The Sekyere Afram Plains District Assembly (SAPDA) in the Ashanti Region spends GH¢25,000 monthly, especially during the dry season,to cater for the security agencies deployed to maintain peace during outbreak of conflicts between the farmers and the Fulani herders.
Consequently, this has drained the limited resources of the assembly and affected its financial ability to provide other social services to the people.
The District Chief Executive, Sulemana Hamidu, disclosed this on Wednesday at a stakeholders forum of the DANIDA-funded research project “Access and Authority Nexus Farmer-Herder Conflicts” conducted by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to help find solutions to conflicts in the area.
The DCE whose speech was read for him by Deputy Director, NanaOkrahDebrah, was optimistic that the findings and recommendations from the research would provide possible solutions to mitigate the recurring Farmer-Fulani herders conflict in the area.”
The DCE said the farmer-herder conflict “has over the years resulted in loss of lives and properties and left many people in fear and panic.”
He added that the traditional authorities and the clergy intermediated between the farmers and the herders to ensure peace anytime conflict arose, adding that “it is highly appreciated that DANIDA and KNUST have undertaken this project, and we hope the findings address the gaps, specifically to the root causes of these conflicts and recommendations, to have lasting solutions to the problem.”
“The recurring nature of the conflicts suggests that it requires more efforts to find the root causes and the lasting solutions to this perennial uncomfortable and life taking events and so we really need this research conducted by a venerable institution like KNUST,” the DCE said.
“We are very fortunate to have this research undertaken in our district and the findings when made available to us, will help us know what we have not been doing well, our contribution to the recurring farmer-herds conflict, what we should do better so as to mitigate its recurrence,”Mr Hamidu said.
He said the District Security Council (DISEC), the Regional Security Council and the National Security Agencies had a mandate of ensuring peace and security in the district and the nation at large, saying “this research will help our DISEC in their decision and also support their mandate to implement same for real results.”
“I must admit that the researchers have sacrificed to be on the field to get the first hand information from the farmers and the settlers despite the challenges associated and therefore commend the team for this very important project,” the DCE added.
FROM SALIFU ABDUL-RAHAMAN, DROBONSO