20.08.2005 Regional News

District Assemblies urged to address issues of witchcraft

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Tamale, Aug 20, GNA - Mrs Janet Adama Mohammed, Director of the Christian Council of Ghana, has appealed to district assemblies in the Northern Region to include the management of witchcraft issues in their deliberations and budgets.

''Although the assemblies occasionally present food items and clothing to inmates of the 'Witches Camps' their situation is not regarded as a human rights issue and because of this food security programmes and micro-credit facilities are not extended to them.''

Mrs Mohamed said this at a workshop organised by ActionAid Ghana and the Anti Witchcraft Campaign Coalition, both NGOs and sponsored by the German Development Service (DED), a German NGO, in Tamale on Friday. She said under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), poverty alleviation funds are targeted at vulnerable groups but district planners had not identified ''Witches Camps'' and as a result it had become very challenging for the assemblies to intervene. Mrs Mohamed said because of this, the assemblies had to depend on the interventions of NGOs and churches to provide support for the persons living in the "Witches Homes".

She said NGOs such as Management Aid, the Catholic Relief Services as well as the Presbyterian Church had assisted in providing food aid to the witches.

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