In this project, we were resurfacing a road that leads to our site. This was in line with our core objective; to enhance agricultural value chain development in Ghana. To conceptualize the need for the repaving, let's describe the route to our site. The farm is located about a quarter a mile from the main road.
Indeed, you go past a pig farm, poultry farm, and cocoa field. However, there is an inclination between the cocoa field and our farm which allows water to collect on the road. Since the road is neither tarmacked nor graded, it gets very muddy and impassable during the rainy season unless with a 4WD. Though we didn’t experience the rainy season in our first year, we were lucky that our neighbors hinted at what to expect so we could best prepare.
In addition, one of the concrete drainage pipes was damaged and so we needed to remedy that as well. Ideally, this was a temporary fixing as we prepare to develop this feeder road properly..
What did the project entail?
After consultation with our site managers, we agreed to lay stones in the areas prone to mud. One of the contractors assumed the duty to coordinate with the local quarry to have a truck load of stones delivered. We had multiple architectural teams and civil engineering contractors on board to help us design permanent solutions for this road and the water drainage because we couldn’t risk doing this poorly due to the steep gradient of the land.
When dumping, a truck spreads the stones where needed, thus eliminating the hassle of extra labor. Although the contractor had assured us that this will be the case, it didn’t happen.
So, we had to contract out the moving and laying of the stones as you can see here
In fact, this turned out to be a major job because there was no bobcat or small tractor and most stones were moved by hand or pan placed on the workers' heads. Moreover, it was difficult for women (who form the majority of the community population – about 58% of the population) to undertake this job. This is because the job involved heavy lifting and carrying, and is not best suited for women. What’s more, we noticed that these women didn’t have babysitters which could have acted as a hindrance to search for jobs.
Benefits of the project to the community
First, the immediate neighborhood will benefit from the minor road we resurfaced. Secondly, we were able to employ the community members more so women who form the majority. Also, our farm enables women with babies to earn living as they can come with their kids on site as you can here.
Going forward, we have committed to creating more light jobs on our farm to empower women. Besides, there is a lot of work to do as an investor and developer of this project. This situation is the same in most rural areas throughout Ghana and the continent of Africa. For those of you with interest in participating in the development in rural Ghana, visit our donation page to learn ways you can support, either by donating, investing in our rural development projects, or even visiting to see the development first hand.