The chapter laid emphasis on updating the profile of the District with specific consideration to the NDPC Guidelines for the preparation of Medium-Term Plans for the 2014-2017 Plan Period. In this repute, the Kwahu Afram Plains South District profile was updated with respect to seven thematic areas in the guidelines of the NDPC Policy Framework for the preparation of the 2014-2017 DMTDP.
Issues covered in this chapter include the physical and demographic characteristics of the District; the structure of the District economy; social services in terms of their availability, distribution in space, quality and access. The profile also touched on the administrative structure of the district, governance, culture, social structure and other cross-cutting including gender mainstreaming and vulnerability. The yield of this chapter in the form of development problems will serve as an input for the generation of needs and aspiration for the next chapter.
This piece presents the ‘gifts of nature’ or natural resource base of the Kwahu Afram Plains South District. It begins with explanation of the positioning of the District in the global, national and regional contexts as well as the size in terms of land mass. The natural situations and factors that influence and govern human activities and behaviours are also presented in detail.
The District is located between Latitudes 6o 40I N and 70 10’1 N; longitudes 0O 40I E and 0o 10I E; at the North-Western corner of Eastern Region with a total land area of approximately 3,095 sq km. The District is bounded to the north by the Kwahu Afram Plains North, to the south by the Kwahu South, to the east by the Afram River and to the west by two Districts in the Ashanti region precisely Sekyere East (Sekyere Afram Plains) and Ashanti-Akim North Districts.
There are two main entrances into the District by road; namely Nkawkaw-Mpraeso-Bepong-Kwahu Tafo and Adawso from where the three kilometer wide Afram River is crossed to Ekye-Amanfrom by ferry operated by the Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC). The second entrance is through Agogo in the Sekyere Afram Plains in the Ashanti region where one can travel by road through Dome to Maame Krobo then to Tease, the District capital. The Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC) provides ferry services on the Lake and currently operates one ferry in the Kwahu Afram Plains South between Adawso and Ekye-Amanfrom. The ferry service has a capacity of 360 tones per trip. 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.
The District falls within the savannah vegetation zone comprising of the savannah transitional zone and savannah woodland which is characterized by short deciduous fire resistant trees often widely spaced and a ground flora composed of grass of varying heights 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 between 1150mm and 1650mm. The dry seasons are distinct starting between November and late February. Temperatures are found to be hot ranging between February and March (36.8°C and 36.6°C on the average respectively), while the coldest ones are December and January (19.9°C and 20.1°C on the average respectively). Relative humidity is generally high throughout the year, ranging between 68.2% to 71.6% in the dry season and 81.6% and 71.6%.in the wet season.
The District lies within savannah vegetation zone comprising the savannah transitional zone and savannah woodland. There are few forest reserves covering about 120.8sq km. The forest reserves constitute about 15% of the entire surface area of the District. Some commercial tree species contained in the forest are Milicia excelsa (Odum), Sterculia rhinopetala (Wawa), Terminalia superba (Ofram), Khaya ivoriensis (African mahogany), Antiaris toxicaria (Kyenkyen) etc. The major soils in the District are the Swedru-Nsaba-Offin Compound group. 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). There exist great potential for cash crops (cocoa, coffee, oil palm, citrus, cola) flourishing under the vegetation, however such potentials have not been explored. The land in this area is susceptible to wind erosion if laid bare of vegetation.
Kwahu Afram Plains South District lies in the southern-most part of the Voltaian 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 Voltaian 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.
There is the availability of local building raw materials for individuals to construct their houses within these rocks are patches of minerals that are yet to be fully discovered and exploited which would contribute immensely to employment creation.
The District has very rich groundwater resources. These could be developed for water supply purposes, particularly in the rural communities, which are not served by pipe-borne water. Even though most are not perennial, a number of springs are found in the District. Apart from being of geographical importance, these springs could be further investigated for possible exploitation to provide raw materials for the production of mineral water. The Volta Lake, Afram River, Obosom River are located in the various town and its environs , Ekye-Amanfrom, Bridge Ano are all blessed natural water resources in the District
Relief and Drainage
The land is generally undulating and rises about 60 metres to 120 metres above sea level. The only high ground is in Bonkurom. The District is drained to the south by the Afram River and the Volta River to the east which flow continually throughout the year and can be used for both domestic and agricultural purposes. Several other seasonal streams are found in the District. The pattern is largely dendritic flowing in the north-south direction.
Generally, the hottest months are February and March (36.80C and 36.60C respectively) while the coldest ones are December and January (19.90C and 20.10C). The highest average mean monthly temperature occur in February and March, indicating that the highest temperatures are recorded just before the onset of the main rainy season in April. During the wet months from April through to October, temperatures fall gradually and are relatively low. However, the lowest temperatures are during the harmattan months of December or January.
Relative humidity values in the District are generally highest in the mornings (06:00 hrs.) and lowest around early afternoon (15:00 hrs.). Relative humidity figure for both 06:00 and 15:00 are highest between April and October and lowest between November and May, which coincide with the rainy and dry periods of the District. During the highest relative humidity periods and rainy season months of April to November, mean monthly relative humidity ranges between 81.6% and 71.6%. During the harmattan months when relative humilities are low, mean monthly relative humidity figures of only 68.2% to 71.6% are recorded.
Land in the District is owned by chiefs, clan or family heads who hold them in trust for their subjects. Nevertheless, land could also be acquired through direct purchase, rented, leasehold and share cropping (noboboa).
The fact that these parcels of land could be inherited through parents or grandparents has led to problems of sale and resale of land with its attendant land litigations and chieftaincy disputes. This situation has also contributed to the rapid loss of farm lands with its attendant unemployment rate and subsequent migration in the District.1.3.7 Demographic Characteristics
The 2010 Population and Housing Census data reveals that the District has a total population of 115,812, consisting of 62,450 males (53.9%) and females 53,362 (46.1%). The higher male population is due to the fact that the District is a typical migrant destination. Most of the people in the District are migrants from the Volta Region and the Northern Ghana who have been attracted to the area basically for employment in the agricultural sector and it is usually the men who migrate.
The age-sex distribution of the District depicts a male percentage population of 62,450 males (53.9%), whiles the female constitutes 53,362 (46.1%) of the total population. This gives a sex ratio of 117 males to every 100 females as against the regional ratio of 100 males to 96 females, representing a different situation from the national (95.2 males to 100 females) ration.
According to the 2010 Population and Housing Census (PHC), the District has a total population of 115,812 people. Out of this 66528 are economically active of which 55,533 (83.5%) people are employed with 1,212 (1.8%) of the population who are unemployed. A total of 9, 783 (14.7%) people are economically not active.
The majority of the unemployed were the youth who could not be employed in the formal sector due to lack of requisite skills and they have also refused to work in the agriculture sector. Some of these unemployed people also lack initial capital to start their own business. Due to the small scale nature of the industrial sector it is unable to absorb the unemployed within the District.
Within the employed labour force, the predominant occupation in the District is agriculture employing 77.4% percent of the total labour force; service which employs 7.3 percent of the labour force
Agriculture stands to be the main stay of the Kwahu Afram Plains South District economy by virtue of its percentage employment, which is 77.4% of the total employed labour force. Agriculture is however divided into two major types— crop farming and animal husbandry. The combination of these two activities gives rise to the third option—mixed farming.
The survey revealed that crop farming is the dominant agricultural activity in the District. About 90.1% of the farmers are into crop production. The favourable climatic conditions and the geo-physical characteristics of the area support intensive crop farming. These and other factors such as the availability of arable land account for the high crop production. Most of the food crops are grown mainly to be sold for income and the rest to be consumed by the family. There is high potential for tree crops such as cashew and oil palm but such crops have not been grown in the district.
The major crops cultivated can be put into two categories:
- Food crops: maize, yam, plantain, cassava, cocoyam and vegetables
- Tree crops: cashew, orange and oil palm
There is also evidence of mixed farming since most of the farmers growing food crops also rear livestock and poultry either for domestic consumption or for income. Considering the farming systems, bush fallowing, which is a system whereby a land is left for a period of time to regain its fertility is being practiced by 48.5% of the farmers. The length of fallow period has been drastically reduced due to the growing population and the increasing demand for lands for uses other than agriculture. Continuous cropping is practiced by about 45.5% of the farmers. This can result in the loss of soil fertility and adversely affect output levels if measures are not put in place to retain the soil fertility in the course of continuous cropping. The other 6% of the farmers practice crop rotation.
There are two main farming seasons in the District; from March – July and August – December for the major and minor seasons respectively. Maize, groundnut and cowpea are grown in the two seasons whilst yam, guinea corn and cassava are grown once in a year.
Livestock production is an important sub-sector under the agricultural sector. This is because it serves as a source of protein supplement in the food we eat and as a source of revenue to those engaged in animal rearing. The very little attention paid to this sub-sector affects productivity and hence, its low contribution to GDP. The survey reveals that, the farmers engaged in crop production are into livestock production. Livestock compositions in the District are as follows; Cattle 25 %, Sheep 15 %, Goat 40 %, Commercial Poultry 5 %, Pigs 10 %, Rabbit 2 %, and Grass cutter 3 % of the livestock in the Kwahu Afram Plains South District. Cattle production is average since only few farmers keep them and are kept in kraals during the night and herdsmen follow them to grace during the day time. Almost every household keeps local birds. Few pigs, ducks and grass cutters are also kept.
Most industries in the District can be classified under small and medium scale industries. The industrial activities in this District are diversified, ranging from sawmill where high technology equipment are used to handicrafts and other craftworks which are produced using simple tools. These industries can be grouped into the following:
1) Household Industries
2) Handicrafts / Traditional Crafts
3) Modern Crafts
- Small / Medium Scale Manufacturing
|Handicrafts / Traditional Crafts||1,120||29.8|
|Small / Medium Scale Manufacturing||1,200||31.9|
Source: KAPSDA Field Survey, May 2014
- Household Industries
These are manufacturing activities carried out in or near the home and from Table 3.16; it employs 27.7percent of people in the industrial sector of the District. In this industry, family labour is used with the objective of providing basic needs, and augmenting the family income. The production methods are labour intensive, and there is no division of labour. Activities undertaken include palm oil and palm kernel oil extraction, cassava processing and basket weaving.
Palm oil production and cassava processing are the most organized household industries in the District. Some producers have formed co-operatives and some private individuals have also acquired extraction plants. In these co-operative, individual oil extractors send their palm fruits and kernel to be extracted for a fee. These industries are spread widely in the District. Most settlements have either cassava processing or palm/kernel oil extracting industry or both. While these household industries are boosting the economic wealth of the District, their impact on the environment in terms of waste generation and disposal should be considered so as to ensure the proper disposal of their waste.
Table 3.16 indicates that this sub-sector employs 29.8percent of the labour in the industrial sector. Handicrafts are produced by craftsmen who normally work alone with a few apprentices without much division of labour. Traditional tools and implements are used with little modernization. Activities here include gold/silver smith, blacksmith, and wood carvers.
- Modern Crafts
These include car repairing, radio and television technicians, auto mechanics, electrical / gas welders, and wood working shops. These activities are scattered all over the District. The baseline survey and statistics available indicate that these activities provide the least number of trainees in the District. From Table 3.16, majority of labour (10.6percent) in the industrial sector are in this sub-sector.
- Small / Medium Scale Manufacturing
This category is capital intensive. Table 3.16 indicates that this sub-sector employs 31.9percentof the labour force in the industrial sector. These industries use modern production methods and produce both traditional and modern products. These industries include the following:
- Food processing;
- Distilling and blending alcohol;
- Sawmill; and
- Furniture and fixtures
Most of these industries are located in residential areas and other areas not zoned for industrial activities. In light of the environmental risks that these industries pose, industrial estates are proposed. The purposes of these estates are to:
- Bring about sanity in the use of land in the communities;
- Bring about efficiency in the use of infrastructure such as electricity and water;
- Reduce constructional and service costs;
- Minimize environmental degradation and pollution;
- Bring about an effective identification and collection of related taxes;
- Promote a forward and backward linkage between various levels of industries and services; and
- Promote / create employment opportunities for the youth who have hitherto been drifting to the cities.
A considerable number of small-industrialists also train people in apprenticeship. School leavers and drop outs have been engaged as apprentices.
Service is the least sector of the local economy employing 3 percent of the District’s active a labour force. The service sub sector has further been divided into two – formal and informal sectors. The formal sector which employs3percent of the labour force in the service sector comprises of activities which require some form of formal training or skill and have their operations registered. These include activities such as teaching, nursing and among others. The informal sector on the other hand does not require any special skill and mostly operates without necessarily being registered.
Table 3.17indicates that, majority of people are employed in “others” category of the service sector. This category includes people employed in the financial institutions, other public services aside from the teaching, nursing and security categories and those in the religious category (the clergy).
Table 1.6: Type of activities and Number Employed under the Formal Sector
Source: KAPSDA Field Survey, May 2014
- Informal Service Sub- sector
The informal sub-sector employs 75 percent of the labour force employed in the service sub-sector. Due to the nature of their operation and how widely they are scattered in the District, registering them becomes difficult. Hence, it is difficult for the Assembly to collect taxes from these businesses
Table 1.7: Type of activities and Number Employed under the Informal Sector
|Chop Bar Operators||250||4.4|
Source: KAPSDA Field Survey, May 2014
This sector deals with commercial activities such as wholesaling and retailing. This sector employs 5 percent of the labour force. Retailing is the commercial activity which employs 86 percent of the labour force in this sector. The remaining 14 percent are involved in wholesale activities. From the baseline survey, majority (92 percent) of the labour force under this sector are sole-proprietorship businesses. The products of the various types include but not limited to the following; charcoal, drinks, fish, stationeries, bowls and cups, agricultural produce, biscuits and toffees.
It is worthy to note that expenditure on water is mainly seen to be in the range of 1 to 15 Ghana cedis since a greater proportion of the communities in the District are rural and source water mainly from boreholes which is relatively affordable. Also, greater percentage (72.0 percent) of households spends within the 1 to 30 Ghana cedi range on health. This attributed to the fact that most households are registered with the District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme. The Scheme is mainly pro-poor as in considers the relatively low income that these people earn from their economic activities which is dominated by the agriculture sector.
|SOURCE||NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS||PERCENTAGE|
|Wage and Salary||7,209||26.3|
Source: KAPSDA Field Survey, May 2014
|GH¢ 1 – 50||GH¢ 51 – 100||GH¢ 101 – 200||Above GH¢ 200|
|Education||44.4 %||22.2 %||6.5 %||26.9 %|
|Health||72.0 %||21.5 %||5.5 %||1.0 %|
|Transportation||81.8 %||11.8 %||–||6.4 %|
|Electricity (fuel)||72.5 %||22.5 %||3.7 %||1.3 %|
|Water||91.1 %||8.8 %||–||–|
|Remittance||40.1 %||11.4 %||1.4 %||11.4 %|
|Food||40.8 %||28.2 %||17.8 %||13.0 %|
|Funeral||90.2 %||7.9 %||1.7 %||–|
|Clothing||47.3 %||31.7 %||16.0 %||4.7 %|
|Miscellaneous||47.8 %||31.7 %||16.0 %||4.3 %|
Source: KAPSDA t Field Survey, May 2014
- Income Distribution of Households
From Figure 3.6, the Gini Concentration Ratio (which considers the extent of deviation of the income distribution line from the line of equal distribution – the inequality gap) is 0.61. This implies that, 61 percent of the households in the District are poor. The high proportion of the labour force (80percent) in agriculture which is subsistence in nature is a major determiner of this high inequality gap. Farmers cannot plant more and hence cannot earn more.
Source: KAPSDA District Field Survey, May 2014
Even though tourism has become one of the main sources of income and employment generation in the country contributing 1.6 billion dollars as fourth largest foreign exchange after gold, cocoa and remittance from Ghanaian living abroad, the Kwahu Afram Plains South District is yet to reap its full benefits. There are a number of tourist sites in this District that has the potential of rivalling some of the well known tourist sites in the country. However, the tourism industry is facing a variety of challenges that seem to threaten the very foundation of the industry.
To address these challenges, the District Assembly has put in the following interim measures:
- The District Assembly is in the process of acquiring a one mile square land to be developed into an industrial area in order to attract investors to the area;
- Create an Artisan village at the Tease. There will also be a restaurant, restroom and other amenities to encourage tourists to spend more time in the area;
- Encourage hoteliers to build modern hotels and to improve upon their service delivery in the existing hotels and also to promote domestic tourism;
- Liaise with other sister Districts namely; Kwahu South and Kwahu East Districts and their traditional authorities to explore the possibility of blending the Easter holiday with the traditional values in order to have a festival for the Kwahu Traditional Area.
The 26.8 percent of the population between the 0-14 age cohorts represents current as well as future needs of the District with respect to increased investments in education, health and skills training sectors of the District. Efforts should also be geared towards increase employment opportunities to cater for the youthful population as 66.2 percent of the total population fall within the youthful age cohort of 15-64 years.
In all, the broad age cohorts indicate that males are more than females at birth and at the mature stages of life (0-64 years). However, the situation is different during old age periods (65+ years). With the 0-14 age cohort, males accounted for 27.4percent while females accounted for 26 percent. With the 15-64 age cohort both sexes had the same percentage of 66.2percent whereas with the 65+ cohort the males accounted for 6.4 percent whiles the females accounted for 7.8 percent. This is phenomenon is principally due to the fact that males die earlier as they grow older as compared to females. This is supported by the fact that life expectancy at birth for females in the Ghana as at 2010 is estimated at 62 years as compared to 59 years for males (CIA-World Fact Book, 2010).
The 2010 population figure gives the density of the District to be 37.4 persons per sq. km which is much lower than the national density of 103.3 and lower than the regional density of 136.3 persons per sq. km.
According to the 1984 National Population Census, only 4.9 percent of the population lived in urban areas and the rest (95.1%) lived in rural areas. However, the 2010PHC revealed that about 24.6% of the population in the District live in urban areas whilst 75.4% live in rural areas. The District is therefore typical of a rural community as presented in table 3.2 above.
|No.||Community Name||Projected Population (2010)||Urban/Rural|
Source: Compiled from DPCU Records 2012
The migrant population constitutes 32.1%. The significant phenomenon is out migration. Out-migration is significant because nearly every household in the District has some members living outside the District, especially Accra and Kumasi. This is reflected in the age structure presented above. This phenomenon has given rise to some towns being referred to as “Ghost” towns.
Majority (66 per cent) of the District’s population are Ewes. The other significant tribes are Krobos (11 percent), Northern tribes (13 percent) and Akyem (10 percent). These figures depict the District as heterogeneous in terms of ethnicity. Majority of the migrants (Akans, Ewes and other Northern tribes) however, have lived in the District all their lives.
Again, the District is predominantly Christian as they constitute 74.6 percent whilst Muslims constitute 11.6 percent with 3.9 percent being traditional believers.
The District is headed by a District Chief Executive being the representative of the President with Tease as the Administrative capital. Under the Local Government System, the District operates a three tier political administrative structure, with the General Assembly being the highest decision making body followed by the area councils down to the unit committees. The composition of the General Assembly is made up of thirty-eight (38) Assembly Members with twenty-seven (27) elected and eleven appointees. There are eleven (11) decentralized departments which report to the Co-ordinating Director at the central directorate of the District.
The District is typically a settler District with majority being migrants. Ewes constitute the highest, followed by the Kwahus, as well as tribes from the Northern extraction of the Country. However, the widely spoken language in the District is Twi.
Most of the people in the District are Christians (74.6%). There are also Muslims (11.6%) and traditionalists (3.9%) with only 9.1 percent of the population who do not belong to any religion in the District.
The Kwahu traditional council is the highest traditional authority in the District. The council is headed by the Omanhene, Nana Akuamoah Boateng who is resident at Abene. However, several sub-divisional chiefs operate within various traditional areas in the District, There are four traditional areas namely Pitiko, Bukuruwa, Abetifi and Nkwatia with their sub-chiefs who adjudicate minor cases within areas under their jurisdiction.
The economy of the District is driven by agriculture due to the vast tracts of arable land coupled with good weather conditions. According to the 2010 PHC data, the economic sector employs about 80 percent of the active labour force in the District.
Agriculture in the District is made up of crop farming, animal husbandry and fishing. According to the 2010 PHC data, crop production employs about 90 percent of active labour force in the agricultural sector whilst animal husbandry takes about five percent, fishing four percent and one percent takes account of others like nomadic migrant Fulani herdsmen who roam the District with their cattle.
The key food crops grown in the District include yam, maize, cocoyam, plantain, beans and groundnuts. Cabbage is a new addition to these traditional food crops. Farm acreage ranges from 2 to 30 acres for subsistence farming whilst commercial farms range from 50 to 200 acres.
The type of industrial activities in the District can be categorized based on their primary input or raw material and the kind of skill in the production process. The wood industry is visible even though not very vibrant. This includes sawmilling, carpentry and joinery, and woodcarving. These are medium and small scale production units.
Also of some significance are metal-based manufacturing enterprises that include welding and fabrication, steel bending, etc.
The industrial sector is very much dominated by informal micro agro-processing enterprise in the District’s economy. Gari processing, oil palm extraction, fish processing are some of the mains areas of employment and income generation, especially among women, within the industrial sector of the District. Small boat and canoe building as well as wood carving enterprises also exist.
As well known with the Kwahus, buying and selling has been and is still their main occupation. Trading in a variety of commodities both on small and large scale basis is also predominant in the District. Trading activities take place periodically in a number of communities where mostly food stuff and other merchandise are sold.
The trading activities are supported by mini marts. The District has also provided markets to aid the business of farm produce. The District cannot boast of any well developed market center. However plans are far advance to upgrade all the identifiable market centers to promote trading activities and revenue generation. There are a number of vibrant market centers which when developed to modern standards, will rake in substantial revenue for the Assembly. It should however be mentioned that all the major market centers are periodic receiving patronage only of the stipulated market days. The major marketing centers in the District include: Tease, Ekye-Amanfrom, and Maame Krobo. However, none of these market centers can boast of any proper market facility. This makes investing in market infrastructure a potential avenue for the private sector. With Tease, the district capital, increasing in population and growing into a cosmopolitan area, investing in a Supper Mart or supper market is likely going to be lucrative.
According to the 2010PHC, the District has about 54.1 percent of its population falling within the economically active (i.e. 15-64) with a total dependency ratio of 84.7 percent. This implies that one person in the economically active population is taking care of at least 85people in the economically not active population (0-15 years and 65+ years).
A total of 97.9 percent (55,533) of the total labour force are employed in the District. Within the employed labour force, the predominant occupation in the District is agriculture, forestry and fishing (employing 76.3 percent of the total labour force), Electricity gas stream and air conditioning supply (employs 8.1 percent), wholesale and retail; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (7.1 percent) and Services (1.5 percent). It was also detected that most of the females were engaged in trading.