Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has hinted that on December 15 there will be a symbolic closure of one of the witches’ camps in the Northern Region of Ghana.
The closure of the witch camp will be preceded by a conference on December 10 to discuss how to address the issues and state of witches’ camps spread across the country.
Speaking at a briefing after the tour of the Central and Western regions, Nana Oye Lithur held that the act of camping women and tagging them as witches was a blatant disregard of their human rights, and thus needed to be addressed before the situation escalates.
The Minister restated that not only was it an infringement on their rights but a chauvinistic act against women, which marginalised them.
Nana Oye noted that the situation was worrying since the camping of these women deprived them of healthy economic lives.
She, however, pointed out that the reintegration of these women was not going to happen by waving a magic wand, explaining that it was rather a process which needs to be handled well.
Nana Oye Lithur noted that her ministry was working to register the inmates of such camps onto the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme to help make their reintegration easier.
She held that government’s commitment to bettering the lives of the vulnerable was not limited to only children and the aged, but to all those marginalised in society.
Some of these witches’ camps are located at Ngani in the Yendi District, Gambaga in the East Mamprusi District, Kukuo in the Bimbilla District, and Kpatinga in the Fushegu District.
These places are sanctuaries for people, mostly women, accused of witchcraft in their communities. The alleged witches are banished from their communities and sent to the chief priest of these villages, where they are exorcised.