Domestic Violence in Rural Ghana and Other Reports
Every week, Rural Reporters collate reports on development in rural Africa and its environs. The reports include some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, reports, blogs and in-depth articles which have been carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues.
Here’s a summary of some of the top stories making headlines in rural Africa last week.
Succumbing to their husbands’ brutality is better than reporting the abuse to any local authority, they say. Traditions in most parts of rural Ghana dictate that a woman cannot, under any circumstances, leave the home of her husband. Most families would rather send the woman back to her husband if she comes to them with complaints.
In Bamvim, a small village settlement about twenty minutes drive from Tamale in northern Ghana, a mini van carrying about a dozen people pulls over. Among the passengers are officers from the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit of Ghana’s police. The group is on tour around Tamale to educate women about their rights and explain to them on how they can protect themselves against violence.
“These women want to protect their marriages, and because of that, their husbands abuse them brutally,” one of the unit’s investigators, Imoro Yussif, said. “They are beaten mercilessly just because they want to preserve their marriages, they don’t report such cases to our office,” he added.
Rural farmers have been encouraged to develop interest in the use of modern technology in farming, to improve their yield and productivity.
Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Professor Olusola Oyewole, made the call at the Akintobi village in Ogun State during the ‘Field Day on Meat Type Poultry Production and Value Addition’ and the formal handing-over of agricultural processing facilities to the community.
Professor Oyewole, who was represented by Professor Akin Omotayo, Coordinator, West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) and the Director, Institute for Food Security and Agricultural Resources (IFSERAR), encouraged local farmers to take adequate care of facilities donated to them, noting that if properly utilised, the facilities would boost their income and reduce the stress they undergo while processing agricultural produce.
Deep in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains, in the hamlet of Tazalt, two girls are doing their laundry in stream water. Inside one of the small reddish-brown stone houses, Malika Boumessoud, 38, is serving sweet mint tea and looking at a photo of herself while shaking her head at how old she looks.
In the next room, where five of her six children all sleep on two single mattresses on the floor, Boumessoud’s daughter Zahra, 19, is preparing to leave this classic scene of rural Moroccan life. She is a participant in a bold new experiment that could transform the lives of the girls and young women in the region: unlike the vast majority of her peers, Zahra is being granted an education.
For the past seven years, she has lived in a boarding house run by a small Moroccan NGO, Education For All (EFA), in the town of Asni, 56 kilometres away. The house is a five-minute walk from the school she has attended during the week since the age of 12. In September, she hopes to go to university in Marrakech. Her mother, who married at 16, is acutely aware of how different her daughter’s life could have been had Zahra finished school at 12, like most of the other girls in the valley.
Vuyani Elliot Dwadube walks carefully between the tidy lines of homes in Melody township, his steps kicking up small clouds of yellow dust. Decades ago, he came from his home in a village hundreds of miles away to work in the gold mines of South Africa’s Free State. With his health now failing and supported by the paltry wages of his wife, a domestic worker, Dwadube, 72, is hoping for justice before he dies.
His demands are straightforward: he wants fair compensation from his former employers for the damage done to his lungs during the years he spent drilling ore in narrow tunnels deep underground.
Dwadube suffers from silicosis, scarring of the lungs caused by fine dust inhaled underground. He is not alone. Up to 500,000 former mineworkers in South Africa and neighbouring countries are thought to suffer from the incurable occupational disease.
The most powerful El Nino weather event in half a century is officially over but its impact will be felt most severely in Africa, which is now in the grip of its most devastating drought in 35 years.
Families across southern and eastern Africa had barely recovered from two years of erratic and failed rains, only to be hit by drought and dire food shortages.
The United Nations said the food crisis is ruining lives on a staggering scale and estimated at least 50 million people in 13 African countries were at risk.
Hot, dry weather conditions brought by the El Nino weather cycle since last year have ruined crops, dried up water supplies, killed livestock and led to severe malnutrition across southern and eastern Africa.
The UN predicted food insecurity would peak in Africa by December, but the humanitarian crisis would continue well into 2017.
The government has no intent of running agriculture with its agri-parks concept. Rural South Africa, however, has to be transformed and the government believes that agri-parks will make a huge contribution in this regard. The chief director: Infrastructure Development of the department of rural development and land reform, Nasele Mehlomakulu told the Agbiz conference that the department is consulting as widely as possible with stakeholders to ensure the success of the project.
The interests of commercial farmers and the private sector will always be taken into consideration. Commercial farmers are already represented on all structures that concern agri-parks. Agri SA or Agbiz often represents them. They state your case.”
Mehlomakulu said that the challenge is to make sure that the private sector is doing what it should be doing and the government is doing what it is supposed to be doing. “The roles at the parks itself are being investigated by a consultant appointed by the department. The management structure is as yet not well defined, but the aim of the investigation is to determine all roles and responsibilities,” he said.
Citing security concerns, the government of Kenya recently announced their intent to close the world’s largest refugee complex, Dadaab, after almost 25 years.
The plan has attracted international criticism, and if carried out, could set a dangerous precedent, warn some. But others say Kenya has done more than enough to accommodate refugees from Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and other conflict-affected neighbors over more than two decades – with inadequate support from the international community.
“As the refugees increase, we’re also often confronted with reduced funding, reduced attention, and this is something that we have been grappling with for many years,” said Clementine Awu Nkweta-Salami, representative in Ethiopia for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), at the Wilson Center on May 17. “Many of us, I would say, were not surprised by the government’s decision to take a stand.”