Desertification in the Upper West Region of Ghana: Causes, Processes and Impact
This paper is written to find out the causes, processes and impact of desertification in the Upper West Region and to suggest ways to address the problem. The research was conducted through interviews, field survey, using questionnaires and focus group discussions. It was realized during the research that the people in the region are aware of the environmental degradation but have varied views on the causes and their consequences. They realized the reduction in crop yield in recent years, the changing weather pattern, the drying up of streams and river bodies and many others, which are as a result of the human activities that negatively affect the environment. The research also discovered that felling down of trees for charcoal production, wood fuel and bush burning top the list of environmental degradation in the region. It was concluded by proposing measures such as afforestation, proper land management, introduction of fine or punishment for bush burning and enforcement of forest regulations in curbing the rate of environmental degradation that leads to desertification in the region.
Keywords: Desertification; Environmental degradation; Tree felling; Bush burning and charcoal.