Dr Joseph Ayembilla, Human Development Coordinator, Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocesan Development Organisation (NABOCADO) says peace is a panacea to achieving Ghana’s socioeconomic development agenda to improved livelihoods.
He therefore called on all stakeholders, particularly those in conflict prone communities to work towards promoting peace and security to ensure the protection of human lives and dignity.
This, he said, would contribute to achieving food and nutritional security through increased agriculture production among others for the vulnerable.
Dr Ayembilla said this at Pusu-Namongo in the Talensi District, Upper East Region, at an internal reflection on the Integrated Peacebuilding for Food and Nutrition Supply (INPEACE) project, being implemented by the Good Governance, Justice and Peace Directorate of NABOCADO and sponsored by MISEREOR.
The three-year project is being implemented in 16 communities in three administrative districts in the diocese, Bawku Municipal in the Upper East Region, and Bunkpurugu-Nakpanduri and Yunyoo-Nasuan Districts in the North East Region.
The goal of the project is to support local structures at the grassroots level to carry out peace building activities through non-violence approach and identify early warning signs as well as support the Assemblies to mainstream peace building activities into their medium-term development plans.
Dr Ayembilla noted that conflicts was a bane to development, bringing all activities to a standstill and exposing people especially the vulnerable to extreme poverty and food and nutritional insecurity.
He called for an end to the conflicts in the regions, particularly Bawku, Doba and Kandiga.
Very Reverend Father Lawrence Azure, Vicar General, Catholic Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga, said conflicts had the tendency to expose people to extreme hunger as productivity would be reduced.
Citing the Russia-Ukraine conflict as an example, the Vicar General noted that the world was going through tough times in terms of increase in the prices of fuel and food at the international market and the situation was impacting negatively on livelihoods of developing countries like Ghana.
Similarly, he said the protracted Bawku Chieftaincy conflict and the Doba-Kandiga land dispute which had claimed many lives and property was worsening the plight of the people in the region and threatening their livelihoods.
He said since the reemergence of those conflicts, many people had been displaced while others fled their communities in search of non-existing jobs in the cities.
“As we enter into this rainy season, we are wondering how effective agriculture activities can be carried out in these communities which are predominantly farming areas,” he lamented and called for collective efforts to promote peace.
Mr Joseph Bangu, the Director, Good Governance, Justice, and Peace, said the project employed the community peace building approach in which community peace agents, school peace clubs and the traditional authorities were established to play critical roles in identifying early warning signs to collaborate with the Assemblies to prevent conflicts.
He said over the period through the project, several warning signs had been picked up and given to the Assemblies to act on which helped to prevent conflict.
The participants from the beneficiary districts were to reflect on the role of the project in preventing conflict in their areas and strategise to improve upon peace building efforts.