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2. SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROFILE OF THE GAMBIA

2.1. Population profile

Table: 1 and Figure 1 illustrate the population of The Gambia by age and sex distribution based on the 1993 population census. The Gambia has a very high population growth rate of about 4.1% per annum. The majority of the population is within the ages 𓈋9, forming over 50% of all the populace. The high rate of population growth has serious socio-economic implications, including forest depletion both from establishment of settlements and other economic activities.

 

TABLE: 1. POPULATION BY AGE AND SEX, 1993.

AGE GROUP

MALE

COUNT

% OF

COUNT

FEMALE

COUNT

% OF

COUNT

BOTH SEXES

COUNT

% OF

COUNT

ALL AGES

665530

100

663284

100

1328814

100

0-4

108414

16.29

106876

16.11

215290

16.20

5-9

104836

15.75

104789

15.80

209625

15.78

10-14

78683

11.82

78292

11.80

156975

11.81

15-19

67198

10.10

71695

10.81

138893

10.45

20-24

57269

8.61

59666

9.00

116935

8.80

25-29

52381

7.87

60306

9.09

112687

8.48

30-34

39052

5.87

44476

6.71

83529

6.29

35-39

31902

4.79

31389

4.73

63292

4.76

40-44

27062

4.07

26302

3.97

53364

4.02

45-49

21239

3.19

15931

2.40

37170

2.80

50-54

18329

2.75

15199

2.29

33528

2.52

55-59

11572

1.74

7403

1.12

18975

1.43

60-64

12485

1.88

10763

1.62

23248

1.75

65+

22383

3.36

20484

3.09

42867

3.23

N/S

12723

1.91

9550

1.44

22273

1.68

N/S: implies

 

2.2. Economic indicators

The GDP (gross domestic product) is the most important single economic indicator. From the Table 2 below, it can be seen that agriculture accounts for over 20% of the GDP, with industry contributing only about half this amount. Trade, including trade in agricultural produce under services, accounts for 36.9%.

Income levels have fuel consumption implications. To some extent, high income means more options for alternative fuel usage for cooking. Highest income population can afford gas and electricity for their domestic fuel needs. For the urban dweller however, an income level below a certain level means less fuel consumption because of affordability.

TABLE: 2 GDP AT CURRENT PRICES BY INDUSTRY

Economic Sector

1995

1996

1997

1998

% Contribution

1. AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

727239.7

655144.1

669040.3

804857.1

20.4

2. INDUSTRY

293051.0

447593.8

336973.1

382675.3

10.4

2.1. Mining and Quarrying

822.0

889.0

962.0

1041.0

0.0

2.2. Manufacturing

155980.1

160536.3

167669.7

172056.8

5.0

2.3. Electricity & Water Supply

21104.8

26060.2

32274.9

39971.6

0.8

2.4. Building & Construction

115144.1

260108.4

136066.5

169605.9

4.7

3. SERVICES

2180629.1

2338687.2

2437467.1

2645879.4

69.2

3.1. Trade

1205725.3

1248445.1

1284985.5

1424795.3

36.9

3.1.1 Groundnut

73947.0

69593.0

69678.0

73370.9

1.2

3.1.2 Others

1131778.3

1178852.1

1215307.5

1351424.4

35.7

3.2. Hotels & Restaurants

98717.0

176438.0

185180.0

212169.0

4.9

3.3. Transport

199720.0

205312.0

217014.0

228299.0

6.8

3.4. Communications

123422.0

127523.0

148068.0

157798.0

3.8

3.5. Finance & Insurance

113827.4

114304.2

118967.8

123946.1

3.2

3.6. Real Estate & Business Services.

218826.0

226703.7

234865.1

243320.2

6.4

3.7. Other Services

66804.7

69610.5

72534.1

75580.6

2.0

3.8. Public Administration

209237.0

226234.0

234016.0

240568.4

6.8

3.9. Less IMP. Bank Charges

55650.2

55883.3

58163.4

60597.2

1.5

4. GDP AT MARKET PRICES

3200919.7

3441425.1

3443480.5

3833411.8

100.0

Source: Central Statistics, National Accounts.

 

2.3. Climate of the Gambia

The climate of The Gambia is "sudano-sahelian" with a short rainy season and a long dry season. Average annual temperature is about 28oC and average annual rainfall is about 880 mm. During the dry season, the relative humidity is about 68% along the coast and 41% in land, but generally above 70% throughout the wet season. An analysis of the historical climate data (1951-1990) of The Gambia indicates a slight warming and about 25-30% decrease in rainfall during this period.

Table 3 gives the annual rainfall at some major rainfall stations of the country. Generally, the wet season begins in June and ends in October. Most of the rain occurs during the months of August and September.

 

TABLE: 3. TOTAL RAINFALL IN THE GAMBIA BY STATION (MM), 1992 TO 1997

YEAR

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

AVERAGE

YUNDUM

1075.9

659.7

1107.5

887.0

684.0

959.5

904.7

KEREWAN

733.1

681.9

871.8

810.4

728.0

622.0

735.6

JENOI

557.7

683.0

905.2

670.8

713.0

728.2

712.3

JANJANBUREH

820.9

811.7

1023.4

847.7

702.0

603.5

773.2

BASSE

892.7

627.0

1018.3

925.2

889.0

759.3

838.7

TOTAL

4675.9

4256.2

5908.0

4893.5

3716.0

3712.5

3964.6

AVERAGE

779.3

709.4

984.7

815.6

619.3

742.5

792.9

Source: Planning Unit, Department of Agriculture

 

2.4. Land use and land use change

Tables 4.1 to 4.3 below give the distribution of land in The Gambia. This country is agricultural which is also reflected in Table 4.1. Almost half of the land (42.94%) is for grazing, 16.36% is cultivated and 6.36% is under various forest covers. This variable is one of the most relevant in the use of fuelwood. The more extensive our forest cover, the less expensive firewood becomes and an increased tendency for using fuelwood.

TABLE 4.1. LAND USE DISTRIBUTION IN THE GAMBIA

TYPE OF LAND USE

AREA (KM2)

% OF LAND

Total Area of The Gambia (km2)

10689

100.00

Cultivated Area in (km2)

1751

16.38

Grazing Area in (km2)

4590

42.94

Wood and Forest in (km2)

680

6.36

Other Land in (km2)

3668

34.32

Source: Planning Unit, Department of Agriculture

TABLE 4.2. LAND-USE AREAS, FOREST STOCKS AND ANNUAL INCREMENTS 1980

No

Land use

Area (000 ha)

Timber Stock (000 m3)

Fuelwood stock (000 m3)

Total stock (000 m3)

I

ii

iii

iv

v

vi

vii

viii

ix

x

xi

xii

xiii

xiv

xv

High mangrove

Low Mangrove

Gallery

Forest

Closed woodland

Gmelina Stands

Open Woodland

Tree and Shrub

Savanna

Fallow land

Wooded upland crops

Upland crops

Swamps cultivated

Swamps uncultivated

Barren flats

Water surface

Town villages

15.0

51.9

7.1

20.9

1.2

62.7

347.7

102.1

18.0

274.1

33.5

70.7

21.8

74.5

14.7

2,140

-

74

311

45

682

743

184

93

357

-

-

-

-

-

600

-

307

1064

27

2,779

4,627

871

258

1,456

-

-

-

-

-

2,784

-

381

1375

72

3,461

5,370

1,055

357

1,807

-

-

-

-

-

Total

 

1,114.7

4,630

11,990

16,620

 

Table 4.3: Wood Stock and Annual Increment in the Potential Woodfuel Supply for Greater Banjul Area.

Division

Forest

Area

(ha)

Stock

(m3/ha)

Total stock in million m3 (million tonnes)

Annual increment in

m3/ha (tonnes/ha)

Total annual Increment

(tonnes)

WD

149,000

29.2/(20.4)

3.04

0.7/(0.5)

73.000

LRD

115,370

28.9/(20.2)

2.33

0.7/(0.5)

56,530

CRD

253,000

13.0/(9.1)

2.30

0.6/(0.4)

102,260

URD

178.859

9.8/6.9

1.75

0.2/(0.14)

25,000

Total

9.4

260,790

NB: Values in Brackets refer to increments. Source: Forster. H (1983)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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