NR:  Kukuo Women in Slavery for Drinking Water

NR: Kukuo Women in Slavery for Drinking Water


Views: 732 Ishmael/Hakim, Kukuo, April 25, 2019, Thur., 6:00pm Kukuo Community in the Nanumba South District has begged the Government to take them ou...

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Ishmael/Hakim, Kukuo, April 25, 2019, Thur., 6:00pm

Kukuo Community in the Nanumba South District has begged the Government to take them out of “slavery for water.”

Women and girls in the community spend eight hours, four rounds of climbing and descending a hill in more than a three-kilometer walk distance to source at least four basins of water, daily, from the River Oti, the only source of water for the community. It must be noted that in Ghana, the same time period is the constitutionally mandated labor-hours per day.

Kukuo is an ancient Nanumba community in the Northern Region. The community is known for its “famous shrine for witches.” The shrine is believed to be able to dispossess witches and so some relatives from the three regions of the North send their alleged witches there for a permanent stay.

But, the District Chief Executive, (DCE) Hon. Natogmah Munkaila said the community had earlier been slated for a GISOP dam, unfortunately, the intervention deliverer faded out in 2018, also at the time, the District had already finished the distribution of its share of dam-construction under the Government’s policy of one district: one dam.

He, however, stated that provision of water for the community had now remained his priority.

The Hon. Assembly Member for the community, Musah Atta Tamimu accented the DCE’s remarks on the situation,  acknowledged that the community had no reliable source of water, and describing the situation as “stony and a matter of urgency.”

He said every year at least two got drown in the river and some got bitten by snakes.

He said several NGOs and successive governments had failed to provide water for the community and the problem had deepened poverty among the natives and worsened the plight of the alleged witches and downed academic performance among school girls in the community.

He said most relatives often turn to forget their alleged witches and abandoned them to their own fate for the rest of their lives without any source of food, clothing, shelter, and medicines when they are sick. Currently, the alleged witch population in the community-camp is more than eighty.

“Their families have rejected them just because of witchcraft accusation and they are aged now and cannot climb and descend the hill to fetch water.” the Assemblyman stressed.

One of the alleged witches called Mahama Awabu said at times she had to choose between spending her one Cedis-gift on a yellow gallon of water and buying fish for her soup.

The Hon. Assemblyman said the women in the community were falling sick and the situation had brought all income generation activities among the women to a standstill; both women and men went late to the farm, food vendors and local soap makers had stopped and school girls got to school already tired and slept off their lessons.

“As a teacher in the Junior High School, you realized that most children attend school late and you see them sleeping during lessons and from 2012 up to now it is always the girls who are failing in the BECE.” The Assemblyman regretted.

He said some women had allegedly divorced and ran from the community to the capital cities as head porters because of the water situation. For the same reason, some of the girls told this source that they were not ready to stay and marry in the community.

A schoolgirl called Mohamed Naima who was interview whiles on her way climbing the hill carrying a local barrel for water said the thought of going to the river and climbing the hill after school haunted her all the time and she could hardly focus on her lessons.