The Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) in partnership with developmental partners has launched a four-year project in the Upper West Region aimed at halting violent conflicts between local farmers and Fulani herdsmen.
The project seeks to create livestock corridors to streamline movements of herders from neighbouring West African Regions into Ghana to prevent diseases, destruction of crops and continuous eruption of skirmishes with native farmers.
It is dubbed “Project to Support Livestock Mobility for Better Access to Resources and Markets in West Africa (PAMOBARMA)” and was launched in Wa with funding support from the European Union (EU), French Development Agency (FDA) and Air France.
Mr Bunuoku Daniel, the Deputy Executive Director of CIKOD Ghana, said 193-kilometre stretch of corridors would be created in Upper West and a 96-kilometre stretch in the Savanah Region.
It comes together with dug-outs created within every 30 kilometres of the livestock corridors in the regions in addition to establishment of quarantine centres in various borders.
“We are going to create livestock corridors and at the entry of the corridors, there is going to be quarantine centres where veterinary officers would inspect the health status of livestock that are coming from the Sahelian countries,” he told the Ghana News Agency.
He said the move was to prevent them from carrying diseases into the country and that,
besides, there would also be corridor monitoring committees made up of largely local people to ensure herders used specific and designated routes.
CIKOD looks to collaborating with state institutions to ensure Veterinary Officers are posted in various entry points of Ghanaian borders to screen animals of diseases before they are allowed entry into Ghana.
Some places have been earmarked as markets in both Upper West and Savanna regions to improve cattle marketing and also help local authorities to generate revenue through collection taxes.
Dr Hafiz Bin-Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, commended CIKOD for the project to supplement government’s Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme seeking to improve food security.
He also praised the local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and other development partners for playing tremendous roles in alleviating poverty in the region by initiating programmes geared towards building human capacities.
Developmental partners have been actively involved in skills training and capacity building of farmers in the region to reduce poverty.
“I wish to state that without the interventions of our development partners, the poverty
situation in the Upper West Region could have been worst,” he said.
He entreated NGOs to register or renew their registration with the Department of Social Welfare as required by law, and urged others to regularize their operations with the district assemblies to help feed their activities into government’s development agenda.
DCOP Otchere Boapeah, the Upper West Regional Police Commander, was full of praise for the initiative, but urged immigration and custom officials to monitor the borders with ‘eagle eyes’ to prevent nomadic herdsmen from entering the country through unapproved routes.
“The Fulani herdsmen do not come into Ghana with only animals, but powerful weapons and end up committing crimes,” he added.