Bolgatanga, Sept 23, GNA – Some women sheanuts pickers from Talensi and Nabdam Districts of the Upper East Region have alleged harassment from some Fulani herdsmen in the communities.
They alleged that some of the Fulani herdsmen harassed them and seized the sheanuts they picked, threatening to rape them in the bushes where they pick the shea nuts.
The sheanuts pickers, who made the allegation are members of Maltaaba Peasant Women Farmers’ Cooperative (MAPEWFAC) in the two districts and made the complaint at a Joint Stakeholder Review Forum held in Bolgatanga.
The forum organised by MAPEWFAC with funding support from STAR Ghana Foundation attracted 60 Peasant Women Farmers from the two districts.
Mrs Yinwonbe Ziba, one of the participants from the Namolgo community in the Talensi District, stated that many community members depended on shea nut picking as one of their major livelihoods but noted that the spate of harassment by some Fulani herdsmen with their cattle were retarding the progress of their economic livelihoods.
Mrs Zagre Yenbila, another participant from the Yarkoti community in the Nabdam District, said many of the peasant farmers had stopped picking shea nuts because of the harassment.
“We have to commute long distances to the bush to pick shea nuts to earn a living only to be harassed by these Fulani herdsmen,” she stressed.
The key findings of the needs assessments, which was conducted by MAPEWFAC in some communities in the two Districts, revealed that their needs included insecurity, lack of veterinary services, grinding mills, potable water, Inadequate credit facilities, kindergartens, inadequate farm inputs (quality seeds, fertilizers), inadequate income generating activities, poor soils and electricity.
Mr Vincent Subbey, a Development Consultant, who is a facilitator to MAPEWFAC, said prior to the needs assessments survey in the communities, the NGO organized a capacity building programme for the staff of MAPEWFAC to empower them undertake the activity.
He entreated the participants not to only rely on government for support, but to be very innovative and resilient in championing development activities in their respective communities.
Madam Lydia Miyella, the Executive Director of MAPEWFAC who also expressed worry about the trend, called on the District Security Committees of the two Assemblies to collaborate with security agencies to address the concern raised by the group.
She explained that the rationale for the forum was to find a synergy of the needs of the rural women farmers from its operational areas so as to build their capacity to address their own challenges as well as advocate for support in addressing such challenges.
Anthony Adongo Apubeo