Stakeholders in the East Mamprusi Municipality in the North East Region have brainstormed on strategic measures to help prevent conflicts between crop farmers and herders and promote social cohesion in the area.
To this end, they have agreed to form community task force that would comprise chiefs, youth assembly members, opinion leaders and leaders of the Fulani community resident in the communities among others to enforce community governances and operational bylaws and regulations.
The stakeholders, with technical support from the Municipal Assembly and the Security Council, are to work together to chart a clear and strict line of integration for new Fulanis and their operations in the communities.
This became known at a district level dialogue among the stakeholders, organised by the Meta Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation as part of the implementation of a project dubbed ‘Action for Women Empowerment,’ with funding support from the STAR Ghana Foundation under its ‘Actions for Voice and Inclus
ive Development (AVID)’ project.
The 15-month project among other things aims to promote peaceful coexistence among communities and the Fulani herders, improve women’s participation in decision making regarding the management and protection of natural resources and provide economic empowerment to rural communities in the West and East Mamprusi Municipalities.
Mr Ibrahim Jalo, Leader of the Fulani group and resident in Tangbini community, clarified that most of the crimes including destructions of crops by animals, rape, defilement and murder among others were not committed by resident Fulanis but by the nomadic ones,
‘We have two types of Fulanis, those of us who are resident, and we know ourselves and those who do not have stations but move from place to place to graze their animals and they are the ones who commit the crimes and run away,’ he stressed.
He therefore called for collective efforts from all stakeholders in the community to demystify misconceptions and work to ensure that new Fulanis enterin
g the communities were identified and their operations regulated properly.
Mr Kasimu Awumbaase, the Representative of the Tangbini community chief, noted that the formation of the taskforce was in the right direction as it would help to safeguard the community from nomads who caused conflicts between crop farmers and resident Fulani herders.
‘We need to also talk to our people to reduce the number of animals given to one Fulani to take care of because it also contributes to the problems we have between farmers, and herdsmen,’ he added.
Mr Chrisantus Abogro, the Head, Social Welfare and Community Development, East Mamprusi Municipal Assembly, who assured the support of the Assembly to the taskforce, indicated that the issue of the Fulani herders was a national security issue.
As a result, he said, interventions to promote social cohesion among communities and Fulani herders had been outlined as part of projects under the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) project and noted that it would
help to promote peaceful coexistence.
Mr David Amozebga, the Programmes Manager, Meta Foundation, indicated that the project which had been implemented in 10 communities along the White Volta within the two Municipalities had contributed to improving livelihoods of rural communities particularly through the strengthening of existing Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA).
He said through the interventions, various challenges such as women’s inability to access productive farmlands, farmer-herder conflict, lack of potable water, access to education, social protection issues and perennial flooding among others were being addressed.
‘We know some of the issues are regional and national in nature, but we have created this platform so that the stakeholders at the local level can dialogue and find home solutions to some of the development challenges,’ he added.
Source: Ghana News Agency