Gonja Youth demand an end to commercial charcoal burning


… say it is imperative to save Shea trees

A group of young persons in Gonjaland – the Gonja Youth – in the Bole district of the Savannah Region are calling for an end to commercial burning of charcoal in the area, to avert the destruction of economic shea trees in the area.

The ban, they insist, is imperative for the sustenance of commercial gains from shea trees, as well as for protection of the environment. The dangers associated with an ever-disappearing forest and the change in rainfall patterns have been attributed to the depletion of forest reserves.

Their concerns were contained in a press release signed by the president of the Association, Ishmael Abdul Fatawu, and copied to the B&FT office in Tamale. The statement revealed that despite the measures placed against illegal felling of the trees in the area, some recalcitrant persons continue in the act for their selfish interests; and in the process are adversely affecting business activities of the shea industry.

Despite its struggles with curbing the illicit act, the group believes that appointing Samuel Abu Jinapor – a royal from the Gonja Traditional Area – as the Minister for Land and Natural Resources will provide the impetus required to ensure enforcement of the law.

Gonja Youth expressed conviction that the minister, who doubles as Member of Parliament (MP) for Damango, has the backing of local traditional rulers to achieve the goal. “We will also use your medium in appealling to all sundry that they should try as much as possible to help use the natural resources that God has given the region to ensure its growth and sustainability,” Fatawu appealed.

“We as a people can come out with a lot of ways to pay our children’s school fees. Today, we might not see the consequences; but the farmers are experiencing it. Look at the amount of rainfall we are witnessing in the Savannah Region; it is as a result of the charcoal burning. So, we are urging everyone, please let’s try to find other alternative ways to pay our fees,” he added.

Commercial charcoal burning is a business activity flourishing in the Upper West, Savannah, Northern, North East Regions of the country. Despite it being a lucrative business, its effects are adverse on the environment.

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