Zini asylum seeker reception settlement centre opened

Mr Mahamud Forkar, the Sissala West District Chief Executive (DCE), joined by officials of the United Nations, the European Union, and the Ghana Refugee Agency, has officially opened the Zini refugee and asylum seekers centre. The team welcomed the first batch of asylum seekers to the settlement centre and pledged its commitment to ensuring their safety and security. Mr Forkar said the first batch of asylum seekers numbering 21 were brought in from Kandia to start the programme whilst the rest scattered in several communities were being assisted to patronise the centre. For those reluctant to move away from the communities to the camp, he assured them of adequate security, shelter, water, health care, and education, as well as improving their livelihood. Addressing a durbar at Zini to open the Centre, the DCE indicated that the district was prepared to support the Centre in the best way it could to achieve the intended purpose. He mentioned that the total number of asylum seekers within the district as o f April 2024, was 914. 'As we are all aware, there have been some disturbances in Burkina Faso, which are affecting the people in that area. These incidents are still on and our brothers and sisters over there are at risk. We are also aware that in some instances, these disturbances spill over into Ghana, especially our district and other districts on the borderline', Mr Forkar explained. The DCE noted that the preservation of human lives was essential in any human community particularly as a member state of the United Nations and that the government of Ghana was bound to offer protection to such people who were affected by the disturbances. Mr Tetteh Padi, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Refugee Agency, expressed gratitude to the Chief of Zini and the Paramount Chief of the Buwa traditional area for playing a lead role in identifying and assisting in getting the land for the establishment of the Centre. Mr Padi said the Center was to cater for all persons who are seeking asylum in the Upper West Re gion. He said the facility could hold 3,000 persons and up to 4,000 should the situation demand since it was of international standard. Mr Andrew Ginsberg, the Team Leader of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), appealed to all to ensure the safety of the displaced persons. The Chief of Zini and the Paramount Chief of the Buwaa Traditional Area, Kuoro Abu Diyaka Suukabe Ninia V, pleaded with government and the leadership of international organisations to create a cordial relationship between the Centre and surrounding communities by expanding the existing infrastructure including, schools, health facilities, water systems and the Police station. Since 2022, the Sissala West district has experienced an influx of persons who have been displaced by the internal disturbances in Burkina Faso. The inhabitants of the districts have been playing host to these persons who have fled their homelands into the district seeking refuge. As a member state of the United Nations Ghana is bound by the United States protocols in handling internally displaced persons to provide safe abode and other humanitarian services to such persons. The District Security Committee, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), UNICEF, the World Food Programme, and Adventure Relief Assistance had to take action to provide some relief for the asylum seekers. Source: Ghana News Agency