Kukuo (N/R), May 14, GNA – ActionAid-Ghana and Songtaba have jointly rehabilitated the Kukuo witches' camp in the Nanumba South District to make the inmates secure and safe in their homes.
The rehabilitation which took the form of re-roofing their huts with thatch and rafters was part of efforts the two NGOs were making to improve lives of the women especially on the Mother's Day thus making them feel a sense of belonging and self-worth.
Madam Adwoa Kwateng Kluvitse, the Country Director of ActionAid Ghana, said the NGO had since 2007 re-roofed 435 leaking huts and supported the women to cultivate over 110 hectares of maize for consumption.
She said two boreholes had been dug for the Kukuo and Ngani camps to provide potable water to the alleged witches stressing that there was the need for the government to provide the camps with basic necessities such as health facilities, shelter, water and food as was often done to people in distressed conditions.
Madam Kluvitse said Mother's Day was an occasion used to express appreciation, love and best wishes to mothers in recognition of their suffering, pain and sacrifice adding that 'the alleged witches equally deserve love and empathy.
She said it was the primary responsibility of Government and stakeholders to ensure that the rights of alleged witches were promoted, protected and fulfilled.
She called on the government to use a more sustainable approach to reintegrate and disband the camps with the involvement of all stakeholders.
Madam Kluvitse said there was the need for the Government to make budgetary allocations in the interim for the witch's camps across the country to ensure that their basic necessities were addressed while efforts should be spear-headed to reintegrate them to their societies.
She said ActionAid had been working with the alleged witches in the country since 2005 and had contributed significantly in bringing the plight of the women to the fore so as to generate public interest about the human rights violations of the alleged witches.
She commended the youth of Kukuo who had been of immense help to the alleged witches by helping in re-roofing saying it is a sharp contrast to some communities where the youth lead the banishment of women as 'witches'.
She appealed to the youth to desist from such accusations since it was a serious indictment on the rights and freedoms of the individual.
The Chief of Kukuo, Mr Mahami Iddrisu, commended the activities of ActionAid in the camp but appealed to Government to ensure that the disbandment process was properly done such that no person was accused of witchcraft any longer.
He suggested that the re-integration should be properly done such that the communities in which these women were banished could accept them back without harm.
Mariama Nakpanzoo, one of the alleged witches told the GNA that she was impressed with the re-roofing efforts by ActionAid and Songtaba adding that they could now sleep in comfort stressing that earlier, their rooms got soaked during raining season because the rooms were leaking.
About 137 alleged witches are currently living in the camp with 172 children and grand children living with them.