More than 1,700 persons from Burkina Faso have fled the troubled country and are currently taking up residence in the homes of persons living in the Widnaba Electoral Area of the Bawku West District in the Upper East Region.
The presence of the refugees, according to Elisha Abila, the Assemblyman for Widnaba Electoral Area, is causing a strain on the financial situation of community residents.
He said this when he spoke to Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show today, Monday, January 23, 2023.
Mr. Abila said the refugees escaped threats from suspected jihadists in their home country.
“The whole thing happened in Burkina Faso. The jihadists gave the threats to the community members. So those threats made the people, the women and children, including some of the men pack their things, and they started trooping into our community.”
“Some [of the refugees] went to Soogo. Others went to Sapeliga, but the nearest place was Widnaba. When you come here, you would see that really, there are foreigners here. Most of the houses are hosting at least 5 or more people,” he said.
According to Mr. Abila, the asylum seekers have also occupied uncompleted structures and turned them into temporary accommodations.
At last count, more than 1,700 people had relocated temporarily to the community.
“We did the registration for the women and children. For the men, they would come in the night and sleep. Early the next morning, they go back. For the women and children, we registered 1,773,” he said.
Mr. Abila explained that the military and the Ghana Immigration Service are currently stationed at vantage points in the community to ensure maximum security. The Assemblyman called for public support to help the community adequately support, clothe, feed and house the asylum seekers.
“We do not know when these people will go back. I was thinking that, in a way, if the government could help us and provide temporary structures for them, and if they could help them in feeding, it would help,” he said.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana