Methodist Development and Relief Services, Ghana
Contact: Rev. Joseph Donkoh (Coordinator)
Focus: Agriculture and livelihoods
The Methodist Church Ghana serves its communities through a variety of ministries including MDRS. The current partnership between MDRS and WDR began in 2011 amongst the Ekumfi people on the south coast. Local people had traditionally relied heavily upon the forests for resources in terms of food and building materials. However, the forests are much depleted and a recent virus has largely destroyed the coconut trees. Alternative livelihoods were needed. Two fast-growing trees were planted by five communities. Cassia can be grown for charcoal production and Leucinia can be used as fodder. Charcoal is the fuel used by the majority of Ghanaians for cooking and excess can be taken to market. Producing one’s own fodder allows farmers to make the jump from crops to small ruminant husbandry e.g. goats. The programme is now diversifying with the possibility of growing new crops such as pineapple and peppers. More efficient cookers are being introduced locally and also some form of cooperative approach to charcoal production. New resistant coconut species are also being introduced.
In April 2016, a WDR media team visited Joseph, the MDRS volunteers and beneficiaries.