Severe harmattan in the North of Ghana has forced an upsurge in demand for shea butter as local residents strive to protect their skin from increasingly harsh weather conditions.
The northeast trade winds which usually begins from November through to March blows dry wind affecting visibility.
During this season most people experience dry skin with others developing cracked lips, making life uncomfortable.
As such, most people resort to using shea butter to protect their skin from drying.
A visit to the Aboabo market in Tamale saw some people busily buying Shea butter. They spoke to Citi News.
“I’m using shea butter in the sense that it is good for my body and it’s also good in this harmattan season. If you use shea butter, your body becomes fresh. When I apply shea butter, I don’t experience any dryness on my body,” one gentleman said.
Another also added, “It [shea butter] is good for the skin. When a baby is born, you use it on him/her and the body grows to be so smooth. Shea butter keeps the skin smooth and soft and helps during the harmattan season.”
A shea butter seller in the Aboabo market in Tamale Abdulai Rashida told Citi News that business is booming during this dry season.
“We have customers at Ashanti region, Mankessim, and Nsawam that we have been supplying shea butter. So when they sell it, they will give us money. When it is time for harmattan, it doesn’t keep long for us to get our profit when we supply the shea butter to them, but during the rainy season, it keeps long for the money to come,” she stated.
Shea butter, locally known as ‘nkuto’ is a slightly yellowish or ivory-coloured natural fat extracted from fruit of the shea tree by crushing and boiling, widely used in cosmetics as a moisturiser and an emollient, as cooking oil in West Africa, and sometimes used in the chocolate industry as a substitute for cocoa butter.