Chief Outlaws on Charcoal Burning at Pulima Traditional Area in Sissala West District (Video)

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The use of economic trees for charcoal burning has been outlawed by the paramount chief of Pulima traditional area in the Sissala west district of the upper west region, Kuoro Osman Deiwia Nankpa III.

The ban, which was declared at the 2023 Gandawii Nabahilme festival, takes effect from Saturday, February 25, 2023.

The Sissala west district lies within the guinea savannah vegetation belt, with a total land area of 41,128.9 89km.

This vegetation consists mainly of short grasses with scattered drought resistant trees such as the Shea, the Baobab, Dawadawa, Acacia and Neem trees.

The heterogeneous collection of trees supports domestic requirements for fuel wood, construction of houses, kraals and fencing of gardens, while the shorter shrubs and grass provide fodder for livestock.

The climate of the district is one that is common to the entire northern regions of Ghana which is relatively dry for most parts of the year.

There are two main seasons, the dry and the wet seasons, with the wet season lasting between April and October.

However, probably due to changes in climatic conditions there are sometimes variations in the occurrences of these seasons.

Routine bush burning, inappropriate farming methods, indiscriminate felling of trees for fuel wood and charcoal, as well as poor animal husbandry have led to rapid depletion of the vegetative cover, and loss of soil fertility.

The continued felling of economic trees such as Shea and Dawadawa for charcoal burning further endanger livelihoods of many people, especially women who make up the majority of the labour force there.

The chief executive of the Sissala west Aisha Batong-Hor, welcomed the initiative of the chiefs.

The upper west regional crops officer of the ministry of agriculture, Vuozie Frederick Domah, believes the initiative if embraced by all and properly enforced could help transform the dynamics of the area, calling on other chiefs across the the country to emulate the example.

The member of parliament for the Sissala west, Mohammed Adams Sukparu, called for unity to advance common goals.

Some charcoal producers welcomed the prohibition of shea and Dawadawa charcoal but feared it might have a short-term impact on the industry players.

By Peter Quao Adattor

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