Case Study Summary

Dry Season Gardening as Climate Action by Rural Women: A Case Study of Kuliyaa Community in Northern Ghana

Regional Hub: Africa
Country: Ghana
Action for Climate Empowerment Element: Training

Climate change has exacerbated the suffering of rural communities in most developing countries, including Ghana. As droughts and shorter rainy seasons negatively impact rural livelihoods, rural communities in Northern Ghana have long used dry season gardening education as a major climate change adaptation strategy.

Climate change education has come under intense criticism for silencing community voices and being dominated by western worldviews. The gender dimension of climate change in the Global South has also not been widely investigated. As a result, initiatives to adapt to climate change led by rural communities within the African context often go unnoticed. However, thus far, some of the most successful climate change initiatives that have occurred in the sub-Saharan region have emerged from communities themselves.

This Case Study, which examines rural women’s participation in dry season gardening, emerged from the community of Kuliyaa and their Community Research Advisory Committee (CRAC). The Case Study uses a community-based participatory research approach to address gender inclusivity in dry season gardening as a climate change adaptation strategy in a remote community in Ghana. The project is being supported by the community, opinion leaders, and led by a CRAC representing the Kuliyaa community, and comprising of Elders and women from Kuliyaa. 

The participatory approach will include sensitization workshops, sharing circles (focus group), and interviews with Elders and other stakeholders on increasing women’s participation in dry season gardening. The research team will also engage co-researchers in two sharing circles and workshops. Both workshops will be centred on topics involving women’s participation in dry season gardening and climate change education. Data analysis will utilize an Indigenous methodology of qualitative data analysis known as Nanâtawihowin cimowina Kika-môsahkinikêhk Papiskîci-itascikêwin Astâcikowina (NAKPA)(see Starblanket et al., 2019). The NAKPA approach is a collective data analysis process that creates the opportunity to involve co-researchers, community members, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers, in the coding, sorting, and analyzing of gathered data.

The Case Study is anticipated to have multiple impacts. At the individual level, the dry season gardens will increase the knowledge of the co-researchers about climate change adaptation, and empower the co-researchers economically leading to increased food security. At the community level, the gardens can bring the community together to improve overall health and wellbeing. By highlighting a community-led initiative in adapting to climate change, the Case Study also has the potential to impact policy-makers working within rural settings.

Credit: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems
Credit: Oxfam International

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