The Program Coordinator of Jaksally Development Organization Seidu Jeremiah has vowed they will deal ruthlessly with individuals and companies that are engaging in charcoal burning business in the Gonja traditional area of the Savannah Region.

He said the rampant charcoal burning activities in the region is affecting climate change in the area.

He mentioned Bole district, Sawla Tuna-Kalba, North Gonja and West Gonja district as some of the areas where the menace is serious.

Mr Jeremiah said this when he and his team visited some catchment areas of the organization to access the performance of some VSLA women groups in farming.

Jaksally is a nongovernmental organization based in the Northern Region that seeks to ensure the empowerment of women and youth. It is also aimed at reducing poverty among vulnerable women in rural areas through the Village Savings and Loans Association.

He indicated that charcoal burning in these areas is depriving the livelihood of women who earns their income from Shea, dawadawa tree and other cash crops which he said are been fell for charcoal.

Interaction with some charcoal traders that came from down south in Bole and Sawla district, Mr Jeremiah warned they will burn their tracks and arrest anyone found engaging in burning and transporting charcoal in the area.  He gave a one-month ultimatum for these traders to cease this charcoal business in the area or face prosecution.  “You can resort to the planting of acacia which matures in eighteen months and later you can cut it and burn your charcoal; come wasipe-wura will give you land so that you can do your own tree plantation for charcoal” he stated.

He said he is in talks with chiefs, government officials, security agencies and other stakeholders in the region to support fight the menace.

Meanwhile, women have raised concerns about how they are unable to cater for their families and pay children school fees as a result of the menace.  They said they harvest low in every crop season due to a reduction in rainfall.