Lack of Water in Rural Liberia School and Other Reports

Every week, Rural Reporters collate reports on development in rural Africa and its environs. The reports include some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, reports, blogs and in-depth articles which have been carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues. Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week:

Here’s a rundown of the top stories making headlines in rural Africa this week.

Cost-effective community intervention may help reduce epilepsy treatment gap in rural areas

Most of epilepsy cases are treatable, yet in many parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa where the burden is amongst the world’s highest, access to adequate treatment remains low. This results is significant stigma, avoidable harm and large societal costs. A doctoral dissertation from Umea University suggests using community health workers to provide patient education and monitor medication adherence in a cost-effective way to reduce the epilepsy treatment gap.

“Our study adds to the health community’s understanding of the epidemiology of epilepsy in rural South Africa and seriousness of the treatment gap in this context,” says Ryan Wagner, researcher at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Unit of Epidemiology and Global Health and author of the dissertation.

“Researchers and policymakers must urgently work together to identify interventions, such as the one we propose, that seek to reduce the epilepsy treatment gap and, ultimately, the burden of epilepsy.”

No Drinking Water: Residents in Rural Liberia School Appeal to Government

Citizens of Kuwah Town located Kpatolie Clan in Salala District lower Bong County are appealing to government for the provision of Safe drinking water.

The citizen said they are finding very difficult to have access to safe drinking water especially during the peak of the dried season.

Speaking in an interview with the Liberia News Agency in Kuwah Town today, the Town Chief of Kuwah Town, Mr. Bigboy George said his town lacks access to safe drinking water, road, clinic and school in the town.

In rural Ghana, there’s a thin line between your business and your faith

Driving through Ghana’s Ashanti region, you quickly notice there are possibly as many churches as gas stations. Given the country’s 71% Christian population, it is not so surprising. What is surprising, however, is the names of the small-to-medium sized stores and businesses which dot the landscape: almost all of them have Christian-inspired names. “The Answering God Enterprise,” “Christ the Almighty Plumbing,” “Psalm 23 Catering,” and “Thank You Jesus Hardware.”

Despite the strong connection between faith and store names, business owners also manage to infuse doses of pop culture in their store signage.

‘Transform rural areas to grow economy’

Cape Town – South Africa’s depressed economy could grow at a faster rate if the rural areas were to be transformed.

The Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) has noted in its report in Parliament this week that the 3 percent contribution of agriculture to the GDP could be scaled up.

“If the rural economy is no longer a farm economy, the concern is the effectiveness of agricultural policy as the main component of public policy for rural regions,” said the commission.

What is Stopping Africans from Traveling Abroad?

Travelling often requires a sense of curiosity and open-mindedness to foreign matters. But it can be a tiresome matter sometimes, with long transit times and meticulous planning. Without a strong desire, trips simply will not happen.

A person’s cultural background also plays a role, regardless of income. In Chinese culture, for instance, travelling is seen as an integral part of a person’s holistic learning — thousands of years ago sages like Confucius travelled to observe and perfect their philosophy. Travel is therefore not merely a matter of going to see exciting things; in a society where education is so heavily emphasized, it is a display of one’s desire to learn.

The point is clear: people who are socially disposed to travel will try their best to do so no matter how poor they are.

But here in rural Africa, the very concept of traveling as a form of self-improvement and learning, or even just a type of recreation and entertainment, is a rather foreign concept.

Cameroon’s rural electrification programme enters second phase

Cameroon’s Minister for Water and Energy, Basile Atangana Kouna, officially launched the Phase II of the country’s Rural Electrification Project.

The project, which is a partnership between the Islamic Development Bank and the Republic of Cameroon, aims at improving the power distribution rate to 98% from the current 18%, and at a total cost of 600 billion CFA Francs.

An estimated 3,935 households in the Central, North and Northwest have been connected through this project.

In Cameroon, power production, transportation and sales were liberalized in 2001, with the privatization of the state-owned power utility SONEL under a 20-year concession, according to AFK Insider.

Rural Areas Need New Economic Engines to Create Jobs

The Financial and Fiscal Commission acting CEO, Bongani Khumalo, says rural areas need new economic engines that will contribute to alleviating poverty and creating jobs.

Khumalo said this when he briefed journalists ahead of tabling the Commission’s annual submission for the Division of Revenue 2017/2018 in Parliament.

“Rural areas require new economic engines and initiatives that seek to expand industrial activities, enhance agricultural productivity, and foster greater production linkages within agro-processing industries.

Rural women battered by climate change

The effects of climate change have hit hard on rural women in developing countries.

This transpired during a three-day conference on climate change effects, especially on rural women organised by UN Women Multi Country Office in Benoni, Johannesburg last week.

The conference, titled ‘Building climate resilient societies through empowerment of women’ was attended by close to 30 participants from Swaziland, South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi, Botswana and Tanzania.

It was highlighted that rural women in developing countries are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change as drought and unpredictable rainfall patterns directly affect women’s ability to act as primary producers and collectors of staple food, energy and water for the household.

Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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