There have been concerns over the effects of deforestation in the Savannah Ecological Zone.
As climate change intensifies in the area, experts say there will be dire consequences in the coming years, if the menace of logging and commercial production of charcoal is not halted.
To this end, the Savannah Regional Minister on behalf of the Regional Security Council announced a ban on the two activities. This ban will take effect in the coming days.
But what will the effect be on livelihoods as thousands of people are engaged in the value chain of charcoal production in the region?
Residents of Soalepe, a community in the West Gonja municipality of the Savannah Region apart from farming, are largely engaged in the production of charcoal.
According to them, they cannot fathom the effects of the ban on them without alternatives.
“This is what we depend on. People here depend on it to pay the fees of their children. For the young ladies, if we don’t burn charcoal we can’t afford anything. I just returned from the bush and I will be going back. If I don’t do that work, I won’t eat, so if they want us to stop, then they have to find something else for us to do,” Soale Fadila, a charcoal producer lamented.
It’s not only producers who will be affected by the ban. Buyers and drivers of the products say the consequences on them will be unbearable.
“It will affect us very much. That’s what we do to eat. If they don’t burn the charcoal we can’t come and convey it to the market. So, it will affect us the drivers. There is no other job here for us to do apart from this,” Emmanuel Agyapong, a driver noted.
A regular buyer of charcoal, Mustapha Hamid, also lamented how the ban will affect his family.
“It will affect us a lot. We have wives and children, and we borrow money for this. If you don’t load the charcoal, the lender does not care if your money is locked up. All he wants is his money and if can’t pay, you will be jailed. So they should be patient with us and let’s dialogue so that we can continue engaging in the business. I didn’t go to school, so this is what I can also do to feed my family,” he noted.