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Fire is a good servant but also a bad master: the case of bushfires in north east Ghana

Author: 
Gladys Yinimi and Amega-Dunu Christopher
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Bushfires have become an environmental challenge in Ghana and it has become difficult for the Government to control devastating menace since this activity is deeply rooted in the socio-cultural and economic systems of the indigenous people, especially farmers. The effects of bushfire on rural livelihoods and on the ecosystem in the Upper East Region are extensive and damaging. Bushfires have accelerated environmental degradation and have become very influential in the ecology and socio-economic aspects of the rural landscape in the transition zone of Ghana. A series of participatory research activities revealed the continuing importance of fire to rural livelihoods, but that a mismatch in desired burning regimes exists between local stakeholders. The socio-economic impact of this disaster was collected using approaches such as interviews and focus group meetings. Some of the consequences of bushfires include the burning of food stuffs, houses as well as domestic animals. The research found out that, the continuous prevalence of this activity was due to the laxity in the implementation of bye-laws regulating bushfire burning due to the lack of personnel and logistics to state agencies in the district to combat the problem.

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