The Northern part of Ghana has only one season for rainfall which supports agricultural activity, the other period is a long season of drought called harmattan. Usually, many women in rural communities in the Upper West Region become dormant when the farming season is over because they do not have any alternative sources of income. This has increasingly worsened their economic conditions as many of them are unable to complement their family income.
The accompanying effects per our research shows that, families are unable to support young girls and teenage mothers in these areas to purchase sanitary products as a result of this engage in illicit trade of sex for sanitary products. Also, malnutrition dominates especially in the dry season as a result of low income. The situation is dire when a family records low yield.
With funding from Plan Ghana, Necessary Aid Alliance birthed what we call the Skills Drive project which is aimed at providing alternative sources of income to women in rural communities in the Upper West Region all year round. Embedded in this project are training on how to produce liquid soap, shower gel, washing powder.
The increasing demand for detergents means that this is a very lucrative business that the women can venture into regardless of what season. Statistically, over 270 women in Nadowli, Goriyiri, Guree, Serekpere, Kpazie and Takpo have benefited from the liquid soap and other detergents training thus far. Participants were taken through rigorous training on how to independently produce liquid soap, shower gel and washing powder. Women beneficiaries were equally taken through how to procure raw materials at reduced cost, effective marketing and branding of products. All beneficiaries had hands on practical to validate whether they have grasped training exercise.
It can be confirmed from the gleaming smiles, self on hands practice and responses from participants that 98% of them really grasped and obtained the skills necessary to be able to produce and start the liquid soap business. Spouses of participants who subtly participated in trainings expressed commitments to sell some farm wares to provide startup capital for their wives to venture into this business to take advantage of markets and also being able to produce soap for home consumption since prices of these household necessities are skyrocketing each day making them unable to buy them. At the end of each skills training, we donated over 70literes of liquid soap produced to community primary schools around to support in proper hand washing exercise in the face of covid 19 and transmission of other dirt related diseases. All women beneficiaries also had almost a litre of soap to go home and use which will also serve as a motivation to start their own business.
On behalf of the chiefs of beneficiary community, the assembly men and the elders thanked Necessary Aid Alliance and Plan Ghana for providing these economic empowerment skills to their women for absolutely no fee. We equally tasked them to support the women in their little ways to keep the skills into use. Responses were very positive and reassuring.
- Beneficiaries learnt how to produce liquid soap, shower gel, powdered soap and bar soap
- Beneficiaries learnt how to brand products
- Beneficiaries learnt effective ways of marketing products
- Beneficiaries were schooled on book keeping and savings
Beneficiaries received orientation on how to procure quality materials