A Shea Butter Processing Center has been constructed for the Women Cooperative in Saakuba, a village in the Kumbungu District of The Northern Region.
Known as the largest traditional Shea butter processing center in Ghana, Dipaliya Shea butter processing center was constructed on a 100x100m fenced territory that holds 18-20 buildings, including a Mosque, children’s playground and waste pits for re-use of materials.
The center has a capacity of 21,000 kilograms per month (equivalent to 1 container) and provides employment for 120-200 women processors and a staff of 10. It will produce Traditional Handcrafted (organic) Shea butter and used as a learning space for women empowerment.
At a colourful event to commission the project and hand it over to the community, Mr. Alain Benjamin Volz, Director of Leap into Life Foundation said, “The primary objective for constructing this center was to sustain traditional values by creating economic opportunities aligned with these values. Our Investors find this of great importance”.
The District Chief Executive of the Kumbungu District, Hon. Abdul Salam Hamza Abdul Fatawu who was Special Guest of Honor noted that the center is unique in its kind and though it is meant to be profitable, all the earnings will be reinvested into the communities. “We are hopeful that this will add great value to the District”, he said.
The beneficiaries of the project could not hide their joy as they danced to traditional songs to express appreciation for the project. “We are all very excited to start working in this beautiful center” Mrs. Fuseini, a beneficiary of the facility said.
The Chief Of Saakuba, Ibrahim Yayaha highlighted the significance of the facility to the community especially the job opportunities it presents to the youth who are assured of working in a safe environment which enables them to sustain traditional values in a modern facility. Other speakers at the function were Mr. Mohammed Iddrisu, Dayshena Limited, the construction company that executed the project and the ‘Magajia’ of the Dipaliya Women’s Association, Mahamud Safura.
The collaboration between Dipaliya Women’s Association and Leap into Life Foundation is a co-creative process, different from most partner relations with Western (or local) NGO’s and sponsors.
Action Learning is applied to establish good jobs and economic growth (SDG8) and reduced inequalities (SDG10) for realizing sustainable communities (SDG11). Ownership of the project and the results are within the purview of the Dipaliya Women’s Association and the community.
Leap into Life Foundation will continue to support Dipaliya in making the center beneficial for the communities in the Northern Region. Other communities will benefit from the success of this center enabling Dipaliya to do future investments for Shea nut collecting and organic farming.
The whole community was involved in realizing the construction works and planted some 400 new trees at the venue.
The opening ceremony was witnessed by Chiefs of Saakuba, Zangbalung, Dalun, Yipeligu, Wuba, Faandu and Yaring. Also present at the ceremony were 15 Youth Chiefs from Kumbungu and Tamale. Guests at the event toured the facility and expressed their appreciation to the partners for their support to the community.