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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rains at RAINS

[caption id="attachment_563" align="alignright" width="280"]RAINS Tamale Ghana Rains at RAINS[/caption]

by Zoe

As someone who has spent most of my life in draich, damp, dour old Britain, one of the great attractions of Ghana was the weather. The sun! The heat! Bliss, I thought... But I'll be honest, I'm not made to withstand daily temperatures of 40 degrees plus. So when it rained for the first time (and the temperatures dropped a little), I did a little dance of joy in the rain. Before sheltering inside when our security gate blew down.

When it rains here in Tamale, it POURS. It wasn't just our security gate that blew down. Hundreds of houses were damaged or destroyed, and one man died the first time it rained.

But water is life in the local communities. And agriculture accounts for 90% of household incomes in Northern Ghana, so even though it only rains for around four months per year in this region, these rains are crucial to people's livelihoods.

And what's astonishing is how quickly the landscape changes with a little bit of rain. The first team would barely recognise the area around our house, which has transformed in just a few weeks from a dustbowl into lush green fields that our neighbours are now preparing for farming.

[caption id="attachment_565" align="alignleft" width="231"]Dry season Tamale Ghana Before the rain[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_564" align="alignright" width="231"]Rainy season Tamale Ghana After the rain[/caption]