probability of an individual or household to experience a reduction in wellbeing from shocks over which they have no control".
Vulnerability can be applied to specific regions or people in a community, individuals and to households in both rural and urban areas, and to specific groups and gender. There are various forms of exclusions that lead to in vulnerability. These have been discussed below:
This refers to exclusion from access to food, shelter and other social services such as health, education and information. It also includes exclusion from access to assets such as land, credits, capital and market. These exclusion and/or lack of access reduces the income generation capacity as well as the social standing of the people involved to the barest minimum. In the Sissala East Municipal however, this form of exclusion is mainly among peasant crop farmers, the aged, women, single parents and children in active labour.
This includes the prevention of certain groups and/or individuals from taking part in the decision-making process that affect their livelihood. This phenomenon is aggregated by illiteracy and poverty resulting in weak lobbying capacities, limit the ability of people to assert their rights and entitlements. In the district, this is exacerbated by gender and some religious and cultural practices. Individuals and groups are thus excluded from decision¬making at the community and district levels due to illiteracy, their sex and poverty status.
This varies according to status. It could be non-negotiable, generated from gender or birth as in the case of females or the handicapped. It could also be ethnic or cultural. An example of the later is accusations of witchcraft, especially against old women or the abuse and harassment of childless women in the district. It could also be as result of hazards such as natural disaster (flood, fire, and droughts), sicknesses or death of a spouse. A typical case in point is the fact that most peasant farmers are at the mercy of the weather due to their dependence on rudimentary tools and agricultural practices.
Poor Physical Access
The district has a major problem of poor road infrastructure. This in effect affects the socio-economic development of most communities in the district. Typical examples of such communities include Gwosi, Santijan and Bawiesibelle which are almost cut off from the rest of the communities in the district during the peak rainy season. For instance, such communities are unable to access certain facilities such as health, market and education. At the same time it is not possible to reach them with development programmes and interventions.
Droughts, Bushfires and Rainstorms
The district is influenced by the dry harmattan winds for six months. During this period, there are no rains and water bodies dry up, leaving the people with absolutely no water sources. The vegetation is severely affected and this makes living conditions unbearable for the people. These droughts are severe that sometimes they extend into the wet seasons, making the pattern of farming unpredictable. Delays in planting coupled with unreliable rainfall turn to affect the produce of farmers thereby reducing production and making semi subsistence food prevalent in the district.
The unavailability of water does not only affect crop production but also has adverse effect on livestock rearing. During this period there is little or no pasture and water for livestock production leading to the lost of livestock through death and theft.
As a result of the long drought the vegetation is prone to bushfires. These bushfires are so devastating that they tend to destroy the vegetation, economic trees, food crops, settlements and exposes the soil to excessive erosion leading to the lost of soil nutrient. Rainstorms are also destructive as bushfires and droughts. The storms are so strong that it’s after mouth leaves settlements destroyed, roofs of buildings ripped off and the lost of human lives and property.
Gender Disparity and Denial of Rights
In the Sissala East Municipalal women do not have access to land of their own, they do not own certain commercial/economic trees such as Dawadawa and Mango, not permitted to cultivate some food crops such as yam, and ’late’ millet, and is not permitted to own some animals such as cattle and sheep. Women are also excluded from participation in decision-making. Tradition also compels widows to get married to their late husband’s relative against their volition, thus subjecting them to the risk of HIV/AIDS and other STDs
There is a large population of people with disabilities (PWDs) in the district, most of whom are illiterate and for that matter not well organized. They do not have a representation in the District Assembly. These had accounted for their inability to access their percentage share of the Common Fund. Besides there are children with special education needs owing to visual and hearing impairments. As such these children need the attention of specialist.
Date Created : 11/17/2017 2:34:56 AM