Factors Influemcing Commercial Charcoal Production in the West Mamprusi District of Ghana

  • J S Makain


Charcoal production is increasingly becoming an important trade in the northern regions of Ghana in spite of its implication for deforestation and natural resources depletion. In the West Mamprusi District of northern Ghana, charcoal production is a major dry season activity in many communities. This paper examines factors influencing the increasing rate of charcoal production in the district from 1980 to 2005. Research instruments employed were: purposive and simple random sampling, direct observation; transect walks, stump count, focus group discussion, key informant and structured interviews. The study reveals that local and national organizational structures exist that monitor the natural environment in the District; community members are aware of the environmental impact of their activities, and that charcoal production is a livelihood activity of the people in the District. Findings from the research revealed that charcoal production was a full time occupation for many females (i.e., 65%); major buyers were from urban towns in Northern and Upper East Regions; charcoal production was a major source of income and livelihood activities in the district and the work of the Forestry Commission's monitoring was effective in the forest-reserved areas. It concludes therefore that existing institutional structures have failed to implement regulations to control the effects.

Ghana Journal of Development Studies Vol. 4 (21) 2007: pp. 33-48

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