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Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2008)

Towards Sustainable Rural Land Use Practices in the Northern Savannah Zone Of Ghana:Case Study of the Sissala West District

Mwingyine, Darius Tuonianuo

Titre : Towards Sustainable Rural Land Use Practices in the Northern Savannah Zone Of Ghana:Case Study of the Sissala West District

Auteur : Mwingyine, Darius Tuonianuo

Université de soutenance : Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Grade : MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY Land Management 2008

Résumé
Land forms the bedrock upon which the sustenance of man depends. In Ghana, the greatest weight of the economy especially the rural economy rests on agriculture which ultimately depends on land. The northern savannah zone is particularly noted for crop production and livestock rearing. In the Sissala West District (SWD) of the Upper West Region (UWR), about 93% of the people are engaged in farming as their major source of livelihood. Due to some non sustainable land use practices in the area however, this basic source of livelihood of the people is seriously threatened as the land is fast degrading and softly sinking the people in poverty. The study adopted a case study approach. It examined the effects of agricultural practices and wood harvesting on the environment and consequently, on the economic activities of the people in the SWD of the UWR. It further examined measures for ensuring sustainable land use practices in the area. The study employed quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection from both primary and secondary sources. Questionnaire survey at household and institutional levels, key informant interviews and Focus Group Discussions were some of the techniques used to collect the data. The study revealed that agricultural activities such as land preparation, continuous cropping, farming near water courses, grazing activities, and wood harvesting for various purposes are major contributory factors to the loss of soil fertility, drying up of water bodies and a worsening rainfall pattern in the area. The consequences of these environmental problems are poor crop and animal production, reduced dry season economic activities and seasonal emigration. In the light of the above findings, some recommendations are made for sustainable land use practices in the district in particular, and the savannah area in general. These include ; use and enforcement of environmental by-laws, regulation of cross border activities, establishment of woodlots, development and promotion of non farm economic activities, development of alternative sources of energy, and a widening or variation of methods of environmental education and sensitisation. It is hoped that the use of participatory approaches by both government and non government institutions in their environmental protection activities and activities in line with the given recommendations would be a sure route towards sustainable land use practices in the northern savannah area of Ghana.

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Page publiée le 27 septembre 2010, mise à jour le 13 juillet 2018