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Inmates of witches camp appeal for help

By GNA

Kukuo (N/R), March 8, GNA – Inmates of the Kukuo witches camp near Tamale have expressed worry about the poor and dehumanizing conditions in which they live as the world marks International Women's Day.

They said their sorry conditions could only be improved if society and Governments showed some commitment to their plight.

They reminded the Government to redeem its pledge of improving conditions in the witches camps dotted across the region while efforts must also be made to disband the camps to free them from their bondage as was promised by the government.

The President of the Network of Alleged Witches (Tigbubtaba), Madam Mariama Abukari Nakpanzoo made the call on Thursday at Kukuo in the Nanumba North District of the Northern Region during the International Women's Day celebration, organized by Songtaba and ActionAid, both non-governmental organizations.

The International Women's Day is a day set aside globally to celebrate women and bring to the fore issues affecting them. The day was marked in the area under the theme; “Ending impunity of violence against women and girls”.

Mrs. Adam Lamnatu, Coordinator of Songtaba indicated that women in the Northern parts of the country had nothing to celebrate on the day of the international women's day since issues of witchcraft allegations and witches camps were still in existence, adding that six witches camps in the Region were still in operation with little efforts made to disband them.

She said although Songtaba and ActionAid-Ghana had over the years been assisting these camps including facilitating the agenda of the network to access free registration on the National Health Insurance Scheme and bringing the six camps together to forge for their interest, the situation could still be described as deplorable.

Mrs. Lamnatu called on the Government to provide the camps with health facilities and potable water while efforts must also be sped up in disbanding the camps. "Chiefs and opinion leaders have a major role to play in the reintegration process as well as ensure quality lives for the alleged witches."

Miss Safia Musah, Programme Officer in-charge of Women's Rights at ActionAid assured the people that her outfit would continue to champion the interest of women and the vulnerable for equity in development and urged the government to develop keen interest in the affairs of alleged witches.

She said the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs in November last year assured that the reintegration process was going to start leading to a final disbandment of the witches' camps, adding “Government must redeem its pledge”.

Mr. Braimah Adam Asumah, District Coordination Director for Nanumba North said it was high time women were given their rightful positions in society by empowering them and stopping violence against them, stressing that efforts were being made to provide potable water to all parts of the district.

The Bonaa of Bimbilla, Naa Attah Abarika pledged his commitment in the reintegration process and called on other chiefs to use the rule of law and due process when dealing with issues involving human right violations.

GNA

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