The BBC has a report on the witch camps in Ghana and the appalling beliefs that create them. It tells the story of a woman who lives in one of the camps who was accused of witchcraft because a relative died. The fact that the woman is blind is a contributing factor to why she was accused.
Memuna Abukari sits at the door of a mud hut, accused of being a witch.
“My nephew’s wife died,” she explains in Dagbani, her native language, “My family said I was responsible, they accused me of being a witch.”…
A hen and a dozen chirping chicks brush by her feet while a neighbour woman pounds spices with a large wooden mortar and pestle.
But Abukari, an old woman who doesn’t know her age, can’t see any of it. She is blind.
People who are deemed different are often the first accused of practising dark magic…
Abukari says she wants to go home, but only if her family wants her back. “I’d be happy to return,” she says. Then her brow furrows. “But if my son doesn’t ask for me to come back, anything could happen.”
She has good reason to worry.
A letter was sent to her family and village, informing them Abukari is to be returned after four years at the witch camp.
The response from own son was chilling, according to the traditional priest and landlord ofthe camp. “He told them he would not come for her,” Adam Musah says, “He said if they released his mother, he would kill her on the way back.”
There are several camps in that country, housing more than 500 women and 300 children (and a very small number of men; the victims are almost always women and children). Leo Igwe has devoted his life to helping them and Conor Robinson will be leading a team from the Humanist Service Corps to Ghana this summer to work with those who live in the camps to improve their living conditions.