The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has step in to find lasting solution to the lingering clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the regions under its jurisdiction. The West African body said on Tuesday that it has begun putting in place measures to curtail clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the sub-region.
ECOWAS President, Marcel Alain de Souza, disclosed this while responding to issues raised by members of the ECOWAS Parliament at its ongoing 2016 first ordinary session. Alain de Souza said the ECOWAS had begun creating transhumance corridors where herdsmen and their cattle would be taken care of.
He said the challenges of transhumance are not new as that is way of life is the tradition of the cattle rearers. But with the movement of cattle rearers coming from the northern part to the coastline, there is the problem of them moving to farms and destroying produce.
“We, being aware of this, are setting up some test cases and we are taking countries like Benin and Togo to organised the passages and movement of the cattle coming down. We have also the test case between Niger and Burkina Faso. We set up corridors; these are areas that are mapped out for animals to move and along those corridors
“We have also set up what we call restaurants in terms of having grazing areas for the cattle and clinics for herdsmen.This is to avoid a situation where we permanently are having clashes.
“We are also looking at a situation where we will bring people together, the cattle breeders and farmers, so that they can negotiate, understand one another and can be sensitized on the essence of the corridors.”
He also said ECOWAS are strengthening its early warning mechanism to ensure that it was effective in all member states to mitigate crises in the sub-region. Adding that the early warning mechanism is already being implemented in five member states.