Access to Land Resources under Customary Arrangement: Emerging Issues among the Bassaris of North-Eastern Ghana
This study examined how land resources are shared and used as well as the emerging issues from the perspective of customary rules, norms and practices in Bassari communities of northern Ghana. A qualitative survey was undertaken in four Bassari communities in north- eastern Ghana. The results revealed that though communal rights exist in Bassari communities, individualisation of communal resources is increasingly becoming dominant and consequently narrowing the scope of communal rights. This is attributable to changing social values and customs, increasing population, diminishing land resources as well as monetisation and economic incentives. Again the traditional role and powers of the land priest (Otindaan) with respect to resources access, allocation and ownership are now merely symbolic. The movement towards private holding of communal resources requires the existence of effective rules and strong customary system of enforcement over private rights and at the same time create access channels for the vulnerable groups.
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