In the bid to curb incessant farmers and herders crisis as well as other inter-community crisis which occurs in several member states, the Economic Community of West African State, (ECOWAS) has called on member states to implement the regulations on livestock and pastoralism across the region.
The call was made in a presentation on the ECOWAS Legal framework on Transhumance and intercommunity conflict management presented by Dr. Fouad Mohammed representing the Director of Agriculture and Rural Development, ECOWAS Commission at the Parliamentary Seminar on Transhumance and intercommunity conflicts, holding in Monrovia, Liberia.
Fouad stated that Pastoralism is an essential component of the West Africa state economy; hence there is a necessity for it to be regulated in other for It provide high-value and at same time reduces conflict and insecurity.
He disclosed that there is a decision of 1998 and a regulation that as adopted in 2003 to regulate the transhumance activities across the region.
Foud said the effective implementation of the regulation provides the organisation of information and awareness-raising campaigns or sessions, communication, training and education for transhumant livestock farmers and the various stakeholders involved in transhumance in the zones of departure, transit and reception of transhumant herds.
“It provides also, the setting up and/or revitalisation of pastoral organisations at national level so that they contribute to better transhumance management, as well as to the prevention and management of conflicts related to transhumance,” he said.
“The regulation is going to make things better for member states, for them to be able to move freely within the region and also to curtail the spread of diseases. Because once you depart from your country to another country, you will be monitored and checked that you are not taking any diseases across to infect your local host.”
Dr. Fouad emphasized the need for compliance by pastoralists, transhumants, farmers and other components of rural society with ECOWAS Community regulations relating to transhumance between Member States cannot be over emphasied.
Fouad said most member states have not implemented the regulations in their countries.
“Just last year, the ministerial council agreed to review the regulations, because of some member states who are saying that the regulations do not conform to the reality in their state.”
“Unfortunately most of the member states were not able to implement this regulation in their countries so we couldn’t even identify the areas to review this regulation,” he stated.
He stressed that “the regulation is put in place to checkmate that there is free movement of integration which is a major objective of ECOWAS.
“The regulations are there, but decried the slow implementation but we are getting there.”