Women Accused of Witchcraft Cry for Help (Ghana)

GhanaWeb. 6 May 2010

Some 1,020 members of the Kukuo alleged witches camp have passionately appealed to NADMO and the Nanumba North District assembly to assist them rebuild their households numbering about 75 which were destroyed by heavy storm recently.In sharing their experience with northernghana.com, Mma Abukari Mariama Nakpanzoo, leader of a network for the six alleged witch camps in the Northern region complained that several appeals have been made to the district assembly and NADMO but nothing fruitful has been realized.

The about 1,020 alleged witches accommodated at the Kukuo camp have 171 grandchildren and only 64 attending school at the basic level and there is only a school block in the community which was built by Action-Aid Ghana. Due to lack of educational infrastructure, Junior High pupils sit under tress for lectures and the whole farming community with a total household of 226 can boast of only three boreholes.

Issah Mustapha who doubles as assembly man and Secretary to the alleged witches companied that only one out of nine teachers posted to the community was regular in school due to lack of accommodation for the teachers.

Local history has it that the Kukuo alleged witches camp was established centuries ago and some of them who have been there for over 35years now confessed that they had never visited the district capital Bimbila which is about six kilometers away because of health reasons.

As part of measures to improve their health status, Yussif Salifu of SONGTABA said with support from Action-Aid Ghana, majority of the members were registered under the National Health Insurance Scheme.

WIDOWS APPEALS TO GOVERNMENT FOR SUPPORT

About 200 members of the Maltiti Widows camp in Bimbila are appealing to government to save them from excruciating hunger, poverty and diseases which have affected their socio-economic wellbeing as a result of a tribal conflict since 1994. They requested for assistance in the form of credit facilities, farm machinery and other inputs to expand their small scale farming activities to complement the interventions of civil society organizations that have sustained their livelihood over the years.

The widows disclosed that the chief of Kpabi, a satellite community in the Nanumba North district of the northern region released about 10 acres of land to them and they have not been able to develop the area due to financial constraints.

Narrating their ordeal to northernghana.com at Bimbila on a fact finding mission with support from from Action-Aid Ghana, they bemoaned that most of their children dropped out of school because of single parenthood. They cried loud that landlords were rejecting those putting up in rented houses and that their situation had aggravated over the years which compelled most of their teenage girls to flee the area to southern Ghana in search for non-existent jobs.

The widows are into soap making, pomade, powder, groundnut paste, dawadawa and kente weaving. They are able to market their product with the support of St. Gredas Catholic Sisters Parish under the Yendi Diocese.

Attah Abarika Wasila, caretaker of the widows said the Widows loss their husbands during the 1994 Konkomba and Nanumba conflict and have since never found life easy. She was thankful to Action-Aid Ghana, SONGTABA, a local Non Governmental Organization and the St. Gredas Catholic Sisters Parish for their instrumentality in establishing the camp to serve as a peace advocacy centre.

The camp was born out of the deadly tribal conflict which claimed several lives and rendered thousands of Chamba and Bimbila residents homeless.

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