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Assessing the Impact of Indigenous Shea Butter Processing Activities in Northern Ghana

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Science Education, University of Education Winneba, Ghana
  • 2Department of Science Education, University of Education Winneba, Ghana
  • 3Department of Environmental Health and Sanitation, University of Education Winneba, Ghana
  • 4Department of Science Education, University of Education Winneba, Ghana

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 5, Issue (3), Pages 18-26, March,22 (2016)


Shea butter production generates income for most people in the Northern Ghana and most rural women depend on it for a living. Notwithstanding this, the waste from Shea butter processing has become major contributors to environmental impairment. This study thus assessed the ramifications the indigenous Shea butter processing has on the environs of Northern Ghana. The study was a descriptive survey that used one hundred and ten (110) respondents and questionnaire was the main instrument for data collection. Analysis of the results revealed that the indigenous methods of Shea nut processing did not help protect the environment compared to the other methods (semi-mechanized and fully-mechanized method); the wastes are left unmanaged and disposed of indiscriminately because of the unavailability of engineered dumping sites thereby causing nuisance to the immediate environs. It was, in fact, conspicuous from the responses that, the processors expressed sentiments about the dangers of the indiscriminate waste disposal yet nothing has been done about it. It was also revealed that Shea wastes continues to form heaps in the Metropolis and impart foul odors and also choke gutters causing flooding with the slightest downpour. The processors are suffering from ailments resulting from enormous heat and smoke and obnoxious odor. Over dependence of fuel wood as a source of energy is also contributing to deforestation of the savannah forest. It is therefore recommended that, the indigenous method of Shea butter processing should give way to a modern one to mitigate the environmental impact in the Metropolis. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Assembly should adopt proper management of the waste generated to lessen the impact on the environment.


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