Kwahu Afram Plains North District has a total land area of approximately 2,341.3 km2. The District is bounded by five districts namely, Kwahu Afram Plains South District to the South, in the west by Sekyere Afram Plains and Asante-Akim North Districts in the Ashanti Region, in the north by Sene and Atebubu Districts in the Brong Ahafo Region and in the east by the Volta Lake.
The District falls within the savannah vegetation zone which is associated with two main rainfall seasons occurring in June and October. The first rainy season starts from May to June and the second from September to October. The mean annual rainfall is between1,150mm and1,650mm. The dry seasons are distinct starting between November and late February.
The District lies within savannah vegetation zone comprising the savannah transitional zone and savannah woodland characterized by short deciduous fire resistant trees often widely spaced and a ground flora composed of grass of varying heights. The grassland is currently used for cattle rearing.
There are few forest reserves covering about 120.8sq km. The forest reserves constitute about 15 percent of the entire surface area of the District. Some commercial tree species found in the forests are Milicia excelsa (Odum), Sterculia rhinopetala (Wawa), Terminalia superba (Ofram), Khaya ivoriensis (African mahogany) and Antiaris toxicaria (Kyenkyen).
The Kwahu Afram Plains North District lies in the Southern-most part of the Voltarian Sedimentary Basin, which covers about 45% of the total area of Ghana and extends eastwards into the Republic of Togo. The underlying geology of the Voltaian Basin consists almost entirely of sedimentary rocks; mainly coarse-grained sand stones, clays shales and mudstones of the Devonians or early Carboniferous Age (Junner and Hirst, 1946). The District therefore has geology described as principally Upper Voltarian sandstones consisting of coarse and fine-grained massive sandstones that are thin bedded, flaggy, impure, ferruginous or Field spastic and locally inter-bedded with shale’s and mudstone. The sandstones are found along the boundary margins whiles shale’s and mudstones outcrop within the central part of the District from below the sandstone bed (see Figure 1.3 below).
The major soil group in the District is the Swedru-Nsaba-Offin Compound. Dominating this soil group is the Swedru series which are mainly red silty, well drained, deep gravel-free silty loams and silty-clay loams. The Nsaba series are yellowish red silty clay loam, moderately well drained, very shallow and rocky. The soils are suitable for the cultivation of both food crops (cassava, plantain, yam, cocoyam, maize) and cash crops (cashew, oil palm, citrus,) which are grown in the District. The land in this area is susceptible to wind erosion when the vegetation cover is removed.
In the Kwahu Afram Plains North District, with the exception of Donkorkrom, which is urban, the rest of the settlements are peri-urban, Towns and small communities. However, there is a very strong economic, social and political interaction between the smaller settlements and the urban centers. These settlements are separated from each other by a distance of about 1-9km and mostly spread along the main trunk roads within the District and from the District capital by an average distance of about 20km.The remaining smaller settlements are scattered all over the District.
The major land uses which can be identified within the District are;
- Agricultural and economic land use
- Settlements and developments
- Rivers/water bodies and forest reserves
- Difficult/Terrain and steep slopes; and
- Roads, -and high-tension lines Transportation System
There are two main types of transportation systems in the District. These are Roads and Water transport systems with the road system being the most patronized system. The Kwahu Afram Plains North District has about 690 km of feeder roads. However, only 270 km have been engineered and graveled, and are in maintainable state. Many tracks exist and constitute the missing link in the road network. There is one central trunk road in Kwahu Afram Plains North District, that is, from Ekye-Amanfrom to Agordeke; a distance of 102.2 km. There are on-going contracts for the bituminous surfacing of this road so far there is 26.5km outstanding which is yet to be surfaced to complete the total length. The central trunk road has also proposed under MiDA for resurfacing .The 270km engineered will be reshaped under DFR routine/ recurrent maintenance programme every year. EU under feeder roads improvement project (FRIP) will construct about 340km out the outstanding 420km non engineered Feeder road in the District.
It is noteworthy that there are no roads to or in all the three Island communities and the area appears to be a neglected. The Nton-Aboma area has also suffered due to the difficulty in getting earth moving equipment across the Obosom River.
The Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC) provides ferry services on the Lake and currently operates one ferry between Agordeke and kpando Torko. It has a capacity of 360 tonnes. When using a single engine it takes about 30 minutes to cross. The peak periods in its services are during the yam and maize harvesting period September – March; when up to six trips could be undertaken in a day.
Though the ferry is currently out of operation, a water bus which was supposed to be for Obusumano is being used as alternative to the ferry.
The small ferry at Obusumano which was operated by Afram Plains North District Assembly, has sunk earlier this year. As an alternative, a water bus was procured to replace the sunk ferry. However, the bus is currently operating from Agordeke-Kapando Torko lake due to the temporal breakdown of the ferry.
The distribution of services in space, especially in Districts determines the accessibility to basic necessities. In the Kwahu Afram Plains North District, distribution of services and facilities is biased towards Donkorkrom. Most of the higher order services in the District are located in the District Capital. This is because about 15 percent of the people in the District are located in this settlement. The above situation can be explained the status of the district.
It is therefore obvious from the scalogram that most of the higher order services such as hospital, second-cycle education, water closet and police station are situated at Donkorkrom.
This is the ease of reach of service or facility. Human beings need basic facilities to satisfy their basic needs; however, the provision of these facilities is not a sure guarantee that their needs are met. These facilities need to be accessible both economically and physically. In this regard, attention is given to the latter. The basic facilities and services considered are health, educational, postal, police, agricultural extension, banking and market services.