The rural energy sector and the environment: a case study of West Gonja District, Ghana
Energy is an important basis input necessary in both household and economic activities. In West Gonja District of the Northern Region of Ghana more accurate information on the specific energy source, needs, consumption pattern for their environmental impacts is lacking. Such data is necessary for planning towards the provision of reliable and cheap source of energy based on a stable supply, for the overall development of the district. This study, through a household survey of six sampled settlement in the District finds a very high depending of the population on kerosene, firewood and charcoal as sources of energy. Consumption levels are found to vary with household size. Efficiency of energy utilization is very low due to the inefficient and – use devices employed in most household. Fuel scarcity in the District is perceived through increasing distances to sources of supply and longer collection time. Indications of environmental pressures are evident in the form of deforestation and soil erosion resulting not only from energy needs, but also from inappropriate farming practices. The implications of the findings are that planning is necessary to address the areas of energy conservation and environmental protection. The recommendation suggested aim at improving the efficiency of energy utilization, augmentation of viable source of energy, improving methods of fuel exploitation and improving farming practices in the District. If the recommendations are acted upon, taking into account suggestions made in the implementing institutional structure at District and local level, the District, will be on its way towards achieving a reliable energy base.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 1990