A project to promote peace and cohesion in rural communities in the Upper West region has been initiated by the Capacity Enhancement and Community Support (CAPECS), a Non-governmental Organisation.
Dubbed: “Mobilising for Peace and Cohesion” (MPC), the project is being implemented by the CAPECS in 18 communities-eight communities in the Sissala West District and 10 communities in the Wa West District.
The 10-month project also seeks to increase women’s engagement and their involvement in the peace-building process and community development through their effective participation in local development committees.
“This is an issue that came up in the Sissala West District during our engagement with the women groups. Women’s involvement in the local development committees is very low”, Mr Abu Alhassan Dokuwie, the Executive Director of CAPECS, explained.
He was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa on the project implementation and its potential impact on the development of the beneficiary communities, the region, and the country at large.
The European Union (EU) is providing funding support for the MPC project through COGINTA under its “Preventing Electoral Violence and Providing Security to the Northern Border Regions of Ghana” (NORPREVSEC) programme.
Mr Dokuwie said the project was aimed, “at contributing to the prevention of violent extremism and promoting peaceful farmer-pastoralist co-existence in border communities in the Wa West and Sissala West Districts of the Region.”
He added that its objective was to raise awareness of 40 women groups and 40 youth camps in the 18 communities in the two districts on the root causes of violence and the dangers of using violence as a conflict resolution mechanism as well as promote dialogue between farmers and pastoralists to enhance social cohesion.
Mr Dokuwie said they had so far held inception engagement with the project districts and communities to inform the stakeholders and communities of the project strategy and to seek their support in its implementation to enable it yield the needed results.
Mr Mustapha Sinto, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of CAPECS, observed that peace and cohesion were unalienable determiners in the development of every community.
He explained that women and the youth were pivotal in promoting sustainable development in communities hence the focus of the project on women and youth groups.
He indicated that they would, among other things, engage in rigorous public sensitisation on issues of counter-terrorism and farmer-herder conflict as they were distractors of peace and cohesion in the communities.
The beneficiary communities included: Gwollu, Jawia, Kusali, and Fielimon communities among others in the Sissala West District, and Dorimon and Talawona communities among others in the Wa West District.