In a bid to find a lasting solution to the perennial deadly clashes between nomadic herdsmen and farmers in Kwahu in the Eastern region, the Kwahu Cattle Ranching Control Programme has started registering cattle in the Kwahu Affram Plains area.
A committee set up by the Kwahu Traditional Council has so far registered more than twenty-thousand cattle owned by over two hundred people.
The move is to mobilize the cattle and ranch them in fodder banks to prevent them from grazing on farmlands.
[contextly_sidebar id=”TnvnrpLDjPZuv7ofVuuvxKy8m6nLPloR”]Speaking to Citi News, head of the Steering committee, Zenu Bawa, however, indicated that, some of the cattle owners are under-declaring their cattle to evade tax obligations from the Ghana Revenue Authority.
“We’ve realized that some of owners do under declare the number of their cattle, mainly because they thought that we were doing it to give the information to GRA to tax them. Unfortunately that is not the issue. What we are doing is to resolve a security problem – it is to end the conflict between crop farmers and cattle farmers.”
He noted that his outfit has been able to intensify education for the 225 cattle owners, adding that they are hoping to get accurate figures to aid in decision making.
“We have taken steps to do those corrections and some of the owners understand that whatever quantity they give to us, the decision is going to be based on that. Because the 2,268 acres of land is largely inadequate to absolve even the current number that we have which is about 24,377 cattle population that we’ve registered. The owners are 225 people. We are going to contact each of these owners to give us a clearer picture because we have now taken the steps to educate them to make them understand that the information they have given us is largely inaccurate,” he added.
About eight people lost their lives with several others sustaining injuries in separate reprisal attacks at Dwibease and Wheewhee communities about a fortnight ago.
The Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Ebenezer Tetteh, in a Citi News interview said some have blamed the reprisal attacks on alleged destruction of farmlands by the cattle belonging to the nomadic herdsmen.
“Reasons for the killings are yet to be known, but with the history between herdsmen and residents in Kwahu, it can be linked to the destruction of farmlands by cattle.”
E/Region: Operation cow leg to return
Meanwhile, the Eastern Regional Security Council is considering a revival of ‘Operation Cow Leg’ to address conflicts between mostly local farmers and nomadic herdsmen.
As part of the operation, Police and Military will be deployed to patrol the Kwahu enclave to avert clashes.
This approach to fighting the menace in the era of then President Kufuor, has been criticized as not being effective.
By: Farida Shaibu/citifmonline.com/Ghana