1.1 District Profile
The Asutifi North District used to be part of old Asutifi District under LI 1485 of the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) quest to deepen the decentralisation process in 1988. In June 2012, the Asutifi South District was created leaving the mother District to stand separately as Asutifi North District under LI 2093 with Kenyasi still the District capital. The District is one of the Twenty-Seven (27) Districts in Brong Ahafo Region and Two Hundred and Sixteen (216) in Ghana respectively. The Asutifi North District is located between latitudes 6°40′ and 7°15′ North and Longitudes 2°15′ and 2°45′ West. It shares boundaries with Sunyani Municipal on the North, Tano North and South Districts on the North East, Dormaa East District to North West, Asutifi South District in the West, Asunafo North Municipal in the South West and Ahafo Ano North District (Ashanti Region) in the South East. With a total land surface area of 936 sq.km, the District is one of the smallest in the Brong Ahafo Region. There are a total of over 139 settlements in the District with major towns as Kenyasi I,Kenyasi II, Ntotroso, Wamahinso, Gyedu and Gamabia II. The District capital Kenyasi, is about 50km from Sunyani, the Regional capital of Brong Ahafo,
The District lies within the wet semi-equatorial zone marked by double rainfall maxima; June and October with a mean annual rainfall between 125cm and 200cm. The first rainy season is from April to July (maximum) and the second rainy season is from September to October (minimum) when the District comes under the influence of the wet maritime air mass. The beginning of the rainy season is marked by heavy thunderstorms which sometimes cause the ripping off of building roofs. There is a sharp dry season between the two rainy seasons, the main one coming between November and March when the tropical continental airmass in the country sweeps over the area. Relative humidity is generally high ranging between 75% to 80% during the two rainy seasons and 70% to 80% during the rest of the year. The highest point of the physiographic of the District is about 700 feet above sea level. The lowest part is about 650 feet above sea level found along the river basins whilst the highest point is found within a chain of mountains in the north east reaching a height of 1400 feet above sea level. These mountains form water shed for the many tributaries of Tano River and other streams. There are out crops of gigantic rocks found over Birimian rocks basement standing about 750- 900 feet above the broad surface.
Geology and Minerals
Within the Birimain and Dahomeyan formations with natural resources or potentials such as granites, clay, sand, gold, diamond deposits and the like. The Birimian formations are known to be the gold bearing rocks. The Birimian rocks also have a high potential for Manganese and Bauxite. Currently, gold is being mined in area where these rocks are found by Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, one of the biggest mining companies in the world. These areas include Kenyasi No.1&2, Ntotroso, Gyedu-Wamahinso and other smaller communities. However, other exploration activities are on-going in other communities within the District. Studies have shown that Diamond abounds in large quantities at Wamahinso and exploration is yet to begin. There is also a widespread deposit of sand and clay in the District. The sand and clay deposits can be found at Kenyasi, Gambia No.2 and Gyedu. There are rounded out-crops of granite found over the Birimian rocks at Kwadwo Addaekrom, Goa Asutifi, and other smaller communities which have high potential of iron and bauxite.
Vegetation and Forest Resources
The District lies within the green belt. The over-bearing vegetation is moisture laden semideciduous. The typical vegetation is basically determined by rainfall and ground water supplies. The forest is rich in tropical hardwoods like Wawa, Esa, Kyenkyen, Odum, Ofram and Fununtum. In recent times these natural vegetation cover is fast depleting into secondary forest. This is due to excessive and indiscriminate felling of trees especially by illegal chain-saw operators and mining activities. Improper farming practices such as shifting cultivation, uncontrolled bush fires and sand winning activities also add impetus to the depletion of the forest. These developments call for immediate measures to protect this sensitive ecological zone. There are however, large areas of forest reserves. These include the following: · Biaso Shelter Belt · Bia Tam Forest Reserve · Goa Forest Reserve These forest reserves together cover a total of about 20% of the entire land surface area of the District. As far as human settlements are concerned, these forest reserves are seen as a big asset for future generation. Nevertheless, bush fires and other illegal human activities are degrading the forests at an alarming proportion. The forest also provides timber which serves as a source of revenue and foreign exchange to the District on one hand and the Central Government as a whole. It serves as employment to some of the people who engage in logging. It also serve as a source of industrial raw materials to feed the local industries for the people who are engaged in activities such as carving, carpentry, sawmilling and a host of others in and outside the District. Farmers also depend on the forest for farming to produce food for human consumption. The forests in their entirety provide a major source of energy for cooking as the people get firewood and charcoal in the forest. Importantly, shrubs and trees found in the forest serve as medicinal purposes.
Relief and Drainage
The District lies within the forest dissected plateau physiographic Region with average height of about 700 feet above sea level. The lowest part is about 650ft above sea level found along the river basins whilst the highest point is found within a chain of mountains in the north east reaching a height of 1400 feet above sea level. These mountains form water-shed for the many tributaries of the Tano river and other streams. There are out-crops of gigantic rocks found over Birimian rocks basement standing about 750 – 900 feet above the broad plateau surface. The District is drained by Tano River and its many tributaries which include Nsubin, Goa and Ntotro rivers exhibiting a dentric pattern. These youthful fast flowing rivers have cut up the plateau surface giving rise to the dissected nature of the plateau. The persistent clearing of the catchment areas of these rivers and streams for farming purposes has adversely affected their level of flow or volume. They have virtually become seasonal rivers. During the dry season too, some of the rivers lose the level of flow and streams dry up. Several communities also face acute water shortage, albeit the rivers serve as major sources of domestic water supply. Rivers and streams take their source from these hilly areas. These rivers and streams ultimately serve as a source of drinking water to the various communities in the District. On the other hand, the relief and drainage influence climatic conditions in terms of rainfall patterns and farming activities.
Linkage with other Districts
The District is located on the South-Western part of the Brong Ahafo Region. It shares boundaries with other Districts such as Tano North and South, Asutifi South,Asunafu North, Sunyani Municipal, Dormaa East and Dormaa Municipal. The location of the District put it in advantageous situation to share facilities such as roads, tourism, trade and commerce and information sharing. Public- Private Partnership among the Districts could also be instituted with sister towns in the area of sanitation, waste management and industrial development. A strong linkage when established could earn or improve revenue generation of the Districts.
Soils and Agricultural Land
Use The main type of soils in the District is the Forest Ochrosols. These are reddish brown and well drained. They have high humus content and are very fertile. On the basis of geology, the soil associations encountered in the District are: i. Kumasi Association ii. Asuansi-Kumasi Offin iii. Hwidiem Association iv. Akumadan- Bekwai Oda Complex v. Birim-Awaham/Chechewere Kakum Association By and large, the various types of soils in the District are fertile. The District is endowed with abundant arable land which is favourable for the cultivation of wide range of crops including cocoa, citrus, oil palm, cassava, maize, cocoyam and vegetables. The soil type in the District has certain influences on the vegetation in the sense that KumasiOffin Compound Association supports all kinds of tree crops due to its loamy nature and therefore influences the forest type in the District. In addition to the above significance of the soil type in the District, it can also be deduced that the soil has another influence on agricultural activities due to the fact that most of the soil type in the District supports both food crops and cash crops which serve as a great potential increase in agricultural production for both food and cash crops. Most of the soil types in the District are highly favourable for agricultural production. Food crops such as cassava, plantain, cocoyam, yam and other cash crops like cocoa are made available in the District as almost all the soil type support the production of these crops. Increase in production crops especially cash crops also promote export which generate revenue for the District.
The information gathered from these demographic analyses was sourced from the 2010 population and Hosing Census which made a count of all persons in Ghana on September 27, 2010 irrespective of nationality. In order for the District to come out with any policies and 19 programmes on the socio-economic development of its people, there is the need to know the population size, including the age-sex structure. This section seeks to analyse the population size and distribution, age and sex structure, migration, fertility and mortality of the 2010 Census. 1.3.1 Population Size and Distribution According to the Ghana Statistical Service, Asutifi North District recorded 52,259 of the 2010 Population and Housing Census representing 2.7 percent of the Region’s total population. The population density of Asutifi North District is 55.81 per square kilometres per land. The District’s population comprises 26,761 males and 25,498females. In relative terms, the male and female population in the District represent 51.2 percent and 49.8 percent respectively. In a nutshell, the population of the males outnumber that of the females. In terms of locality of residence, the District is predominantly rural with a total of 35,468 and 16,791 for urban. In other words, more than 8 out of every 10 persons in the District live in rural areas. In Ghana, localities with a population of 5,000 or more are classified as urban. Table 1.4 indicates that the rural locality has the highest population of 35,468 out of the District’s population representing 90.4%. This shows that the Asutifi North District can therefore be said to be largely rural. The same table shows that more males are recorded for the population of 10 years and below as the sex ratios of 102.1 and 105.1 depict the age groups (0-4) and (5-9) respectively. The sex ratio for persons in the age group 0-4 is (102.1) and falls at the age brackets 20-24 years (88.6). Similarly, more males were recorded for the age groups 20-24 (88.6) and 25-29 (88.9). This may be due to the location of ‘galamsey’ sites in the District. More males are however recorded in the age groups 30-39 and 60-64 whiles females also recorded higher in the age groups 70-74 and 75- 79. The sex ratio of females recorded higher in the national (12,633,978) than that of males (12,024,845). This gives a sex ratio of 95.2 compared to 97.9.Table 1.4 depicts the population size and the distribution of the District.
Culture and Traditional Set Up
The District has three paramouncies namely, Kenyasi No.1, Kenyasi No.2 and Ntotroso traditional councils. The chiefs have much influence on their people; respect the codified customs of the land. When it comes to respect for traditional rulers, the total embracing of the people in Asutifi North District cannot be overempasised. The rigid and organised nature of these traditional institutions creates a favourable ground for the Assembly to interact with the various communities freely. All projects meant for the communities are channeled through the traditional rulers and their able Assembly members. Tuesdays are set aside for the people (communities) in most parts of the District not to go to farm or as a sacred day. However, communal labour is organised on Tuesdays so that people take advantage to tidy up their surroundings. The indigenes are predominantly Akans who speak mainly Asante Twi and are largely Christians. Among the minor ethnic groups in the District are the Ewes, Wangaras, Dagombas and Kusasis who constitute about 35 percent of the population. The peaceful co-existence that exists among the residents is welcomed as the likelihood of ethnic conflicts is minimised. The 29 District is well noted for the annual Apomasu Festival which is celebrated in every first quarter of the year by the Chiefs and people of Ntotroso. The most preferred food is ‘fufu’ which is usually prepared with cassava and plantain or cocoyam and served with soup. Wax print is the main traditional attire; it is worn by males and females to social gatherings like funerals, church, festival, wedding and naming ceremonies. The main dance is ‘Adowa’. ‘Kete’and ‘Nwomkro’. Funerals and Sacred Days ‘Akwasidae’ and ‘Awukudae’ are important cultural practices of the people in the District. The main traditional knowledge in the District is Agriculture (crop farming and livestock, cooking/food processing, wood carving, batik, tie & dye and basket weaving.
The main tribes in the District are the Ashantis and the Bonos constituting about 54.3% of the surveyed population. These tribes have much in common. Among the minor tribes in the District are the northern tribes (Wangara, Dagombas, Kusasis) forming about 19.4%. Others include the Fantes and Ewes. The homogeneous character of the residents is welcomed as the likelihood of ethnic conflicts is minimised. The long stay of the migrant settlers also puts them in a position of readiness to support long term development projects. Table 1.8 shows the composition of ethnic groups in the District.
This section focuses on the organisation of human economic activities over space. It discusses primarily the type, location, number and distribution of services and facilities within the District. Their linkages provide an understanding of the District’s spatial economy. Further, it provides an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the adequacy and variety of functions performed by a settlement as well as identifying disadvantaged areas.
Settlement Patterns and Linkages
The Asutifi North District has over 139 settlements with majority of them scattered and hamlets. The major settlements are Kenyasi I, Kenyasi II, Ntotroso, Wamahinso, Gyedu, and Gambia II with population of over 5000 constituting 20 percent of the total population. Over 80 percent of the population lives in the very rural areas of the District. This has come about as a result of the agrarian form of the local economy which demands large tract of land for the farming purposes. The effect of the scattered settlement is evidenced by the small population size. The dispersed nature of these communities and their linkages affects the distribution of infrastructural facilities as most communities do not meet the population threshold for the provision of educational and health facilities. A case in point is the selection of towns for the promotion of Small Towns Water Project, in which beneficiary communities should have a population of 5,000 and above. As a result of the problem stated above, most Districts that were merged and submitted for consideration could not qualify because of the population.
Settlement Functionality (Scalogram)
Analysis Fifteen (15) settlements and twenty five (25) functions were used during the preparation of the scalogram analysis. X sign was used to identify the facilities in each settlement and where there is no X sign, that particular settlement has no such facility (see table 1.10 at page 33). The following facilities such as Day Care Centres, Primary School, Junior High School, Senior High School, Water Closet, Aqua Privy Toilet, Boreholes, Pipe Borne, Electricity, Post Office, Telephone, Police Station, Weekly Market, Hospital, Health Centre, Banking, Area Councils, Library, Drug Stores, Agricultural Extension, Sawmill, Court, Hotel, Police Headquarters and First Class Roads, were used in the scalogram analysis. The frequency of facilities are Extension Services, Primary and Junior High Schools, Boreholes, Electricity, Telephones, Aqua Privy Toilets and Drug Stores were very high (i.e. present in almost all the 15 communities). However, facilities such as Senior High School, Court, Police Station, Sawmill, 1st Class Roads, Library and Hospital have limited score. Looking at the scalogram and its results, there are four (4) categories of settlements in the District. With the exception of Primary Schools, Junior High Schools, Boreholes and Extension Services which can be located in almost all the settlements, virtually all of them lack basic facilities. It could be seen that Kenyasi No.1, Kenyasi No. 2 and Ntotroso are the main towns in the District. Unfortunately therefore, these towns do not have all the facilities. There is therefore the need to increase the level of services so that they can have access to the facilities they do not have.
Surface Accessibility to Roads and other Services
Apart from the main Kumasi-Tepa-Goaso trunk road which passes through Acherensua, Hwidiem, and then a 5km road that links it to the District capital Kenyasi from Hwidiem, all other roads are untarred. The said trunk roads have started developing pot holes which need serious attention. Construction work of Acherensua-Wamahinso- Ntotroso – Sunyani road has been completed (tarred) and minimising the transportation problems of the District especially its linkage to the Regional capital, Sunyani. The conditions of other feeder roads are very poor making transportation very uncomfortable, time consuming and costly.
The District Assembly is engaged in fruitful interventions to increase production in all sectors of the economy in order to enhance gainful employment of the people especially the unemployed youth in the District. This is in line with the Government policy of wealth creation and the development of the private sector as the engine of development of the economy The Rural Enterprises Programme, which is based in the District, is designed to sustain the Government of Ghana’s economic reforms by combining the adjustment process with programmes generating efficient employment in the private productive sectors. The overall objective of the project is to increase the incomes of the rural poor and to meet the needs of agricultural producers for inputs and services. This objective is being achieved by;
- Facilitating access to technical services and business advice;
- Providing easy access to financial facilities; and
- Improving the efficiency of existing small rural enterprises and supporting new initiatives in suitable small scale enterprises.
The Ahafo Agri-business Initiative (AAGI) being sponsored by Newmont Ghana Gold Mine is also offering skills training to inhabitants of the mine take areas.
There is no telephone exchange centre in the District. The District relies mostly on four key Mobile Telecommunication services provided by Vodafone, Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN), Airtel and Tigo. However, these networks coverage is restricted to the District capital and a few surrounding communities. There is the need to encourage these network providers to extend the services to other parts of the District to facilitate easy communication. The District is cut off from the global super highway due to the absence of land line telephone. Not a single internet facility exists in the hinterlands except the District capital. The absence of these facilities tends to make administration and business expensive. It also turns to impede both internal and external interaction. Television coverage in the District is not all that good as most communities in the District do experience poor reception for Ghana Television, TV3 and Metro TV provided one is able to erect a pole with a height of about 15 meters and above. However, the reception for TV Africa in most parts of the District is erratic.
The entire District has forty seven (47) educational institutions comprising Nurseries/Kindergarten, Primary, Junior High School and 2 Senior High Schools. All the schools are being run by the government. There are also 6 educational circuits in the District with specific and varied number of educational facilities including kindergarten, primary and junior high schools.
The District has a total number of six (6) health facilities. Originally, the major health facility, the St. Elizabeth hospital at Hwidiem owned and managed by the Catholic Diocese servedas the District hospital for Asutifi. With the split of the Asutifi South from the mother District, the Asutifi North District cannot boast of any District hospital. Plans are underway to upgrade the existing health centre at Kenyasi to a District hospital. In all, there are six (6) health facilities in the District, four (4) of them are publicly owned by Government. These are Kenyasi No.2 Health Centre, Gyedu Health Centre, Gambia No.2 Rural Clinic and Goamu Koforidua CHPS Compound. The remaining two (2) are private health facilities, the International S.O.S clinic is located at the plant site of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited and Esther Maternity at Kenyasi No. 2. The S.O.S health facility caters for only staff of Newmont Ghana Gold and others who work at the plant site.
Police There are a total of three (3) police stations in the District. The District police headquarters is at Kenyasi No.1.The total number of police personnel in the District is seventy (70) of which 59 are males and 11 females. The crime situation in the District is relatively low. Most of the crimes recorded in the District include stealing, threatening and assault. The most frequently occurring crime is threatening which involves one person or another threatening to do harm or hurt another. These crimes have emerged as a result of the population explosion in the District. The upsurge of galamsey activities have also contributed to the various crimes being recorded in the District. The major challenge of the District police command is inadequate residential accommodation for its staff. With the advent of mining activities in the District, the cost of accommodation has risen up considerably in Kenyasi. It is therefore a great strain on the police command to house its staff to ensure that they perform their duties effectively
Markets provide avenues for transactions in the buying and selling of goods and services. They also contribute significantly to the Assembly’s Internally Generated Fund (IGF). The District has over 15 market centers but there are 3 major market centres namely Kenyasi No.1, Gambia No.2 and Ntotroso. Farmers and traders transport their goods and produce during the market days and do brisk commerce
There are a number of financial services in the District. The banks operating in the District include:
- EcoBank at Kenyasi No. 1
- Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) at Kenyasi No. 1
- Tano Rural Bank at Ntotroso (with branches at Kenyasi No. 1 & Gambia No. 2)
- Tano Agya Rural Bank at Kenyasi No. 2
- Asutifi Rural Bank with a branch at Kenyasi No. 2)
- Ahafo Community Bank at Kenyasi No. 1.
These banks give loans, credit and overdraft to most of their customers but according to most of the customers they find it very difficult to secure loans from their bankers. The bankers on the other hand contend that their customers are not able to provide either the necessary collateral security or guarantors in order to obtain the loans. If properly patronised, farmers, traders and other business operators would find it easy to attract loans in order to expand their businesses.
Other Financial Institutions
Apart from the banking sector, which deals with monetary transactions, there are other institutions, which help the citizenry to mobilise funds and also to deal with their financial needs in times of trouble. There are community based credit unions, insurance companies and ‘susu’ collectors in the District. Most of these institutions offer loans and credit to their customers who feel more secured than the orthodox banking services. 45 1.6.20 Related Businesses As a result of the mining activities currently going on in the District, the mining communities have witnessed the establishment or relocation of some mining related businesses. Unfortunately, most of them come along with their own workers and therefore cannot be seen as generating any significant job opportunities in the District. They however offer a wide range of goods and services which hitherto was hard to come by in the District.
Hospitality services like hotels, restaurants and guest houses are very few in the District. Currently, five Hotels / Guest Houses and one Restaurant operate in the District namely; Ø Alabama Hotel, Kenyasi No. 2 Ø Francisca Guest House, Kenyasi No. 2 Ø Ultimate Restaurant, Kenyasi No.1 Ø Georgina Obenewaa Memorial Guest House Kenyasi No.2 Ø Octagon Guest House, Kenyasi No. 2 There is the need for the provision of these services and facilities in order to meet the growing demand for hospitality service as a result of the mining activities currently going on in the District. This could also serve as an alternative source of income to the District Assembly as well as the communities as more people will be employed to render services to customers.
According to 2010 Population and Housing Census, the average household income earned per month for the sampled households is ¢252,553.75. Taking the main income as average income, annual per capita income is estimated at ¢2,531,065.00. Table 1.13 depicts different income sources and their distribution. Crop farming constitutes the major source of income in the District, and accounts for about 51.1% of all incomes. This is followed by wages and salaries 19 per cent, business and trading 17%, small scale industry 4.5 per cent, pensions, rents and remittances 4.1 per cent livestock farming 2.3%, and others 2.0%.
Industry of Employment
Industry refers to the type of product produced or service rendered at the individual work place. The industry of the employed population provides information about the structure of the District’s economy. Changes in the structural composition of employed population often reflect the direction of social and economic development. For instance, with progress in manufacturing and services, the proportion of workers in agriculture decreases while workers in manufacturing and service sectors rise. Table 1.16 presents data on employed population 15 years and older by industry and sex. The results of the analysis indicate that two of every five persons (58.6%) employed in the District are engaged in agriculture, forestry or fishing industry. Wholesale and retail trade industry and manufacturing industry constitute the next most important industry employing 7.9 percent of the employed population each. The more physically intensive industries such as construction, transportation and storage are male dominated.
Mission of the Assembly
The mission of Asutifi North District Assembly is to become a highly professional local Government body responsible for the provision of services such as education, water, health, and sanitation with other development partners and consolidate agriculture as the leading productive sector whiles supporting the development of other economic activities with the core purpose of improving the living conditions of the people in the District.
Vision of the Assembly
The Asutifi North District Assembly aspires to be an excellent local government body responsible for the delivery of efficient services to the people within the jurisdiction of the Assembly working closely with its departments and stakeholders.