Firewood for income in a degrading landscape
Ghana – Part V of VI-part series: WHAT THE WORLD CAN LEARN FROM WEST AFRICA’S UNHEARD
Zizigna Bagambagui, community of Gwenia, Kassena – Nankana District West, Upper East Region, Ghana
With soils becoming increasingly infertile in Ghana’s Kassena–Nankana District, many people in farming communities – especially women – rely heavily on income from tree products and off-farm sources such as petty trading. Firewood is one of those tree products.
But as forests and other tree cover degrade in the area, firewood is also increasingly difficult to find. Wood from shea trees (Vitellaria paradoxa) is popular in charcoal-making, so traditional taboos that forbade cutting of a live tree or harvesting anything but dead branches are breaking down.