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Shiare – “The Hanging Village” in Ghana

For over nine centuries, a village is said to have been built far North of Oti region in Ghana. Shiare is the name, also known as The Hanging village. The name ‘Hanging village’ was given to them by Europeans due to how far apart they were from the rest of the people within the region many years ago. The people of Shiare are Guans and speak akyode.

Living in a very unique style, their houses, made of rocks and clay are built in a terrace, formed along the contour of the mountain.

The people of Shiare notably traditionalists also have Christians living among them.

The only church in the village, the Holy Family catholic church, started about 75 years ago, by early Catholic missionaries who came to the village with the aim of spreading the Gospel and in the quest of this helped build a school for the village.

The prevalent occupation in Shiare is farming, and it will surprise you to know how far they climb up and down the hills just to and fro their farms.

They are indeed hardworking people

Aside farming, they also have convenient shops where beverages and other daily necessities are sold and oh, they produce honey too, pure honey, no additives whatsoever.

Fufu made with yam is their favourite delicacy and it is pounded in a very unique way with about two to three people together.

Shiare has a beautiful waterfall which serves as the only source of water for the village.

The waterfall, unlike other water falls in Ghana is void of plastic materials and other waste.

It takes one about 40 minutes to trek from the village through hilly paths to the falls, but the journey is worth it as 

The scenery is not only beautiful, but breath taking and the breeze is refreshing. 

Wondering where they burry the dead? Well it will depend on the social status of the person. The Elderly are mostly buried in rooms of their homes, while others are buried within the village.

Well, there’s no fear in this, we actually slept in rooms which had people buried in them and it was just normal.

CHALLENGES

Among the beautiful things you see in Shiare, they do have challenges too.

Lack of potable water:

Their only source of water which is from the falls, channelled through a stream, is what they drink and wash from, cook with and for other purposes.

The distance as well as the paths leading to the stream isn’t convenient and this is a cause of concern to the people.

Lack of health care:

In addition to the water problem, they’ve lived so many years without a health facility.

When they suffer injuries or fall ill, they have to travel to the closest town, Nkwanta for treatment.

They also lack first aid kits as well as health practitioners who can at least attend to victims before full medical treatment is available.

They do lack toilet facilities which makes them defecate in close by bushes and when it rains, the faeces are washed down the hill into their only source of water, contaminating it.

Poor Roads:

There isn’t any road leading up the hill to the village. The only options are rocky paths. This makes emergency situations very difficult to handle.

Absence of Senior High Schools and Tertiary Institutions:

Level of education in Shiare is very low, as there are no Senior High Schools as well as training facilities in their locality, and even with their basic school, they lack appropriate facilities to enhance their learning process.

Poor telecommunication network:

One thing to note is that, Shiare is fortunate to have electricity however with the development of technology worldwide, telecommunication has become a daily necessity in our lives, yet the people of Shiare lack good communication network. Even the only spot in the entire village noted to have signal for placing and receiving calls isn’t entirely reliable.
And there have been instances where people have to climb trees just to have network to place a call.

WAY FORWARD

Making a positive change:

For years now, many people who have visited Shiare gave them hope to come back and help solve some of their challenges but these stillborn promises never see the light of day. 

Due to this, the people of Shiare are somewhat hostile towards visitors and this became a challenge for us. The leaders of the village didn’t allow us cover much during our visit, which negatively affected our work.

Identifying one of the challenges and donating funds in support of it:

Upon interaction with them, we identified water to be one of their major challenges.

In that regard, we want to make a difference by helping provide potable water for the village and we will need your help to do so.

Kindly donate any amount you can to help support this worthy cause.

Every donation would be accounted for.

Donations can be made with the links below:

Go Fund Me: https://bit.ly/water-for-Shiare

Paypal: [email protected]

MTN Mobile Money: 0547658523 – Ishmeal Lamptey

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Fada

Fada is a social entrepreneur, educator, writer, and tech geek.

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