Bawku West District and partners initiate plans to relocate refugees to Talkuom

migrants and refugees
migrants and refugees

The Bawku West District Assembly and its partners have initiated plans to relocate migrants from Burkina Faso to new settlements in the district by the close of May 2023.

Most of the migrants who have been settled in Sapelliga and other parts of the Upper East Region stemming from attacks in Burkina Faso will be relocated to Talkuom, in the Bawku West district to ensure all social amenities were made available for improvement of livelihoods of the people.

Though UNICEF, with help of community members of Sapelliga have provided some structures for the over 400 refugees, the area is isolated and close to the border to Burkina Faso where basic social amenities such water, toilets, school, and health facilities are not available.

Alhaji Issahaku Tahiru, the Bawku West District Chief Executive (DCE), made the planned relocation known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Zebilla said the Assembly in collaboration with the Ghana Refugee Board, UNHCR, was working to improve roads, health care and educational facilities in Talkuom.

“As at now they are clearing and putting up the structures and even though the Talkuom community has no electricity, the people have been given re-chargeable lamps and torchlights and will soon be provided solar panels to support them.

“Extension of electricity is a general issue and in some parts of Sapelliga, there are some communities that do not have electricity and we are working on that and once the entire Sapelliga gets lights, the Talkuom community and all outlining areas will get hooked,” he said.

On the security of the refugees, the DCE said: “You receive people who are looking for security in your neighbourhood and you still keep them by the border when they are running away from jihadists attacks, leaving them so close to the borders , chances are that they can be re-attacked in Ghana and this is what we as a country are trying to prevent.

“We think that it is a risk, leaving the refugees there because if they are attacked it means the jihadist are so close to the country, hence we need to move them away from that place and where we are moving them, there will be police presence to ensure their safety, there will regular feeding at the camp, since the current feeding situation of the people is not encouraging.”

According to him, sending the refugees into Talkuom will improve their lives, their children will also be enrolled to school and also ensure the benefit of the community and livelihoods will be improved.

He said though there was only one CHPS at Talkuom, there were plans to put up a health centre to improve health delivery services there.

Speaking on other economic opportunities for the refugees, the DCE said: “For those who have made up their minds to stay, we will look at their potentials because there are other stakeholders who have their welfare at heart and will soon take advantage to build their capacities to enable them to find income earning activities to engage in.”

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