Wa, May 4, GNA – Participants at a two-day workshop in Wa on pastoralism and water use conflicts have called on the government to strengthen the capacity of the Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration  Ministry, the security agencies and the district assemblies to enforce to the letter the ECOWAS Protocols on trans-human movement.
They also appealed to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to employ innovative ways in registering alien Fulani herdsmen since most of them entered Ghana through unapproved routs.
The participants  stressed the need for the proper integration of Fulani herdsmen into the Ghanaian Traditional Governance System to enable them to have access to their leaders and focal contact persons in case of trouble.
The workshop, which served as a platform for dialogue on increasing access to water and feed for livestock as a step towards addressing problems associated with pastoralism in the communities, brought together 60 participants from over 20 communities in Wa Municipal, Lawra and Nadowli Districts.
It was organized by the Global Water Initiative (GWI) with its partners; CARE International, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and PRONET-North.
The participants included traditional authorities, crop farmers, pastoralists, civil society and media as well as selected government agencies.
After the two-day deliberation on the issues, it became clear that the alien Fulani community in Ghana had come to stay and that expelling them was not feasible especially in view of the ECOWAS Protocols on trans-human movement.
Factors such as destruction of farms, water pollution, over grazing, armed robbery and rape among others have often been associated with the continued tension between alien Fulani herdsmen and rural communities in Ghana.
These factors have often resulted in reprisal actions by communities against these alien Fulani herdsmen with some calling for their repatriation while others called for a restriction of their movement.
The participants noted that the Fulani have long term business partners with local cattle owners and some have become part and parcel of the Ghanaian social setup, therefore there was the need to find lasting solutions that would promote peaceful co-existence between them and the communities.
They were optimistic that if these measures among others were properly implemented, the perennial conflicts between the Fulani herdsmen and the communities would become a thing of the past.
They appealed to the government to embark on rehabilitation and construction of more dams and dugouts to increase water availability as well as enforcement and enactment of existing and new by-laws at the local community levels to protect water resources.
Furthermore, policies on animal husbandry should place emphasis on agro-pastoralism as well as enforcing the buffer zone policy on water bodies as well as preventing farming along the water bodies and also create corridor for animal movement.
The participants further called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to continue to support the creation of platforms for regular meetings of water user groups to increase dialogue and peace building among the stakeholders.

GNA

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