In the scorching Upper East Region of Ghana, the dry seasons are long and for kilometres around there is nothing but barren, dry earth. Here, in some areas, it is not uncommon for half the female population to migrate to the country’s south in search of work, often taking their young children with them.
The Garu and Tempane districts, which encompass 1,230 square kilometres or 123,000 hectares, had large portions of barren and degraded land until just three years ago. According to the 2015 Ghana Poverty Mapping report, the rate of poverty in these two districts is 54.5 percent or 70,087 people—accounting for the highest number of impoverished people in the entire region. Now, there are pockets of lush grass, neem trees, berries and indigenous fruit growing on some 250 hectares of restored land. The dry earth is beginning to flourish, albeit it slowly.