18 April 2016
‘’For Silver and Gold have we none, but such as we have, we give….’’
You cannot give what you do not have.
You cannot teach what you do not know.
You cannot practice what you do not understand.
The trouble with Ghana is that our leaders promise to give what they do not have, try to teach what they do not know and try to practice what they do not understand.
In short, our leaders break every rule in the book and the cumulative effect is the Ghana we have today.
The geographical North is 41% of the land surface of Ghana.
The population in 2010 was 4.1m people which represents 17% of Ghana’s population.
Annual rainfall in the north is 30-40 inches or 750mm to 1000mm of water.
The great Volta River crosses the land vertically between the western two-thirds and the eastern third of the region. It is blessed with abundant sunlight and abundant soil that support abundant grass, grains and shrubs growth.
All this is good and perfect for its transformation into a land that flows with milk and honey.
The question is, so why the pervasive, persistent poverty?
I am telling you that a time is coming and the time is very near, when Wa will give to Accra, Tamale will give to Kumasi and Bolgatanga will give to Takoradi.
I live in North-Western Victoria, 3 hours away from Melbourne by car and 30 minutes by air.
The population for the whole area is just 150 000, a fraction of the population of the North.
Annual rainfall is 11 -14 inches or 280 -350mm of water, about 1/3 of northern Ghana.
The great Murray River crosses the land and separates it from the state of New South Wales.
There is a good period of sunshine and the soil supports grass, grain and shrubs.
Though the similarities are striking, our North is better because it gets more rain.
That Victoria’s NW is one of the wealthiest parts of the state and the North the poorest part of Ghana confounds me. This is literally a land flowing with Milk and Honey, yet the North is plagued with distress, poverty and desolation.
Victoria’s NW produced 2.1billion litres of milk in 2014. At 50 cents a litre, it generated over $1b.
The whole Ghana of 27m people got $997m from oil last year.
Clearly, milk can bring in more revenue than oil. Every nation that produces Milk is wealthy. Every African nation that finds oil becomes poorer.
Why is NW Victoria so wealthy and Northern Ghana so poor despite the environmental similarities? The key answer is CHANNEL IRRIGATION. Water is life. Good water management is Wealth.
You can be fruitful and multiply only when you subdue the earth by overcoming the limitations of nature. Victoria’s NW has done so through channel irrigation and we haven’t.
If we do the right thing, we will also succeed.
I have seen channel irrigation, I know how it works and I understand its role in wealth creation. I know I can deliver it to redeem the North and Ghana.
Now listen to me, sons and daughters of the North, some will come to you with money, deceitful tongues and instruments of immediate convenience. Ignore them.
I come to you in the name of ideas for self-empowerment and capacity building to help you create a better future for you and your family.
For silver and gold have I none but such as I have, I give; in the name of Channel Irrigation, rise up and walk.
Tswa omanye aba.
Stay tuned for Part 2