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NACSA PAYS TWO-DAY WORKING VISIT TO THE ASHANTI REGIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACKSMITHS (ASHRAB) IN KSI
|A GROUP PHOTOGRAPH WITH THE ASHANTI REGIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACKSMITHS (ASHRAB)|
The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NACSA) paid a 2-day working visit to the Ashanti Regional association of Blacksmiths (ASHRAB) in Kumasi from the 19th to 20th September, 2017.
The objective of the visit was to engage blacksmiths, who are major stakeholders, on the proliferation and misuse of artisanal small arms which is of a major concern to the Commission and believed to be produced by some of these artisans.
The visit was also to enable the Commission to apprise itself of the state of a defunct blacksmithing facility located at the Rural Development College at Kwaso in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality and to obtain first hand information for recommendation to Government.
As part of the two-day working visit, the Commission and the leadership of the ASHRAB inspected the aforementioned facility which according to sources, was built during the Acheampong Regime.
Mr. Jones Applerh, Executive Secretary of the Commission, renewed the call to them to refrain from the manufacture of small arms; many of these were often used to carry out violent crimes such as robbery. He also underlined the need for the blacksmiths to be organized into a stronger national association for self-regulation. He says blacksmiths require retraining to make them more useful, especially, for government flagship programs like â€˜One District, One Factory initiative.
The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Association of Blacksmiths, Nana Kwame Adjei, wants Government to rehabilitate the facility and re-equip it for use. He reiterated their ability to produce useful items such as hospital beds and screens, handcuffs, auto parts, in addition to all kinds of farming implements, if they are well resourced.
The Secretary to the Association, Philip K. Nsiah made an appeal to the Regional Police Commander, COP. Ken Yeboah that, as part of their efforts to build strong associations, membership cards that are given to its members of the association, should be made a prerequisite to the issuance of licensing to repair small arms. He made the appeal when the Commission visited the Regional Police Headquarters to have fair idea of the crime rate and unlawful arms possession in the region.
The Association is, therefore appealing to Government to come up with a policy to provide them with a sustainable market for their products to promote their trade and create employment for the youth. They also indicated that such support from the government will encourage the majority of blacksmiths to mobilize themselves into associations for self regulation to curtail or minimize the illegal manufacture of artisanal small arms.
The Commission believes that supporting the blacksmiths will be in the right direction and facilitate the process of mobilizing all blacksmiths nationwide into a national association of blacksmiths.
Updated: 27th September 2017