Naa Abdullai Alhassan Tali, the chief of Tali in the traditional area of Tolon in the Northern region, called on the government to set up a vocational training center in the community to equip young women with the entrepreneurial skills needed to be self-sufficient.
This would prevent them from migrating south to engage in menial work, including head-carrying, commonly known as (kaya), he said.
“For some time now I have been advocating vocational training centers in Tali as a measure to prevent young women from migrating to Accra, Kumasi and other places to engage in kaya,” the chief said.
“The only major source of income in our community is agriculture. However, sewing, weaving and handicrafts could serve as alternative livelihoods for young women to work here and become productive members of our society.
Naa Tali made this known when a team of researchers called him home to discuss how climate-induced migration and economic mobility affect young people’s ability to contribute to productivity and community development. region.
He said another challenge related to life around the traditional area of Tolon is the scarcity of water, which has also forced young people to migrate.
“I can’t say I’m proud of our water source. Water quality is a major concern for our people. Unfortunately, the people of Tali drink from the same source of water, a dam, which has become muddy as we struggle over it with the cattle.
“And this source of water is drying up. Climate change is affecting it, leading to water scarcity and preventing access for many of our fellow citizens.
Across Tolon district, waterborne diseases spread through unclean water and it was a major health challenge affecting the productivity of residents, especially the youth, forcing them to migrate, he said. declared.
“We only ask for clean and safe water for our people and our training centers to help young people become industrious in our community,” Naa Tali said.
Mr. Muntaka Chasant, researcher and social entrepreneur, who led the team, said these issues were at the intersection of climate-induced migration, youth bulge and exclusion and mobility. economic.
He said his study of the area indicated that many young women had only two choices: to help on the farm or migrate south to engage in head carrying.
However, Tali was one of the areas at risk from the effects of climate change, he said, and that Tolon and neighboring communities were semi-arid and received only a few months of rain each year, making farming a risky business.
“This means that smallholder and subsistence farming practices in these regions are highly dependent on rainfall, therefore a slight change in the pattern could have a significant impact on production and food security.”
Mr Chasant said that to escape these living conditions, many young women went south to find work, but many returned to their communities with neck and spine injuries, after spending years of carrying heavy loads.
He said a vocational training center could provide most young women with skills to work and make ends meet while contributing to the development of their communities.
On water scarcity, Mr. Chasant called for urgent interventions to help the people of Tali, adding that; “Water is life and people should not be denied this basic necessity.”
“Many young women, in an attempt to escape these harsh living conditions in Accra and other urban areas, only end up in environments where they are further marginalized.”
“Life seems hard at home and even worse in the cities. We have, indeed, fewer resources to tackle these critical issues, but neglecting them would only aggravate regional inequalities.