Plants Used in Wechiau Community Hippopotamus Sanctuary in Northwest Ghana
An ethnobotanical study of plants used by the indigenous people living in the Wechiau Community Hippopotamus Sanctuary in northwestern Ghana was conducted using structured and semi-structured interviews, and participant-observation methods. A total of 77 species of plants in 27 families were identified as commonly used by the communities in the sanctuary. The plants were reported used in 7 out of the 13 major plant-use categories defined by Cook (1995). The plants were mostly used as medicines (61%), materials (38%), fuel (33%), and human food (26%). The results of this study show that a larger proportion of the plants in the sanctuary are used by the communities as their sources of livelihoods and cultural activities. This demonstrates the need for ethnobotanical data for management of community-based conservation sites in the development of strategies for sustainable use of plants.
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