Defenceless, Massive Devastation of the Shea-Nut Tree in Upper West

Shea Tree Destroyed for Charcoal


The Shea tree (Butyrospermum parkii) is a tropical deciduous tree. It is native to Africa, West Africa especially. The Shea tree produces a certain kind of fruit with a very unique taste. The fruits, commonly called shea-nut, contain seeds, heavily endowed with oil, which are used in processing shea-butter.

In the past, the place of the shea-tree in the socio-cultural lives of the Northern tribes, was revered. The shea tree was highly regarded and even mystified. Rightfully so, it was the life-sustaining usefulness of the tree, in the daily lives of the people, that gave it that place in their heart. With shea-butter, which was produced from its oily seeds, the people did all their cooking and frying. It went into the making of their naturally produced local soap, and was their only but best naturally enriching skincare product. Today, with global modernisation of the world, the locals, especially the women, think the shea-tree has outlived its usefulness.

A massive assault on the shea-tree has long started for some years today. And year by year, the intensity and extension of the assault is alarmingly increasing. If we all sit down unconcerned, it won’t be long, there would be no more shea-tree around.

I am a friend of the earth. I find unpolluted inspiration in nature, the way it is, and I know Trees Lives matter. Lets join hands and rise up and rescue The Shea-Tree. Whenever you are burning charcoal at home to cook, or for whatever purpose, ask yourself this question: where does charcoal come from? The answer will help you appreciate the level at which the precious Shea-tree is falling.

Never you forget: The day the last (Shea)-tree dies, the last man dies.

Thank you.

Source: James Samuel Seidu

One thought on “Defenceless, Massive Devastation of the Shea-Nut Tree in Upper West

  1. Government is talking about factories being built in Ghana and Shea nuts could be one raw material in upper West to qualify for a factory if we, upper Westeners handled this raw material with great respect, care and seriousness.
    It’s sad that we concentrate on the immediate relief by way of charcoal and subsistant Shea butter we get to destroy the future of our generation who could benefit from it just like cocoa and other commercial products in Ghana.
    This challenge must be placed at the door step of our leaders (politicians, chiefs, elders and landlords of our region who do not place great interest and support to the lives of the shea tree.
    It’s, however, not too late to start vigorously to embark on regionwide education, enactment of bylaws,sanctions and prosecution of people who may violate such regulations. When that is sustainable, we then network to have such factories on a larger scale with ready made market or even soap industries to work alongside producers in the region.


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