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Lukula conflict: Women and children bears the brunt as husbands seek shelter in the bush


“Since the incident happen, women and children are the ones suffering. Some of them up till now have not seen the whereabout of their husbands. Many people die because of that, the women are crying, the women and children are going to bed every night with hunger, no food. The men are the breadwinners, they go out and bring food to the table”, these are the words of a queen mother in Daboya.  

There’s no doubt that war affect women and men differently. Whenever there’s conflict, women and children have been known to suffer disproportionately during and after war. Women and children are often the most vulnerable and prone to being hit the hardest.

Women who survived these atrocities often have to live with vivid and terrifying images of rape, war and death for the rest of their lives. Women also suffer sexually transmitted diseases, stigmatization and sometimes unwanted pregnancies.

They are faced with daunting task of keeping families together after displacement, providing food and shelter in most instances for their children and their families.  Women and children in Daboya are not exception in such a situation.

It is obvious that, the conflict between Gonjas and Maprusis over the ownership of land in Lukula in the North Gonja District of the Savannah region is hardly hitting on women and children.

At the time of filing this story some houses in the community were without a single soul for weeks as residents have fled for their lives. Women in the town are bearing the brunt of the unfortunate conflict.

One woman who spoke to Zaa news said, “it’s been a month now I haven’t seen my husband. I don’t know where he is, whether he is on land or in water. The police officers are our problem now. Our children in school kept calling for money we can’t get it for them. The security should allow us to cater for our children’s education”.

Another woman whose son was shot during the conflict also lamented that “no one can sleep in their rooms again because they will be chased out. We’re suffering from BP and there’s no peace. No man can sleep in his room, if they do, they will have to leave by 2am because of fear. Our husbands are now in the bush leaving us in tears every day. Even water we take it to the bush for them to drink”.

For the fear of being brutalized or arrested majority of men in Daboya fled to seek refuge in the bush leaving their wives and children as security have invaded the town. Several men and boys were assaulted and arrested during the heat of the conflict as it became impossible for men to sleep in their rooms. The situation has forced women and children in Daboya to sleep on empty stomachs as feeding became challenging for many families.

“They have chased all our men into the bush. No one can sleep at home again; they are all in the bush. Someone even died of high blood pressure because of fear. Before our husbands will eat, we have to send the food to them in the bush. We want government to intervene,” a woman said while sharing tears.

Children in the community can no longer hold their pain and suffering since they have lost contact with their fathers.

“Its four days today I haven’t seen my father. The police people are beating them and they have run to the bush. We can’t even go to school, if we go our teachers are not there, they have all run away”, a 12-year-old girl cried out.

Sustainable development goal 16 aim to significantly reduce all forms of violence and work with governments and communities to find lasting solutions to conflicts and security. If goal 16 of the SDGs is achieved women and children living in conflict prone areas will breathe a sigh of relief. However, lots of efforts will be required to minimize if not eradicate conflicts in the northern part of Ghana where chieftaincy and land ownership continuously arouse fights. Biawurbi

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