IOM Partners with Dromaa East District Assembly to Support Returnees and Build the Resilience of Communities

Published Date: 
Fri, 03/05/2021 - 20:45
Country: 
Ghana

Accra - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Dormaa East District Assembly in the Bono region of Ghana joined efforts to establish a new Gari processing factory and a cashew seedlings nursery in Praprabaabida. These life-changing initiatives aim to provide livelihoods for returnees and community members and ensure that youth have access to opportunities at home instead of risking their lives on irregular migration routes.

According to data collected through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative on Migrant Protection & Reintegration in Ghana, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), the Bono region is one of the regions in Ghana that has recorded the highest rates of return of migrants stranded in Libya since 2017.

“Community-based projects like this one would not be sustainable without the leadership from the local Assemblies and implementing partners. Thanks to the strong commitment of all partners involved, we are able to empower returnees and their peers in the community to come together to work for the benefit of both. The initiative comes very timely since the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the livelihoods of the most vulnerable among us,” said Florian Braendli, IOM Ghana Project Manager.  

Implemented under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, the projects are funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) to foster reintegration on a larger scale. They significantly contribute to support building the resilience of the communities to facilitate the reintegration of returning migrants in their community of origin.

“This factory will create a lot of opportunities for all the community members, including returning migrants, and other adjoining communities, either for farmers who cultivate the cassava or workers in the factory. It is also timely since cassava cultivation bears a huge potential for the community which to date has not been fully exploited,” said Hon Emmanuel Kofi Agyemang, District Chief Executive, Dormaa East District.

“We returnees have a lot to share with the youth about the trauma and inhumane treatment we experienced in Libya. We did not have the chance to hear from returnees before we embarked on the dangerous journey. We believe that no one should suffer like we did, so our ambition is to educate people as much as we can about irregular migration. Additionally, we want to highlight agricultural opportunities within the district and that it is possible to make it here in Ghana,” said Samuel Donkor, Chairman of the Dormaa East Migrant Association.

The Praprabaabida project builds on the successes of previous community-based projects implemented by IOM in collaboration with BOK Africa Concern in the Bono and Bono East regions earlier this year. Two Gari factories, a block making factory and a soap resource centre have been creating new opportunities for about 600 direct and indirect beneficiaries.

These initiatives can serve as important learnings for the progress of the Praprabaabida Gari factory and cashew seedlings nursery, to effectively improve the productivity and income generating capacities of returnees and community members alike who are cultivating cassava and cashew.

Several trainings on organic production of plant protection have been conducted to help increase the knowledge on environmentally sustainable farming methods. Trainings on bio-entomology organised by BOK Africa Concern have taught the farmers how to manage biological pest control.

“Thanks to the training I am now able to prepare my own local fertilizer, which is cheaper, more effective and safer to use. Its positive impact on my okro farm is just amazing and I am looking forward to a great harvest,” said Joyce Yeboah, a farmer and beneficiary of the training.

For more information, please contact Juliane Reissig at IOM Ghana, at jreissig@iom.int or 00233 (0) 30 274 2930