Mr. Godwin Evenyo Dzekoto, Project Coordinator of Aroacha Ghana,a non-governmental organisation has called for a collaboration between Fulani herdsmen, Chiefs and stakeholders in Gonjaland in a bid to adopting a holistic approach to address issues of over grazing in Gonjaland.
According to him,cattle grazing over the years has severe consequences on the land.A situation which has attracted several concerns from opinion leaders in Gonjaland, latest among them being the just ended performance review workshop on the implementation of the medium term development plan (2014 - 2017 ), where stakeholders expressed serious concerns about the continues destruction and increasing conflicts caused by grazing activities in Gonjaland.
He said this in a one day multi- stakeholders engagement with Fulani herdsmen, Chiefs, farmers, heads of department, nongovernmental organisations, community based organisations as well as faith based organisations in Gonjaland, with the aim of harnessing stakeholders input to develop a comprehensive blueprint to foster sustainable grazing modalities within Gonjaland in other to ameliorate its negative impacts on community livelihood and the environment.
Chief Nyankpani Kunkowura from the Wasipe gate (North Gonja ) said, the chiefs and community members are in a cordial relationship with the Fulani herdsmen and as a matter of fact,do contract them to take care of their cattle. "However,the attitude of some Fulani herdsman- raping our children and wives as well as the havoc caused by most of them are usually the things that causes confusion between us.Even we as chiefs, when a Fulani man comes to you and plead with you to allow him settle on your traditional area, as soon as you allow him, he would flood the whole place with several Fulani settlers without your notice" he added.
Mr Mohammed Alhassan,a Fulani herdsman on his part said most of them have settled in Gonjaland for a long time and have raised their families in Gonjaland, therefore the success and welfare of those communities are of a great concern to them.
He further admitted to the fact that some Fulani herdsmen do actually rape women in the bush and also fomenting troubles but the are believed to be the recent few new Fulani settlers.
Mr Godwin then called on all and Sundry to draw a road map of integrating all Fulani herdsmen into communities where they would be involved in decision making process as well as participate in developmental activities in the community instead of asking them to stay in isolation.
The Participants were taken through series of presentations on the effects of grazing and at the end of the program were able to come out with some opportunities that grazing offers, the threats that grazing posses with the landscape as well as the impact of the threats and what is needed to be done to address those threats and the negative impacts.
It was also agreed that all District Assembly's should amend their by-laws since they were scribed in 2010.
A nine members committee comprising of chiefs , Assembly members, Fulani herdsmen, a farmer among others was formed to champion the cause of grazing and the other concerns raised in Gonjaland.