Rising sea levels caused by climate change are having a devastating effect on coastal communities in the Central Region of Ghana. High tidal waves and floods often cause the evacuation of communities from their homes, leaving residents, particularly the fishing community, vulnerable.
The coastal communities are prone to large-scale unemployment due to lack of skills training and high teenage pregnancy rates. The number of children dropping out of school at a young age is also a serious problem in this remote region.
To address some of these issues, Plan International, in partnership with the Spindrift Foundation, is working with coastal communities to improve employment opportunities for 100 young people ages 18-35.
The project, called “Creating Green Enterprises in Coastal Communities,” will be implemented in 20 villages in the Central Region of Ghana. These areas are characterized by endemic poverty, and there is massive environmental degradation as a result of bush burning, use of crude fishing and farming methods, hunting, and deforestation.
Due to the rising need for environmental protection, the project aims to ensure that safe and natural environmental practices are developed among communities along the coast. Often, community members are unaware that their actions can have a detrimental effect on the environment, which in turn affects their livelihoods.
Young people will be trained in green entrepreneurial and enterprise skills and given access to technical support to allow them to set up environmentally sustainable businesses, which will support communities along the coast and help them manage their environment better.
The project will also improve access to savings and loans through the creation of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA), which will allow young people to save some of their earnings for when they most need the money, as well as enable them to take out loans to expand their businesses.
"It is very exciting to see the vibrancy in communities that Plan International works in,” said Jo Royle, Managing Director of the Spindrift Foundation. “It will be good to bring the learnings from previous successes to the new project.”