Community mediation saves families in Tema
Nana Ama Ogyedom Tsetsewah (middle) mediating a case
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Dozens of families and households in Tema were last year saved from the destructive effects of disputes through community mediation.

With the help of the Ogyedom ADR Centre at Tema Community One, 165 disputes among family members, friends and local trade partners in Tema were resolved through community mediation.

Nana Ama Ogyedom Tsetsewah I, a private mediator and Manager of the Centre, in an interview with ADR Daily, said out of the 165 cases, 95 were fully settled, while the rest, mainly relating to family property, were mediated and referred to the family heads for implementation of the respective agreements.

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Community mediation saves families in Tema
Nana Ama Ogyedom Tsetsewah

The Centre’s 2017 performance figures show an increase on the 37 resolved cases recorded in 2016 during which 31 out of the 37 cases were successfully resolved.

The cases that are reported at the Centre, 37 are mostly related to marital and child maintenance, tenancy, inter-tenant disputes, as wells disputes among family members over property, misunderstanding between local trading partners, and groups.

But according to Nana Tsetsewah, who is also the Tema Fantehene, while financial and tenancy disputes topped the cases at the Centre last year, there is an increasing trend in traditional cases relating to family feuds and curses.

“These days the traditional cases are coming in more with most of them having to deal with siblings fighting over property left over by their deceased parents or in some cases between friends who tend to involve fetish priests when one friend is not willing to pay back a loan,” she added.

Although she admits that there is more room for improvement for community mediation in Tema, and Ghana in general, she noted the work of the Ogyedom ADR Centre, and other mediation centres around were helping to prevent many cases from heading for the courts.

She said there was an urgent need for community mediation to be enhanced with the support of all stakeholders because of the critical role it played in ensuring community peace, which culminates into national peace.

“This is because community mediation deals with disputes at the community or grassroots level and aids in their resolution, and prevents them from escalating into conflicts that affect society,” she said.

Also, she said the resolution of the disputes at the community level contributes significantly in saving relationships, adding that it also reduces the number of cases that head for the courts.

“Community mediation is very reliable but because it lacks the needed public awareness, many people do not take advantage of it,” she said.

Community mediation saves families in Tema
The Centre has been successful in settling cases

In the quest to enhance education and awareness about ADR and community medication, she advised trained ADR practitioners to set up offices in their various communities to help resolve disputes in their areas.

That, she said, would be more beneficial than the present situation where many of the trained practitioners are wasting away their skills by staying at home.

“The government, as well as educational institutions that provide ADR services, must step-up their training to aid ADR practitioners to provide them with the requisite skills to aid in the resolution of disputes around the country,” she added.

By: Fred Gadese-Mensah/