A visually-impaired farmer from Bonia, a farming community in the Kasena-Nankana Municipal Assembly of the Upper East Region, Aduni Achana, has been left with nothing to take home from his 2-acre rice farm after fire burnt it to ashes last week.
The fire also destroyed items including a waterproof canvas tarpaulin, some aluminum basins, wellington boots and other items used to thresh rice locally.
The cause of the fire is yet to be established by the traumatized 52-year-old farmer, but eyewitnesses said the inferno ravaged his farm after it had spread from some dried grasses nearby.
The fire first destroyed heaps of the farm produce that had been gathered for threshing and further spread into portions of the farm which were yet to be harvested- turning everything into ashes.
Though Mr. Aduni was at the farm at the time of the disaster, he stood by helplessly, after he had escaped the voracious flames of the fire with his life and weeping as it took away his sweat.
Narrating the incident to our Upper East Regional Correspondent, Senyalah Castro, during a visit, sad-looking Mr. Aduni explained he had gone to the farm that particular day to drive away animals from feeding on his rice when heat from the fast-spreading fire that had surrounded him as he sat under his mango tree woke him up.
He said not even his loud scream for help saved his farm produce from getting consumed by the fire.
“I had gone to keep the rice safe from animals on that particular day when the incident happened. I was lying under my mango tree when all of a sudden I felt some intense heat and heard the sound of burning fire. I couldn’t see but the heat made me know fire was burning my rice farm. So I quickly made my way out of the farm to safety and stood at a distance while the fire destroyed my rice. I cried like a child because I worked hard for the rice. There was no one nearby to help me and there was nothing I could do”, he narrated.
With his entire investment gone, old Mr. Aduni is back to ground zero with little hope of ever getting back on his feet to go into rice farming- a farming activity he is best known for in his community despite his disability.
He has lost all, including what to feed his family with and what to use for farming next season.
“As we speak there’s nothing in the house that I have brought from the farm, not even a single grain of rice followed me to my house. I have lost everything. Everything has been burnt by the fire. I don’t even know how my family and I are going to feed and what to us for the farming in the next season”. He cried.
Mr. Aduni wants support of any kind and has therefore called on the Municipal Assembly, NGOs and farmer support groups to come to his aid and support him get back on his feet as soon as possible.
He is also appealing to authorities to double the fight against bush fires to curb situations whereby poor peasant farmers such as himself lose their farm produce to fires.