A project aimed at reducing the incidence of conflicts and achieving sustainable peace for rapid development has been launched at Chereponi in the Chereponi District of the North East Region.
The initiative dubbed “Chereponi sustainable peace project” seeks to work with key stakeholders to address issues that give rise to conflicts and create awareness among residents to promote peace for sustainable development.
It is being implemented by the Holistic Development Organisation (HOLIDO), a non-profit organization, in partnership with Coginta Ghana with funding support from the European Union and forms part of efforts to reduce conflicts in communities in Northern Ghana.
Mr Robert Kampi Laari, the Programmes Manager, HOLIDO, explained that over the years conflicts and insecurity had retarded development in Northern Ghana and Chereponi in particular and the situation had a toll on the livelihoods of the vulnerable.
He said the project was aimed at working closely with key stakeholders in the district, including the National Peace Council, District Assembly, traditional authorities, religious leaders, Security Services and Ethnic Youth Groups, among others, to raise awareness of the need to embrace peace.
This, he said, would build the capacities of various factions and residents in the district to appreciate participatory and non-violence means of building peace and resolving conflicts and called for support to make maximum impact.
Hajia Zuweiratu Mada Nashiru, the District Chief Executive for Chereponi, said the District had recently experienced land disputes, chieftaincy conflict and intra and inter-tribal conflicts, leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties.
She said it was disheartening for the district to constantly be in the news for the wrong reasons and noted that if the situation was not collectively addressed urgently, it could scare investors from the area.
While applauding the efforts of HOLIDO and its partners for promoting peace in the area, Hajia Nashiru appealed for an extension of the project to the Saboba District which in recent times had recorded a series of conflicts, “any district that does not see the reason to have lasting peace is a district without hope and no development,” she added.
Mr Abdul-Razak Tahidu, Member of Parliament for Chereponi, said the frequent conflicts being recorded in the area were largely to blame for the underdevelopment of the district.
He said the district needed to strategically develop without interruption and appealed to the chiefs and youth groups to employ peaceful means of resolving their differences instead of resorting to violence.
Mr Charles Afo, the Secretary to the Chereponi Traditional Council, said for the district to achieve peace for the needed development to thrive, politicians must desist from spreading false information to influence their supporters.
Instead, he encouraged them to be agents of positive change, preaching peace and security and called for support from all stakeholders for the peace project to achieve its targets.
Mr Francis Konlan, the North East Regional Grants Manager, Coginta Ghana, noted that as part of the project, border communities in the district would be sensitized to violent extremism and noted that the issue had become heightened and needed vigilance to prevent any spillover.