About 30 civil society organisations (CSOs) have been deployed to border communities in the northern part of the country to raise awareness among community members on terrorism and security consciousness.
As part of their tasks, the CSOs will organise community fora every month and invite security experts to talk about terrorism.
They will also liaise with radio stations in the communities to undertake regular interactions on the security situation in the area.
This is to enable community members, especially landlords and landowners, who rent their spaces to people they do not know, to identify, and report any suspicious character in their communities to help avert any extremist tendencies or attacks.
Ahead of the deployment, representatives of the CSOs attended a training workshop in Tamale to build capacity on the threat of terrorism and the roles expected of them to ensure success.
The community education activity, which aimed at enhancing citizens’ participation in border security, is being championed by the Center for Democratic Development – Ghana (CDD-Ghana), in collaboration with the United States (US) Government through the US Embassy in Ghana, and the Ministry of National Security, to create awareness on terrorism, especially in communities along the country’s borders.
Nana Kwabena Aborampah Mensah, Programmes Manager, CDD-Ghana, who gave details of the activity at the workshop in Tamale, said, “This is to try to increase citizens’ consciousness and awareness on the threat of terrorism that is raging in and around the Sahel belt.”
The CSOs, who already operate in the border communities, will be implementing the activity in communities, including Saboba, Chereponi, Gushegu, Bole, and Navrongo, among others, in the northern part of the country, and report their findings to the Ministry of National Security for appropriate actions to be taken on them.
The CSOs will be on the field from now until March, next year.
Mr Mensah said the activity was in line with the National Framework for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism, which created room for media and CSOs to contribute to support in the soft aspect.
“To educate, sensitise and undertake environmental monitoring to feed into the intelligence that the Security itself will gather.”
He said, “We are also developing materials to support their education. They will have jingles that will be played on radios, and short videos on acts of terrorism that will also be shown to the people.”
Madam Amina King Mohammed, Assistant Director, Ministry of the Interior, urged the participating CSOs to feed the National Security with accurate information from the field to ensure relevant action to address the issues detected.
She also urged them not to share the information they gathered on the field with any third party as that might jeopardise the security of the country.