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31.01.2008 Regional News

Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocese initiates peace talks at Jimbale

By GNA
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The Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocese is holding peace talks with the Bimobas and Konkombas in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District aimed at reconciling the two ethnic groups.

The Diocese is also assessing the needs of the people to enable it help them because some of them lost their houses and other property during the September Jimbale conflict.

Reverend Fr. Augustine Ayaga, Diocesan Development Coordinator, said this at Mongoul where personnel of the Diocesan Development Office (DDO) met women in the area.

He said the Diocese was planning to help the women with finance in the form of loans to enable them re-start businesses they were engaged in before the conflict.

“We are also thinking of a water project in the area as many of the communities lack good drinking water. Two wells that have been identified would be rehabilitated, disinfected and fixed with pumps for their immediate use”, he said.

The Rev Father said the major needs of the people are food, clothes, good drinking water, credit facilities, health services and schools.

Rev. Fr. Ayaga said the Diocese would meet the district assembly, the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) and other development oriented NGOs interested in helping the people and discuss with them projects they would take to assist the area.

During the meeting women from the two ethnic groups said they had no problems with each other and that they could share facilities like grinding mills, wells, markets and a clinic.

Madam Tenbia Pongban, leader of one of the women's groups, assured the DDO that they would be able to pay back the loans because they would be working in groups and one woman's debt would be the responsibility of the group.

Mr. Jabik Naadan, an elder who spoke on behalf of the Chief of Jimbale, Naba Yaw Bingoub, said peace had returned to the area and the two ethnic groups were living and interacting as before.

He said while the conflict brought no good to anybody and it had destroyed their homes and property that would take a long time to restore.

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