posted by: RAINS on July 31, 2019

Farmers from the communities of Langa, Tindang, Yiwogu, Yizegu, and Yilikpani in the Savelugu Municipality gathered together last week to present their newly drafted Community Land Use Plans to the Planning department of the Savelugu-Nanton Municipal Assembly. The document captures priorities for land use in each of the five communities, which are part of RAINS’ Sewoh project, focused on the promotion and protection of agroecological and indigenous farming practices. In each community, farmers and project beneficiaries have had the opportunity to weigh in on long term goals and objectives for all activities that affect local governance and development.

Municipal Planning Officer Alhassan Gombila, who attended the meeting on behalf of the Municipal Assembly, praised the grassroots nature of the Community Land Use Plan. He says that involvement from community members is extremely important, because “if you create policies that are not inline with what they want, obviously they will not be successful. When we start with [the farmers] when creating policy, they will own it and contribute to the sustainability of that policy.”

Another important outcome of the meeting was the strengthening of linkages between community members and the assembly. Women present were able to raise related concerns, such as poor access to mechanized water pumps. Improved water access is necessary for increasing the productivity of their farms and businesses. Gombila encouraged them to take whatever opportunity to request greater support from the Municipal Assembly.

Now that the plans have been submitted to Savelugu Municipal Assembly, Gombila says the next step is looking for opportunities to include the recommendations into the municipality’s Medium Development Plan, which goes up for review every two years. The review will look at “all of the activities implemented for the first two years, achievements, outstanding activities to be rolled over and any new projects. The CLUP will be considered as a new project, so we will have to see how it is captured in the medium-term plan.”

As for the Community Land Use Plans themselves, they have been in development for approximately four months, drafted through a series of dialogue sessions with elders, women, and young people in each of the five communities. They address settled, protected and farmland zones, providing recommendations for permitted and prohibited activities, adaptation strategies and sanctions for those who would violate the terms laid out in each document.