EUCATION ON THE SAFETY PROTOCOLS
During the quarter, Staff of the NCCE visited Schools, Churches, Mosque, Women Groups, Provision shops, Tailors, Cloth weavers, Hairdressers, Wood Sellers, Motor Mechanics, Wielders and Market in the district. These education were carried out in their individual work places and meeting grounds.
They were educated to adhere to the safety protocols directed by the president, i.e. the required number of people for social gathering, observation of social distance, wearing of face masks, frequent washing of hands with soap under running water, the use of alcohol based sanitizers as often as they can, avoid handshakes, avoid touching of nose, mouth and eyes.
Citizens were also educated to stop stigmatizing COVID-19 patients and those who have recovered should be accepted back in to their homes and communities.
Beneficiaries of the education were advice to wear the face masks wherever they go so that they don’t contract the disease from others or infect someone when they talk, cough or sneeze and when one is not using face masks, the person should cover his or her nose and mouth when coughing with tissue and immediately dispose it off.
On washing of hands, they were educated to wash frequently as they can with soap under running water. When there is no water, they were encouraged to frequently use alcohol-based sanitizer to clean their hands.
Citizens were educated on the following:
The Signs and Symptom of COVID-19
- Dry coughing
- Unusual headache
- Difficulties in breathing
- Preventives measures
- Frequently washing of hands with soap under running water
- Avoid shaking hands
- Maintins 3mètres distance in public
- Cover your nose regularly
- Use hands sanitizers frequently
TRAINING OF PWDS ON LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
TRAINING REPORT – Mohammed
This training was conducted for members of the pwds in the Bolgatanga East district. The trainees had their skills upgraded in basic ruminant management practices such as breed selection, breeding and urea treatment of straw.
This training was organized by the Department of agriculture in collaboration with the department of social welfare of the Bolgatanga East District Assembly. The training was at the request of leadership of social welfare and PWDs (persons living with disabilities).
The purpose of the training was to empower members of the PWDs with skills to improve livestock production and crop farming. A number of training topics have been outlined and are rolled out gradually.
This particular training focus on two main topics; adding value to the locally available feed materials for ruminant feeding (urea treatment of straw) and control measures for fall army worm. This has become important in view of the fact that poor feeding of livestock continue to be a challenge to livestock production in the District. This is even more important particularly in the dry season when crop residue left in the field after harvest is dry and less nutritious.
The training was carried out at Catholic social centre in Zuarungu for 58 members of the PWDs registered with the District assembly for livestock farmers.
Objective of the training
- To demonstrate to members of PWDs urea treatment of rice straw for ruminant feeding
- To increase the knowledge of PWDs in breed selection and breeding
- To build capacity of PWDs on control measures for fall army
- To distribute insecticide to PWDs to help control fall army worms
Since the training was a skill based one, demonstration on urea treatment using urea, knapsack and rice straw was the method used. Discussions, questions and answers were used to make training interesting to participants. There was sign interpreter to assist the trainer with sign language for participants who hearing impairment
TRAINING MATERIALS USED
UREA TREATMENT OF STRAW FOR RUMINANT FEEDING
in order to improve the nitrogen(protein) content of dry straw ,urea is very handy in doing that within two weeks after treatment. Urea is what is recommended for this treatment .other nitrogen based fertilizers such as sulphate of ammonia is not appropriate and should never be used. Urea was exhibited at the training for all participants to see and to identify.
TYPES OF FEED MATERIALS FOR RUMINANT FEEDING IN THE COMMUNITY
The participant was asked to mention the type of feed materials use in feeding livestock in the community and the following listed:
- Rice straw
- Cowpea vine
- Maize stovers
- Milet stock
- Soya vine
Participants were made to understand that urea treatment is needed for legume vines such as cowpea, soya and groundnut. Crop residue from these sources is rich in protein and hence no need to waste money to buy urea to treat.
IMPORTANCE OF UREA TREATMEENT
When straw is treated with urea, the following benefits are derived:
- The feed becomes much softer for animal consumption
- It enriches the forage(straw) with nitrogen (protein)
- It is more palatable
Since legumes in general are high in nitrogen content, participants were advised to avoid treating legumes such as soya, cowpea and groundnut vies with urea.
STEP –BY STEP UREA TREATMENT PROCESS.
Participants were taken through the steps involved and after which practical demonstration was done for all to see. The steps are outlined below.
- Measure 4kg of urea
- Measure 20-30 L of clean water ( note 15L knapsack sprayers are common with farmers ) so 3kg of urea should be sufficient for one knapsack of water)
This was further broken down for their understanding. 3kg of urea is approximately equal to 1 bawl of urea.
- Mix urea with water
- Spray solution uniformly on straw
- Use hand fork to turn straw whilst spraying to ensure uniform spray
- Compact after spraying and cover with poly sheet to ensure anaerobic condition
- Leave the pile for 2 weeks
- Uncover the pile and turn with fork to allow gas trap in the pile to escape
- Feed animals with straw. Cover every time you fetch to feed animals
- Note the color of good treated straw turns to dark brown
WORD OF CAUTION
The farmers were cautioned not to use sulphate of ammonia as substitute for urea. This because the reaction process is more complex for ammonia. The type of ammonia needed is also not readily available.
BREED SELECTION AND HERD MANAGEMENT
Some members of the PWDs group had support from the Bolgatanga East District Assembly in form of provision of small ruminants. This was meant to help the PWDs to generate income and thereby improve their living standards.
The participants were reminded to take management practices such as feeding, housing, sanitation and breeding seriously.
In terms of breed management, participants were to keep few good breed males in their communities. The ratio of male to female ratio for small ruminants is 1:20-25. This simply means that one male can service up to 20 to 25 females.
Keeping few males is important to avoid in-breeding in the herd. In-breeding is defined as mating between close siblings in the herd. By close siblings, it means mating between sister and brother, son and mother etc. this practice is harmful to animals as it is in humans.
THE EFFECTS OF IN-BREEDING IN ANIMALS
In-breeding has the following effects on animals
- Weak offspring. Long tem of continuous in-breeding leads to offspring that is less resistant to diseases and hence high mortality rate.
- Loss in production. In the long run offspring of in-bred animals have efficiency at feed conversion into meat or milk. Offspring become smaller in size and there give less product in terms of meat or eggs
SIMPLE CONTROL MEASURES FOR CONTROLLING IN-BREEDING
In-breeding in livestock could be reduced to the barest minimum or avoided altogether if the following simple steps are followed:
- Keep records of animals to identify those related by blood
- Separate rams or buck from females ones
- Castrate unwanted males
- Regularly introduce new breeding males
FALL ARMY WORM CHEMICAL DISTTIBUTION
With collaboration of the Executives of the PWDs, chemicals were distributed to those affected. The distribution was done on community bases for convenience. The chemicals are packaged on HA basis. Since members of the PWDs had farm sizes less than what the chemicals could cover, they were pared. The best way to pare them for convenience was on community bases. In all, fifty-eight (58) members of the PWDs were supported with chemicals to spray their farms against insects.
QUESTIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS FROM TRAINEES
Some participants asked questions to enrich their understanding and knowledge on the subjects discussed.
Can the chemicals be used to spray? the concern wwas that some have interlinked leafy vegetable in their farms
Yes. The chemical is could control a broad variety of insects. With vegetables, we recommend use of organic pesticides such as niim leaves. However, if inorganic pesticides are used in spraying ,the products should be consumed after 2-3 weeks. The vegetabls should not be consumed immediately after spraying
Where can we get fertilizers?
Planting for food and jobs fertilizers are currently available at petasgo shop in Zuarungu, near the agric. Office. The price is GHS160 for 25kg NPK fertilizer
What varieties of maize can we plant in July 16th?
The varieties readily available which are early maturing are abontem (yellow maize) and wandaata( white maize)
Crops like cowpea could also b planted looking at the time of the season
Would the FAW chemicals have effect on animals when they graze after spraying ?
Yes. Prevent animals from grazing the farms after spraying. The animals could be poisoned when they graze freshly sprayed fields
We the disable have difficulties in accessing tractor service. How can agric. Office help us?
First identify the field officers in charge of your communities to plan with them. The agric office is already linking a lot of farmers with tractor service providers.
Can agric. Office support the disable with funds?
No . The agric. Office has no funds to disburse to the disable. The District does.
How do you measure the chemicals for spraying?
20mls/15L knapsack. This was demonstrated for participants to see. Each chemical container has a measuring lid.
We have sick animals. What do we do?
We would link you with the veterinary officers for help. However, good feeding, housing and watering can help prevent many diseases.
OUTPUT OF TRAINING
The training achieved the following outputs:
- Knowledge of 58 members of PWDs improved on ruminant nutrition in general
- 58 members of PWDs developed the skills of urea treatment of straw
- Chemicals distributed to PWDs
The training was successful. It is hoped that farmers would adopt the technology to support livestock production the community.
The PWDs were impressed with the training and expressed interest in more training in the future. They specifically requested for training on poultry management.
The Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Department of Social welfare would organize training on poultry management in the future.
EDUCATION ON COVID-19 VACINE
During the quarter, Staff of the NCCE visited Tailors, weavers, Hairdressers, Wood sellers, Motor Mechanics, Churches, Schools, Mosques and market places in the district. Education was carried out in their individual work places and meeting grounds.
Citizens were Educated to accept the COVID-19 Vaccine as directed by the president, in other protect us against the virus observation of social distance, wearing of face masks, frequent washing of hands with soap under running water, the use of alcohol based sanitizers should still be observed after taking the vaccine.
Citizens were also educated on those who can take the vaccine and things they will need to take along when going for the vaccine. I.e. Health Insurance Cards, ECOWAS Card, Driving lances.
They were also advised to desisting from spreading false information about the vaccine.
The Education on Covid-19 vaccination took place from 2nd April,2021 to 20th April,2021.
PUBLIC EDUCATION ON CHILD PROTECTION ISSUES
The Bolga East NCCE, Sensitized some Community members and Traders on Child protection Issues Such as Child Trafficking Child Marriage and Child Labour.
Citizens were Educated on the definition of Child Labour as the exploitation of Children through any form of work that deprives them of their Childhood, interferes with their ability to Attend regular School Activities posing Mentally, Physically, Socially or Morally Harm to them. The Office made the Public understood that engaging a Child during School Hours is punishable by law.
On Child Marriage, Parents were advised that Child Marriage has many effects on Girls’ Health: increases the risk of getting sexually transmitted Diseases, Cervical Cancer, and Death during Childbirth. They were also advised to stop giving their Children out for Marriage at early ages since that act makes them stranded in life and they end up on the Streets which does not help to build a good Nation but they were rather encourage to be serious with their Children Education instead.
On Child Trafficking, Parents were asked to desist from giving out their Children to people they do not know and even Relatives who are far off or allow the children to travel to the Southern parts of the Country alone to work.
Parents were Educated that Child trafficking is a crime and people caught will be punished.
Parents were advised to take good care of their Children and give them good education to enable them to become responsible Citizens. They were also advised to report incidents of Child Abuse to the appropriate Authorities for the necessary actions.
An officer from the Integrated Youth need and welfare center engage the youth of the District on child protections issues such child Labour, child education, preventions of teenage pregnancies and other offences. He urged the youth to make reports of suspicious criminal cases in their communities to the police and other Agencies that such as the NCCE, CHRAJ, INTYON and the Social Welfare for the necessary actions.
This education take place from the 1st April, 2021 to 12th April, 2021. There was total number of 474 participants consisting of 190 males and 284 females.