AS PART of efforts to economically empower fisher folks and farmers within the Western Region of Ghana, Hen Mpoano has established over 30 Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) under the USAID Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) and the USAID Coastal Sustainable Landscape Project(CSLP) in collaboration with the U.S Forest within the Ellembelle, Jomorro and Nzema East districts.
VSLA has proven to be an effective way rural community organizes capital to invest in their business, farming activities, trading, paying of children school fees etc and also a way to build community cohesion to protect and manage resources of shared concern.
The projects aimed at supporting local economic development through financial intermediation.
According to the community development worker with Hen Mpoano, a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) partner of the SFMP and CSLP Adiza Owusu, they are happy to work with the communities on VSLAs.
The project she says is building community cohesion and enabling members to contribute to their own livelihood improvement efforts such as fish post-harvest processing and supplemental agriculture especially during this era of the pandemic.
Adiza Owusu. Community Development Worker. Hen Mpoano, explained that the introduction of the VSLA is to enhance investment spending to afford women especially the opportunity to invest the monies they saved in productive livelihood ventures such as vegetable farming, improved fish processing technologies, gari processing among others to ensure sustainability based on local resource mobility.
The Community Development Worker, added that at New Bakanta in the Ellembelle District, members of the VSLA are encouraged to form their own rules and regulations that will help diversify their livelihood during this Covid period.
Members of VSLA say it has been a great project and has helped them in diverse ways as far as the sustainability of their livelihood is concerned.
Dorcas Kakuchie, Justina Amandeh and DainaAhubuadi are members of the New Bakanta VSLA and already beneficiaries of the New Bakanta VSLA.
They are enthusiastic about what they have been able to do as a result of their small loans. To them, the VSLA has been very beneficial to a lot of them in the village.
The members of a VSLA collectively support a structured process for saving money and offering loans at the local level. They provide a simple and accountable system for savings and loans for communities which do not have ready access to formal financial services or underserved by the formal financial institutions such as banks or microfinance companies.
Source: Ghana/Dailyheritage.com.gh/By Francisca Dickson Arhin