Traditional rulers and Assembly members from the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region have been trained to enact child protection by-laws to effectively address issues affecting the growth and development of children in the area.
World Vision Ghana (WVG) with funding from the World Vision Area Development Programme of Kasssena-Nankana, organized the training and it brought together stakeholders from three electoral areas including Mirigu–Nabango, Kandiga and Sirigu.
Child protection issues identified at the training comprised child and early marriages, teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, drug abuse, child labour, streetism, irresponsible parenting and peer pressure, among others.
The traditional leaders and assembly members who received the training were expected to draft by-laws to be forwarded to the Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly for onward deliberation and adoption.
Addressing the stakeholders, Mr Moses Nsoh, the Sponsorship and Child Protection Officer of WVG, explained that the increasing cases of child abuse emanating from the various communities informed World Vision Ghana’s decision to empower the major stakeholders to help address the issues.
Mr Nsoh stated that WVG had over the years implemented a number of activities geared at improving the welfare of children and their families.
He said WVG considered child protection issues as a major concern which needed to be addressed now to help produce responsible leaders for the country.
“World Vision Ghana is a Christian Relief, Development and Advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice,” he said.
He stated that as part of the activities of getting child protection by-laws gazetted by the Assembly, his outfit had already engaged the communities and sensitized them on the need to jointly tackle the phenomenon.
Naba Roland Togumdeya Akwara 111, the Paramount Chief of the Sirigu Traditional Area, expressed worry about the inability of most of the traditional rulers and the Assembly members to help deal with the canker and attributed it to the lack of by-laws on child protection.
He stated that he was very optimistic that with the gazette of the child protection by-laws, it would help minimize the trend and called on all to support the cause.
Naba Henry Abawine Amenga-Etego, the Chief of Kandiga, who commended the WVG for the capacity building training programme, stated that it had refreshed their minds on child protection issues to help deal with the problem in their communities.
Mr James Atorigo, the Assembly Member for Nabilingo–Kandiga electoral area, said one of the major issues in the area was high school dropout among children as a result of teenage pregnancies and child marriages and expressed the hope that the problem would be curtailed when the by-laws were implemented.