MITIGATING GHANA’S WATER CRISIS
In 1981, when I was with the Planning Commission of India, I was invited to Ghana to deliver the Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial lecture, named after the founders of Achimota School and College, at the University of Ghana. My subject was ‘Agricultural Growth and Human Welfare.’ I had an opportunity to meet the then President of Ghana, Hilla Limann. There is a nice story to be told here. I stayed for a week in the hostel in the University of Ghana when I gave a series of lecture. Every day when I was preparing for the lecture, the five-year-old daughter of the hostel’s caretaker would come and sit on my lap. She would just sit quietly and watch me working at my slides. I was very happy to have the companionship of the young child. I would think that we were working in agriculture for the future of young children like her.
In 1993, General Jerry Rawlings was the President of Ghana who sought my help to mitigate Ghana’s water crisis. I advised them to take up watershed management and rainwater harvesting and also use drip irrigation. Through the Government of India I invited a team from Ghana to study water management techniques. They went to Pudukottai district and other places in South India where they saw rainwater harvesting and other methods. Later on, President John Kufuor introduced many important steps under the UN Millennium Development Goals.