Witch camp

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A witch camp is a settlement where women suspected of being witches can flee for safety, usually in order to avoid being lynched by neighbours.[1][2][3][4] Witch camps exist solely in Ghana, where there are at least six of them, housing a total of around 1000 women.[4] Such camps can be found at Bonyasi, Gambaga, Gnani, Kpatinga, Kukuo and Naabuli, all in Northern Ghana.[5] Some of the camps are thought to have been set up over 100 years ago.[4][6][7]

Many women in such camps are widows and it is thought that relatives accused them of witchcraft in order to take control of their husbands' possessions.[4] Many women also are mentally ill, a little understood problem in Ghana.[4] In one camp in Gambaga, the women are given protection by the local chieftain and in return, pay him and work in his fields.[8]

The Ghanaian government has announced that it intends to close the camps and educate the population regarding the fact that witches do not exist.[4] In 2014 the Minister for Gender and Social Protection took initiatives to disband and re-integrate inmates of the Bonyasi witch camp located in Central Gonja District.[9]

The Dagomba, Konkomba, and Mampurugu tribes have an especially strong belief in witchcraft. The Anti-Witchcraft Allegations Campaign Coalition-Ghana (AWACC-Ghana) has reported that the number of outcasts in witch camps is growing, and that food supplies are insufficient.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Ghana: witchcraft accusations put lives at risk - Africa - DW.COM - 07.10.2016". Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  2. ^ Jacqueline Murray; Lauren Wallace (2013-11-25). "In Africa, accusations of witchcraft still a reality for many women". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  3. ^ "In Ghana, Witch Villages Offer Safe Haven From Superstition - Los Angeles Times". articles.latimes.com. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Ghana witch camps: Widows' lives in exile". BBC. 1 September 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  5. ^ Ansah, Marian Efe (8 December 2014). "Bonyase witches’ camp shuts down on Dec. 15". Citifmonline. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Npong, Francis (2014). "Witch Camps of Ghana". Utne Reader (Winter): 48–49. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Cameron Duodu. "Why are 'witches' still being burned alive in Ghana? | Cameron Duodu | Opinion". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  8. ^ "Ghana: the Witches of Gambaga". London: Yaba Badoe. 25 November 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  9. ^ Naatogmah, Abdul Karim (16 December 2014). "Gov’t disbands Bonyase witch camps". Citifmonline.com. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 

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