Ghana, UN implementing Human Security Programme in Northern Region
Six agencies of the United Nations in collaboration with the Government is implementing a Human Security Programme dubbed: “Enhancing Human Security through Development of Local Capacity for Holistic Community-based Conflict Prevention in Northern Ghana”.
The programme focuses on human safety and economic empowerment to promote development, Mr. Jones B. Applerh, Acting Executive Secretary of the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons has announced.
Mr. Applerh was speaking at the Small Arms and Light Weapons Sensitization Programme, organised for some traditional rulers in Wa on Tuesday to stimulate action and responses towards the gun factor in daily routine, political discourse and conflict resolution mechanisms.
He said Bawku and Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, Wa in the Upper West Region, Yendi and Tamale in the Northern Region are beneficiaries of the programme.
Some interventions have already been implemented while others are ongoing, including the provision of five milling and fortification machines, which have been installed for women’s groups at the four programme sites.
Mr. Applerh said the programme had distributed 900 mango seedlings to 150 farmers to go into economic tree plantations, provided 2,000 small ruminants assistance to 400 livestock farmers and was improving skills profiling of 50 blacksmiths in Yendi in preparation for skill enhancement.
The programme has also supported the blacksmiths to form associations to facilitate financial assistance in terms of access to micro credit and other benefits.
Mr. Applerh said as much as the UN and the Government was determined to bring development to the people in those communities, there were some concerns as to how to sustain the peace and create the necessary environment for economic empowerment.
In view of that, he said, a second component had been designed for the enhancement of mechanisms for conflict prevention and peace consolidation in Northern Ghana, with the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons partnering the agencies in implementing some activities to help address the demand side of the gun proliferation problem.
Mr. Applerh said the Commission was, therefore, sensitizing all stakeholders in Yendi, Bawku, Tamale and Wa on the dangers of illicit small arms proliferation and its impact on the peace, security and development of the communities and the country as a whole.
“The first phase of implementation of activities is sensitizing and educating key stakeholders such as chiefs, opinion leaders, blacksmiths, licensed arms dealers, and police armorers in those communities.
“The second phase will involve sensitizing the general public and arms collection and destruction exercises, aimed at contributing to efforts at addressing the conflict situation and the security challenges of the targeted communities,” Mr. Applerh explained.
Mr. Applerh called on traditional rulers to help in conflict prevention and resolution and to encourage development initiatives cherished by the people by curbing the proliferation of small arms and ensuring peace at all times.
He also appealed to traditional rulers to play active roles in ensuring violent free elections in 2012, which research shows always trigger conflicts in most African countries.
Good initiative, and it is up to all and sundry to contribute to curb the existing conflict in the northern Ghana