The overall objective of development is to improve the social as well as economic lives of people; an improvement in the qualitative and quantitative lives characterized by what has been described as positive upward adjustment. In contemporary times, several governments as well as international donors have made critical attempts to improve the living conditions of people especially rural folks yet; the scarcity of resources has underpinned the processes. The primary level of every development in Ghana is the District. However, the inadequacy of resources has rendered the development functions of most districts dysfunctional.
This particular function has also characterized major development frameworks of the country nearly a decade or so. It was quite evident with the launched of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II). Governmental expectations fashioned to improve both urban and rural lives, corporate interests and private development initiatives have heightened to an appreciable level yet, it was only a small fraction of all these desires that came into the limelight at the end of the framework.
Subsequently, the launching of another important document took centre stage; a crucial part of the development vehicle of government. What became obvious was that, government has endeavoured to roll on all the development projects, programmes and other much awaited expectations into this particular national development agenda in order to foster a balanced approach which seeks to take a retrospective effect thereby fusing the needs of both past, current and future situations.
This is the tradition of development and it is quite unequivocal. The past Development Plan (2014-2017) of the Ada East District enumerated some projects to be achieved within the plan- period. Again, as result of limitation in resources, only few of these projects and programmes saw implementation. It is therefore necessary to carry out an assessment of all these lingering interventions, which were designed to solve societal problems into the current development plans including new desires and expectations that have unfolded for the past years.
The fundamental aim of this particular chapter is to therefore reintroduce past projects and programmes as development gaps within the process and make crucial attempts to harmonise and prioritise all development aspirations in order to facilitate a well-tailored development agenda of the District.
The fundamental aim of every development paradigm is to find appropriate solutions to lingering problems. The socio-economic improvement in living conditions of people has a sentimental attachment to this aim and constitutes to a large extent the overall aim of development. Development and development problems are extremely inseparable.
This is because at the extreme edge of every development mechanism lays problems to be solved. The Ada East District, having made critical attempts for the past 4 years of development bettering the living conditions of the general populace, which was strictly characterized by the implementation of projects and programmes, still has a number of problems to contend with.
Inadequate Staff Accommodation
One of the crucial problems hampering the growth of the district and for that matter better service delivery is the inadequacy of staff accommodation. The problem has contributed significantly to the minimal development progress of the district; since it has been lingering in the arena of socio-economic wellbeing for the past years. The district has made frantic efforts to improve the situation yet, all the attempts resulted in minimal outputs.
Specifically, the problem is affecting the retention of staff especially in the health and education subsectors as well as the District Central Administration of the District Economy. The issues of health and education formed an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and particularly significant in developing countries like Ghana having identified an abrupt rise in the issues of Maternal and Infant Mortality as well as HIV/AIDS in the District (Ada East District Annual Health Report, 2016).
Globally, the approach of securing health care has changed. The dynamics have focused critically on bringing health care to the door-steps of the people. This is the focus of the district and it is quite obvious. However, it has been recognized extensively that, the approach has become dysfunctional due to the inadequacy of staff accommodation.
The availability of requisite staff, both in quantity and quality is crucial to the progress and productive output of every development mechanism. With regards to education, the issues of poor academic performance and drop outs are quite conspicuous. Teachers posted to the remote areas of the district found it more difficult to stay as a result of the inadequacy or at certain situations the unavailability of accommodation. This is affecting the performance of pupils since teachers either spend fewer hours with the pupils or visits the classrooms once in blue moon.
Poor Irrigational Facilities
A critical assessment of the District profile revealed that, the number of irrigational facilities in the District is insignificant. The District economy is mostly agrarian with over 60 per cent of the total labour force employed in the Agricultural Sector. Over the years, the approaches of cultivation have not seen any drastic transformation notwithstanding the swift emergence of innovative techniques in agriculture.
Overreliance on the rain which has intensified the concept of rain fed agriculture in the District is quite conspicuous. An agricultural related research by SEND Ghana revealed that, only 40 per cent of smallholder farmers in district have irrigational facilities on their farms. The possible effect of this mind-boggling complexity is the possible seasonal unemployment situations confronting the district with its attendant effects on the socio-economic wellbeing of the people.
In the quest to find solutions to these lingering complexities, the poor development of irrigational facilities has been recognized as a contributory factor to the unemployment situations being observed as well as the decrease in agricultural productivity in the district. The importance of agriculture to the social and economic wellbeing of the populace as well as the generation of revenue cannot be overemphasized.
Therefore, it has become very imperative to develop pragmatic interventions which will adequately harness the existing irrigational potentials of the District thereby ensuring food security as well as creating jobs for the existing labour force in the District. Investment in irrigation enables farmers to supplement rainfall and to gain some control over climatic conditions. More importantly, irrigation water makes it possible both to expand the area farmed and to intensify land use through all year cropping.
However, irrigation systems vary with the nature of water source (surface water or groundwater), the scope of the irrigation programme (storage, distribution, on-farm, or drainage), the stage at which interventions are being applied and the control mechanisms that are needed to ensure proper functioning of the project. The complexity, cost and profitability of irrigation system vary greatly. Tube wells for groundwater are cheaper when the source of water is available, but they have less capacity than surface water systems with dams and canals.
The District is therefore making strenuous efforts to develop surface water systems in order to augment the existing Tube wells being adopted by smallholder farmers in the district. Among some of the issues considered important for water management is the operation and maintenance of irrigation infrastructure, cost recovery mechanisms, farmer’s participation etc. It is expected that all these approaches will be fostered in a holistic manner in order to help generate enough rural income which will lead to the expected socio-economic transformations in the lives of people.
Inadequate Market Infrastructure
Another infrastructure network that assumes increasing importance as farm surpluses grow and population rise is the post-harvest system for collecting, storing, transporting, processing, and retailing those surpluses – referred to for brevity as marketing. With regards to the production function, marketing is an end to a means. However, marketing in general i.e. looking at it from the perspective of economic and social wellbeing is a means as well as an end in itself.
The unavailability of marketing opportunities has been generally considered as a serious disincentive to rural farmers in the District. The District economy as described early is agrarian and most importantly a large number of farmers engage in the production of vegetable crops such as tomatoes, onions, okro, pepper, carrot etc. These products are extremely perishable especially tomatoes. It is therefore significant to create marketing opportunities which will facilitate the swift disposal of these produce in order to generate income for rural farmers to better their living conditions.
An assessment of the District profile revealed that, most farmers especially those on loans are unable to recoup their loans at the end of the farming season. This, they attributed to the inadequate marketing infrastructure available for to market farm produce effectively. It is quite shocking to discover, that, a District with a population of about 71,671 people (2010 Population and Housing Census) has only one vibrant market infrastructure which has not been fully developed.
Notwithstanding the importance of a market- generation of revenue for the Assembly, incentive to producers, employment to rural women, increase in rural income leading to improvement in living conditions, controlling food wastage etc- the District has taken a solid stand to provide adequate market infrastructure for marketing of agricultural produce. In years past, there were pragmatic interventions to boost agricultural productivity. The purchase of two Farmtrac Tractors for agricultural mechanization and the supply of thousands of bags of subsidized chemical fertilizers were obvious interventions to increase agricultural productivity.
The impact of these measures had increased outputs in agricultural produce which needs a concomitant increase in the provision of market infrastructure and its hand-maidens to ensure that, farmers do not only produce, but, produce to meet the demands of a ready market. The District has recognized this intervention as significant to the generation of revenue.
Inadequate Educational Infrastructure
The perspective from which the contribution of education to development is viewed has undergone considerable changes over the past few decades, in keeping with changes in perception of the development process itself. Education was once regarded primarily as a means of raising political and social consciousness and of supplying the trained manpower needed for the production processes of a modern economy.
Now, the prevailing view of development had widened; to the concern for greater production was added a concern for human welfare and the alleviation of poverty. As a result of this, education has been seen as a basic human need, as a means of meeting other basic needs, and as an activity that sustains and accelerates overall development.
Over the years, the Ada East District has generally recognized that the development of existing human resources is essential to its prosperity and growth and for effective use of its physical capital. Following this realization, the District has made strenuous efforts to develop basic educational infrastructure in order to train specific skills to meet the goals of development.
A critical focus on the assessment of the performance review of the district shows that, almost (if not all) of the interventions carried out within the past four years of development gave special attention to the provision of educational infrastructure and still does.
What constitutes the gap in all these endeavours is the unfortunate neglect of Pre-school infrastructure which has become one of the topmost components of global development approaches and indicators such as the Sustainable Development Goals which seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The focus of the district is quite obvious in this dimension; because an investment in education equals investment in human capital – an integral part of every development effort. It is also important to ensure that, education covers a wide spectrum in content and in form, and that general education is essential for the achievement of development objectives as training in specific skills.
Poor Road Network
Road infrastructure is a major component of economic development. In most rural setups, roads play multifunctional roles- connecting communities to marketing centres, facilitating the transfer of agricultural produce and linking communities to other social amenities. The total road network in the district is about 172 kilometres. Out of this, 28 kilometres have been categorized as primary with 43 and 101 kilometres being categorized as secondary and feeder respectively.
The feeder roads in particular dominate and play a significant role as far as the functioning of the District economy is concerned. Most of the food producing communities as well as fishing villages are well connected by these roads. What constitutes a major problem of the District is the poor nature of these roads.
Out of the 101 kilometres of feeder roads in the District, only a negligible proportion, 12 per cent is in good conditions. The rest have all been categorized as being in fair and bad conditions respectively. During the rainy seasons in particular, most of these rural roads normally become difficult to access by motorists thereby contributing immensely to compound the accessibility problems of rural communities. These problems are extremely symbolic of rural communities in Ghana and for that matter the Ada East District.
Albeit the existence of all these problems, road infrastructure has been recognized as one of the key vehicles to drive the socio-economic development of the people. In the light of this, improvement in road conditions has become one of the topmost priorities of the District; since the district is making conscious efforts to raise its revenue base within the plan-period. It is however hoped that, the existing potentials as well as the opportunities outside the district can be effectively and efficiently utilized to improve the conditions of roads in the district.
Poor Environmental Sanitation
Health, environment and poverty are closely interrelated and inseparable, particularly in developing countries. The World Health Organization estimates that environmental factors are the root cause of 25 per cent of the total burden of diseases worldwide and account for about 35 per cent in Sub-Sahara Africa. Effective environmental management is therefore a key to avoiding a quarter of all preventable illness which is directly caused by environmental factors.
The sanitation problems in the district are quite enormous. Over the years, findings from the District Annual Health Reports indicated that, sanitation related diseases are top-ranking considering the top ten diseases in the District. Basic household sanitation practices are not being adhered to. The inadequacy of sanitation facilities coupled with the inadequacy of logistics both available to the Environmental Health Unit of the District and other collaborative Waste Management Companies is hindering the smooth operation of ensuring and intensifying sanitation related inspections as well as the management of waste.
Indiscriminate disposal of waste materials, Open defecation, inadequate drains and indiscriminate dumping of refuse into existing drains, inadequate staff etc all contributes to compound the sanitation problems of the District.
However, it can be boasted that, some level of achievements had been made for the past years with the coming of Zoomlion Ghana and Eco-Brigade Waste Management Company into the district. Eco-Brigade is especially engaged in the cleaning of the beaches and its immediate periphery. As a result, the issue of open defecation along the coast has reduced drastically.
What constitutes the main challenge to the District is the provision of institutional as well as household latrines; refuse containers, development of landfill sites etc. These interventions are woefully inadequate. The District is extremely committed to ensuring that existing sanitation problems are reduced drastically notwithstanding the impact of poor environmental sanitation on rural health conditions as well as the production of goods and services.
Therefore, stringent measures are also being designed to ensure that as much as efforts are being made to provide all the necessary sanitation related facilities, people will adhere to basic sanitation practices to ensure a drastic improvement in the environmental conditions of the District.
Identification of Development Gaps
The avenue of development planning moves in cyclical order. The wheel is always iterative emphasising the adoption and incorporation of unachievable targets to ensure that a holistic approach of development is being fostered in meeting the basic needs of man.
As identical of every development mechanism, resource limitation constitutes a major inhibiting factor in ensuring the total achievement of the needs and aspirations of people. With regards to this, it has been identified that, amongst the numerous projects listed in the past Development Plan for implementation, only small proportion has been carried out successfully.
The rest of the interventions made have therefore become development gaps which needs crucial review and consideration in the subsequent development agenda of the District.
The following therefore constitutes the list of prioritized identified gaps of the past development plan. It should be noted however, that, some of the projects and programmes identified as gaps in the earlier stages of the planning process are currently being executed; hence a reduction in the number of gaps suggested.
The past Development plan utilized the Seven (7) thematic areas of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda, otherwise called GSGDA II, the development gaps have been accordingly arranged under each thematic area of this past National Development Agenda.
1. ENSURING AND SUSTAINING MACROECONOMIC STABILITY
a. Prepare and Gazette the Fee-fixing Resolution
b. Update Revenue Data Base Annually
2. ENHANCING COMPETITIVENESS IN GHANA’S PRIVATE SECTOR
c. Construct 5 Cold Store facilities
d. Provide 5 irrigational facilities
e. Develop Kasseh Market Lorry park
f. Rehabilitate 12 Feeder roads in the District
g. Construction of market infrastructure
h. Construction of 2 Dams at Gbanavie and Korpehem
3. ACCELERATED AGRICULTURE MODERNIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
i. Train tractor operators and farmers on improved tillage practices
j. Train Farmers and AEAs in disease identification and prevention
4. OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT
k. Invest in salt mining industry
5. INFRASTRUCTURE, ENERGY AND HUMAN SETTLEMENT
l. Establish 5 Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Compounds
m. Purchase 5 refuse containers
n. Construction of Teacher’s Bungalow- District wide approach
o. Construct 300 Household latrines
6. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, PRODUCTIVITY AND EMPLOYMENT
p. Construction of 6 classroom block at Kasseh
q. Organise 4 workshops on Population and Reproductive Health issues
7. TRANSPARENT AND ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNANCE
r. Enforcement of environmental Bye-laws
s. Construction of Divisional Police Headquarters
t. Completion of Assembly Office Complex
The provision of educational infrastructure dominated the projects and programmes initiated by the District in past planning period. The district has also recognized this as very pertinent considering the focus of the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which is committed to inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.
In order to foster a fashionable approach in harmonizing the development gaps with current needs and aspirations of the District, the gaps have been enumerated under each thematic area of the Growth Shared Growth and Development Agenda II (GSGDA II) (refer to the harmonization table in the subsequent page)
Eliciting Community Perspective on Needs and Aspirations
The new planning approaches have canvassed the need for societal involvement at all the stages in development planning cycle. This realization became imperative following a discovery of the fact that local involvement in the process of planning is a crucial component of mobilizing support for the acceptance and implementation of development interventions. This has become evident to the extent that; the strict neglect of the process has contributed immensely to the minimal output of development interventions in past experiences.
The planning process begins by identifying community problems which are hampering the socio-economic well-being of the people. The approach is expected to facilitate the elicitation and analysis of community perspectives on current needs and aspirations since the problems are expected to portray them.
Having critically identified all these problems by reviewing the District profile with due cognisance to emerging conditions and transformations for past 4 years, community needs and aspirations were identified at a stakeholders’ workshop.
The workshop, which was highly participated by Heads of Departments, Honourable Assembly Members, the District Chief Executive, Members of the Development Planning Subcommittee, District Development Planning Co-ordinating Unit, Non-Governmental Organisations as well as representatives from Women’s Groups, Chiefs etc. has been able to curve out community needs.
The District is also made up of three Councils- one (1) Town and the rest being Area. At the workshop, a presentation of various prioritized needs of these Councils was made. Subsequent to this, the DPCU collated views on all the needs and solicited for participant’s acceptance of the needs. A total of thirteen needs have been identified as being crucial to the socio-economic upliftment of the District.
The table above indicates the harmonization of identified development gaps in the past Development plan with the community needs of the District. The purpose of the process was to ensure that identified community needs and aspirations are in harmony with identified development gaps. The analysis revealed that, the extension of road network to rural communities in the district was in extreme harmony with the development gaps in the past development agenda.
The results of the analysis also revealed that, other community needs performed creditably well against the development gaps. The margins between the points justify the point that most of the community needs were in harmony with the identified development gaps. However, it can be said that, the provision of educational infrastructure as well as the construction of police divisional headquarters performed poorly against the gaps.
This can be justified with point that, educational infrastructure, despite their importance has seen considerable attention in the past development plan. It is quite obvious that, the focus of the district was on the provision of social amenities such as schools, CHPS, roads, etc.
One particular feature of the harmonization process is that, it facilitates the inclusion of crucial projects in subsequent development interventions; however, it does not continue to argue for the needs which emerged topmost to receive implementation and focus. Once the analysis is over, the process is also over. The prioritization process dominates, giving proper attention to the needs which must come first.
Linking Harmonized Identified Issues to the New Policy Goals
The Development of every district is expected to be carried out within the context of the National Development Framework. It is quite clear that, the Assemblies have been given power to act on behalf of their people however, if the development interventions they seek to pursue adequately fail to portray the vision of the National Development Agenda, the process will become cumbersome and the impact of any such measure executed will be difficultly felt.
It is against this backdrop that, the National Development Planning Commission stipulated the National Development Framework which has exposed the ambitions, directions as well as the focus of government as much as arduous effort of improving the lives of the general populace is concerned.
In line with these, the identified development issues of the district have been matched against the Broad Goals of the Medium-Term Development Framework -2018-2021. Unlike the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II), the new National Policy Framework has four (4) broad Goals.
The results of the analysis indicate that, the generation of revenue was in tandem with the national development goals. The issues recorded a remarkable point under each of the thematic areas aforementioned. Every modern-day analysis will concord that the availability of the financial resources is key to the functioning of any endeavour. The focus of the District is to strictly raise its revenue base by identifying alternative sources of generating revenue. This year alone, the promotion of Eco-tourism had been identified as very imperative to facilitate the achievement of the target.
It also became quite conspicuous that, the issues of accommodation, road infrastructure and extension of potable water showed a strong link to the broad goals of the Medium-Term Development Plan Framework. Most importantly, these issues fall under the Expansion of Production Infrastructure – one of the thematic areas. It is quite important and as already demonstrated by the analysis, to provide the necessary infrastructure for economic take-off. Development will not achieve results if the productive infrastructure required for take-off is unavailable. The district is making strenuous efforts to most importantly provide adequate accommodation to all staff especially those in health, education etc.
Prioritization of Identified Issues
Globally, resource limitations have characterized the approaches of development. Quite recently, governments in both developing and developed countries have focused on appropriate methodologies of achieving development targets and indicators. The process has adopted critical steps of rationalizing the approaches of development through a conscious effort of sieving all related problems, issues, gaps etc– normally through determined criteria- in order to apportion resources to priority areas, which will enhance direction in the development process leading to the total realization of the development goals.
Such a system is quite symbolic of development approaches in Ghana. It is unequivocal to comprehend that the focus of planning is to allocate resources, which for most parts are usually scarce. However, in order to achieve synergy and most importantly to enhance direction, appropriate criteria have been determined through critical efforts of the National Development Planning Commission. The criteria formed the basis upon which the identified issues of the district were prioritized for the designation of development interventions.
Per the output of the prioritization process thereof, four developmental issues emerged as areas, which should be critically tackled prior to the consideration of other issues. The construction and expansion of market infrastructure; improvement in revenue generation; construction of staff accommodation and the extension of potable water are candidates of such category.
It therefore means that, the district must focus on these areas of the development process; since they stand to impact on the local economy more significantly. It should be however noted that, the approach is not rigid. It is subject to modifications depending on the prevailing condition at a time.
In circumstances where unexpected eventualities occur with respective to some of the issues outside the aforementioned, it is extremely possible for the process to assume shift in direction. Cases such as unexpected outbreak of diseases, disasters and its handmaidens form some of the issues in this category.
Prioritization of Spatial Location
The Poverty Profiling and Mapping Analysis presented a general overview with respect to the social and economic status of communities in the District. As a result, the District has been categorized into five Poverty Pockets. Regions with stream deprivation will be considered immensely in the direction of development interventions hence; their implementation.
Besides these, some of the communities lack basic social amenities, which are necessary for the reduction in poverty. Communities with acute problems relating to the lack of potable water, health facility and educational facilities will be extensively considered. The following constitute the general criteria for the spatial location of projects in the District:
1. Needy or deprived areas in terms of socio-economic infrastructure and services, accessibility, and spatial/ economic interaction.
2. Access to deprived areas where the production of agro-based raw material, food crops and export crops can be improved.
3. Areas with the necessary threshold population. Notwithstanding this, some deprived areas will be supported.
4. Areas with the capacity to ensure high returns to investment due to availability of needed facilities and markets.
5. Areas that have the potential to enhance community participation in the decision-making process and other issues
related to good governance.
6. Areas, which are centrally located to make information flow and sharing of cost-benefit effective. This includes areas
that can generate local revenue for the district.
7. Communities with a proven capacity for self-help and local initiative.
Prioritization of Opportunities for the Promotion of Crosscutting Issues
The crosscutting issues are the broad issues, which cut across all the sectors of the District economy. Moreover, with respect to the Ada East District, these issues are made of the three categories: HIV/AIDS, Gender Equality and Nutritional Issues. There were myriad interventions on all these crosscutting issues yet, logistical and capital resource constraints have hindered the efforts of the District Assembly towards the implementation of all these issues. Concerning HIV/AIDS and Gender Equality, a Desk has been created each to tackle and respond to issues relating to HIV/AIDS and Gender.
Most frequently, the District does not have the capacity to implement and tackle the crosscutting issues extensively. With the help of the NGOs existing in the District, most of these issues are being tackled accordingly. About these, the District has make and will be making supplementary contributions the issues based on the following criteria:
1. Intensity of issue on the larger population
2. Rate of effect on the population (likely to cause a large number of deaths)
3. Global approaches and interventions towards the issues
4. Government policies and directives towards the issues
5. The immediate cause and effect of the issues on the available manpower
6. Degree of effect of issues on the vulnerable in society especially women and children
7. The cost implications as well as the needed human resources involved.
8. The capacity of the district to deal effectively with issues
Application of Potentials, Opportunities, Constraints and Challenges
Development planning is a problem-solving model aimed at improving living conditions. Planning focuses on resource allocation and management. At any given time of development, it is quite obvious that, there exist some performance inhibiting as well as enhancing factors. An analysis of these factors is crucial prior to the adoption of any comprehensive development blueprint which lays emphasis on curving out development interventions to meet the numerous issues of society.
The tradition of planning has recognized the analysis and application of all these factors as extremely imperative in the approaches of development at any level. The potentials and opportunities comprise all the performance enhancing factors which can be successfully tapped for development. The constraints and challenges however, comprise the otherwise. A carefully application of these factors to the development issues revealed that, the District is swimming in a wide myriad of potentials which has not been properly tapped for development.
It became conspicuous throughout the process that, all the interventions will not necessarily rely on external factors to a greater length because, at every stage there exist a potential which can be adequately tapped for progress. For instance, the extension of potable water requires a dependable availability of water resources measured in terms of proximity and quantity. It is a commonplace to note that, the Ada East District is well endowed with water resources such as the Volta River, which is perennial and can be successfully harnessed for potable water use.
However, one of the main challenges revealed by the analysis is the inadequacy of funds and the bureaucratic process of accessing funds to implement development projects.
Albeit, the approach revealed this, it is not a disincentive, but rather, an element which can assist planning in terms of caution, signalling the possible eventualities likely to occur in the process of project implementation. To salvage this, the approach of phasing-out development projects and programmes will be adopted extensively to ensure adequate management of scarce resources amidst the quest to solve the problems of society.
The analysis has also revealed some possible development constraints which are likely to hinder the implementation of development interventions. What has become successfully of the process is that, these constraints have gotten counterparts potentials which will adequately and perfectly manage their effects so as to achieve a holistic development of the district.
In sum therefore, it can be said that, the potentials will cater adequately for the constraints whereas the opportunities look on to the challenges. At every stage of the implementation process thereof, it is very pertinent for a swift reflections and incorporation of all these factors in other to adequately manage them towards the achievement of the development goal of the district.
Sustainability Assessment of the Development Issues
Initially, the issues of sustainability have not gained recognition to a large extent. Quite recently however, following the Rio Declaration, which seeks to put much emphasis on environmental sustainability, the concept of sustainable development unfolded and has gained stand in development approaches.
To assess the projects and programmes, three Strategic Environmental Assessment tools: Compound Matrix, Compatibility Matrix and Sustainability Test have been used. Whiles in the Compound and Compatibility Matrices, the objectives of the District Medium Term Development Plan were utilized; the Sustainability Test utilized solely the activities which unfolded from the problems discussed above. This made the analysis of the Sustainability Test quiet extensive; since there were a lot of activities to be analysed. The underlying principle is to discuss the results of the assessment in order to either fine-tune them or identify mitigating measures to interventions which have negative repercussions on the environment.
Linkages between DMTDP Objectives and Major Environmental Concerns
As identical of every development planning approach in Ghana, the Medium Term Development Plan Objectives have been curved out after assessing the baseline conditions otherwise known as the existing situation including the desires, problems, gaps and challenges identified.
Based on this, six objectives have been determined to guide the development of the district. The objectives were therefore linked individually to the environmental concerns identified as the tradition of a Compound Matrix analysis demands. The assessment has been carried out within the context of the Environment: Natural Resource, Socio-cultural, Economic and Institutional with the concerns stipulated under each.
Having linked all the problems identified to the objectives of the District Medium Term Plan, it was realized that, most of the objectives would impact positively on the problems identified. To a large extent, the objectives sought to provide a platform for the problems to be surmounted. This goes to show that, the internal consistencies between the problems and objectives were very strong. However, some few objectives will end up aggravating the problems. Objectives which have to do with improvement in Agricultural productivity and the promotion of Eco-tourism scored negative marks under the Natural Resource Environment.
It was discovered that, agricultural productivity will aggravate the problem of indiscriminate felling of trees and the extinction of endangered species especially with regards to the increased mechanization approach being adopted. The promotion of irrigational farming will also jeopardize the environment and particularly worsened the health problems of the area. Malaria is already top ranking, averaging 46% of all the top ten diseases identified in the district. (Ada East District Health Report, 2016)
With regards to Eco-tourism, the Compound Analysis revealed that, under the Socio-cultural Environment and especially with due cognisance to HIV/AIDS, the objective performed poorly. Already the District has recorded an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 3.5% (Ada East District Health Report, 2016) adjudged to be higher than the national rate. The influx of people into the district especially for tourism is therefore expected to aggravate the situation as seen in other areas.
To some extent, this has been the problem of the district and promoting it will worsen the situation. There is therefore the need to adopt abrupt mitigation measures to forestall the problem from worsening. The intensification of awareness programmes and the extension of Voluntary Testing and Counselling programmes will be adopted to prevent the problem from culminating into something else’s.
Whiles the two approaches above sought to utilize the objectives of the District Medium Term Development Plan, critical use was made of all the activities earmarked under each objective for implementation in the Sustainability Test. The activities were assessed by the four thematic areas within which the Environment was defined. These areas include:
Effects on Natural Resources
Effects on Socio-cultural issues
Effects on the Economic issues and
Effects on Institutional issues
The aforementioned parameters made the analysis less cumbersome by providing indicators by which the activities were adequately assessed. A Record sheet of each activity was also produced to show and identify reasons why activities performed poorly or otherwise against the environmental themes as well as the basic criteria under them.
Below therefore are the presentation of the activities and a summary of their performance under each thematic area:
Rehabilitate 24km length of road to major producing and marketing centres
The activity performed poorly under the Natural Resource thematic area of the assessment. The impact on the atmosphere particularly due to dust, emissions from heavy earth moving machines during construction will actually jeopardize the environment and contribute significantly to the fluctuations in the world global economy- Global Warming. With regards to protected areas, the activity made a neutral impact because most of the roads have already been constructed and it is assumed that, the earlier approaches factored in those concerns during construction.
Albeit, the discouraging performance of the project under the natural resource theme, it has performed remarkably under the socio-cultural, economic and institutional environments. It is quite recognizable that, road infrastructure plays a dominant role in every rural economy: facilitating access to producing centres, social services, access to market centres, linking rural families etc. These benefits of roads combined to produce the positive scores against the aforementioned thematic areas. For instance, this year alone, it was announced that, the District has been able to recoup about GH?79,000.00 after it has made available the necessary roads infrastructure which create access to major producing centres.
Provide potable water to major tourist sites
Water, as has been described, is life. However, it is important to note that, environmental sustainability and the provision of water are highly intertwined; because, the latter depends largely on the former. Apart from the activity scoring higher points under the socio-cultural environment, the activity did not perform well under the natural resource criteria.
The excavation of land to fix water pipes, and the pumping and purification process need to be well tailored in order to eschew the possible effects on the environment. The location of the project itself particularly has a higher propensity of trampling on natural resources. Some few mitigating measures have been designed to salvage the problem
Construct a tourism office in the district
The activity performed fairly well with all the criteria. The only problem it posed was pollution which has been considered as a major challenge. The activity will generate dust as well as waste materials which need to be properly decommissioned.
Mitigating measures have therefore been stipulated to appropriately cater for the adverse effects it possess on the environment.
Provide irrigational facilities in the district
The Sustainability Test revealed that, the project performed poorly against the natural resources criteria. The provision of irrigational facilities has the highest propensity of facilitating agricultural development. However, critical analysis through the test has shown that, protected areas will be destroyed and water bodies will be significantly altered.
Besides these few deficiencies with the project, it has performed fairly well particularly with the enhancement of individual well-being emphasized through the creation of jobs, the cohesion of communities, the empowerment of women and reduction in vulnerability and social exclusion.
The Test has also shown that, the project will generate enough revenue for the local economy if managed properly. The few deficiencies realized will be however addressed adequately through the panaceas provided in subsequent pages.
Ensure the implementation of environmental Bye-laws
Environmental Bye-laws was one of the well performed activities with regards to the Sustainability Test. The activity tested positive against almost all the environmental parameters. It only performed poorly a little against the socio-cultural parameters of job creation, local character cohesion and particularly enhancement in living conditions.
However, it was discovered that, it has a vice-versa effect on some of the parameters. The environment is a significant asset and it is true that a lot of livelihood systems are connected to it. But, a short-term curtailment in livelihoods dependent upon the environment to salvage the long-term effects of irreparable damages is quite worth welcoming.
What became paramount is that, the activity seems to provide solution to almost all the negative effects to be rendered by the other activities. It is therefore a serious mitigation measure to all the activities particularly those having a sentimental attachment with natural resource destruction.
Promote the growth of Woodlot in selected communities
The review of environmental concerns revealed that, indiscriminate cutting down of trees particularly for fuel wood was alarming. Women especially those engage in smoking of fish for market were the environmental culprits identified. Most often than not, people normally lose sight of the fact that, trees play significant roles as far as man is concerned.
Based on this, the activity - creation of Woodlot - has been designed to supplement the renewable energy demands of local communities especially those depending extensively on natural resources. The activity performed creditably well against the Sustainability parameters. With respect to natural resource management, the activity played a major role: protection of forests trees through a drastic decrease in encroachment levels and protection of water bodies by increasing the efficiency of river navigation.
With regards to the socio-economic parameters, the activity performed well especially with respect to job creation, livelihood empowerment and empowerment of women. It is also expected to provide a booming effect on private sector development; since some private industries make use of renewable energy extensively in their production.
Provide logistics to Wildlife Division
Like the environmental Bye-laws, the activity did fairly well against all the parameters. The activity is particularly essential to the district; since the district has purported to go into the promotion of tourism. It is expected that issues concerning the usage of natural resources without any cause or measure will be curtailed drastically to facilitate the sustainable use of natural resources.
Empower and support vulnerable groups in the district
Research has it that, in most rural setups, the less privilege depends extensively on the natural resources for enhanced livelihood. The activity performed fairly well against all the parameters. It is therefore expected that, the district will implement it as earlier as possible since, most of the groups identified depend strongly on the environment for their livelihoods.
Measures to Address Impacts
It has been discovered that, prevention is more important and virtually always less costly than remedial action, which sometimes may not be feasible at all. The practical assessment of all the interventions as well as the objectives of the District Medium Term Development Plan turned out to be encouraging.
In all, six (6) objectives together with Twenty-five (25) activities have been taken through the three popularly used tools of Strategic Environmental Assessment. The output of the assessment has shown that there would be the need for some practical measures to be adopted in order to facilitate the successful implementation of scheduled projects as well as ensure the sustainable management of the environment.
The Compound Matrix Test revealed that increasing agricultural productivity by 20% as expected will adequately influence if not jeopardize the environment to certain level. Specific references to mechanization, extensive fertilizer application and promotion of irrigational farming through the construction of irrigational facilities will jeopardize the natural environment if not properly done.
Most of the activities will impact negatively on the natural environment. As part of this, there will be a vigorous enforcement of environmental bye-laws which has been scheduled to takeoff from the implementation level, proper Zoning and the preparation of Land Suitability, Compatibility and Resource Demarcation Maps will all be ensured.
The zoning is geared towards making specific allocation to where projects can be constructed without any damage to other land uses. The Resource maps are expected to show to a large extent the available existing natural resources and the possible encroachments over the years in order to monitor any further repercussion and take abrupt steps to mitigate them. The Land Compatibility map like zoning will facilitate the clustering of activities which will be interdependent without causing damage to each other.
A tripartite approach involving the Wildlife Division, Agricultural Department and Farmers’ Associations will be launched and a workshop held on the possible repercussions of encroachment on protected areas and reserves. It is expected that, if people are well informed about the future as well as present damages and the important services being rendered by natural resources, the level of encroachment will reduce drastically.
Pollution was one of the critical areas. The rehabilitation of feeder roads especially and the constructional works involving heavy earth moving machines will influence air quality, sabotage water bodies as well as generate voluminous waste on land.
It has been determined therefore that, before contracts are awarded, contractors must provide proper decommissioning plans, waste management plans, land compensation packages and reclamation techniques for assessment by the appropriate authorities such as the Environmental Protection Agency etc.
Where the project will generate intensive dust, frequent watering will ensured and monitored by a team from the District Assembly. This will ensure that, communities do not bear the adverse benefits of the project alone.
Efforts have also been made to ensure that, projects implementers make adequate use of zoning documents to eschew the location of projects close to water bodies in the district. The Assembly will also take steps to provide conditions for contractors that when complied with, will have benign impact on the environment.
These conditions will include among others the following:
Well serviced equipment with little or no smoke emission
New or fairly new equipment
Strict maintenance schedule of equipment
The award of contract will be based on experience and the principle of credibility not on favouritism or nepotism.
Full compliance with the Assembly’s guidelines on the environment
Ability/capacity to pre-finance projects in the unlikely event of delays in payments of contract money ( to ensure that activity-associated environmental problems are not kept on hanging)
The loss of soil fertility will reduced through the use of locally manufactured manure and farmers will be vigorously trained and encouraged to exploit the use of cow dug as a substitute to chemical fertilizers which increase the acidity of the soil. Several capacity building workshops will be carried out to teach farmers on the appropriate technologies, Input Mix Methodology, fertilizer application processes and irrigation on farms.
Vigorous tree planting exercise and the growing of cover crops will be encourage to safeguard already degraded lands and to discourage communities which depend on the forest cover for fuel wood. The Community Woodlot project will be launched in devastated forest communities in order to reduce pressure on the natural resources.
Implications of the Measures for the Budget and Institutional Capacities
The remedial actions will affect the budget significantly. The total cost of the Development Plan has shot up due to the infusion of the interventions to rectify the negative implications on the environment. It must be noted however, that, the cost of funding of the projects have different dimensions. Some of the projects such as the Sea Defence and others will be financed directly by the central government.
However, it hovers upon the Assembly to work assiduously in order to finance the other corrective measures especially those having to deal directly with the environment in order to eschew any future repercussions. Below is a table showing the budget of the plan and the cost of the various remedial actions.
Monitoring and Evaluation
It has been realized that, if stringent measures are not adopted to regularly monitor and evaluate the interventions stipulated, the total development plan will be jeopardized. The interventions will be monitored closely by the various departments concerned. However, the Project Monitoring Select Committee has been purposely formed to perform an oversight function over all the departments that are concerned in relation to the interventions. They will also engage, when necessary, in projects which are of specific importance and for that matter will jeopardise the environment to a greater extent.
Strategic Environmental Assessment is very imperative as far as the needs of both the present and future generations are concerned. It has been discovered, that, most (if not all) projects have physical manifestations which either impact negatively or positively on the environment. Therefore, assessing them to ensure that they conform to the basic principles of environmental management is paramount and highly pertinent to the development of man-kind.
The SEA process revealed that, most of the projects will have an impact especially on Natural Resources. The quality of air, water, and endangered species will be significantly altered. It has also been noticed that, most of the projects will not help improve access to land which is very key in the production function. However, the projects seemed to have a sentimental attachment with the Economy- working positively to generate employment, create income and raise living standards thereby propelling growth in the local economy.
It is expected therefore that, the remedial actions adopted will be implemented strictly in order to achieve a balance between human demands and environmental needs. If all these are considered, the district will be garnering support towards the achievement of the sustainable development objective stipulated.
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTIONS, ADOPTED GOALS, POLICY OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES
This chapter looks at the Development projections for the Plan period and the selection of adopted development issues, development dimension goals, policy objectives and strategies from the Agenda for Jobs.
In contemporary times, demographic issues have assumed increasing importance in development approaches and cannot be overruled as far as human oriented development is concerned. The size, structure, distribution, changes and more importantly economic characteristics of population affect development in terms of growth and change.
In terms of planning, adequate data on both the existing and future population is extremely imperative for the designation as well as the direction of interventions. Planning assumes a futuristic attribute and therefore, a perfect definition of current as well as future situations based on solid and well distinguished assumptions is always laudable.
Population Projection Methodology
In demographic studies and analysis, a wide myriad of population projection methods exist- Mathematical (comprising Arithmetic, Geometric and Exponential Models), Component, Ratio and Economic Models.
With respect to the projected population of the District however, the Exponential Model was adopted. The Model has been adopted due to the following reasons:
It is however important to note that, besides the aforementioned critical reasons why the Exponential Model is preferred; there are some underlying realistic assumptions which must be first and foremost considered in the utilization of the methodology. These assumptions include:
a) The rate of growth for the chosen variant for the various communities will remain constant during the plan period.
b) Changes in the trend of migration into the District will be insignificant.
c) Infant and Maternal Mortality rate will be constant.
d) Life expectancy at birth will be constant.
e) The fertility and fecundity rate of women will remain constant within the plan period.
f) All forms of natural disasters which will lead to population reduction will remain constant.
g) Average Household size will not change within the plan period.
As indicated earlier, the Exponential Model has been used to determine the growth rate of the censal years. It has also been used to project the population of the top 20 communities in the District. The formula of the Exponential Model is given as:
Determination of Inter-censal Growth Rates and Projection Variance
Population determination started intensively in Ghana in the early 1960s. The year saw the gathering of the first ever population data for national development planning. The Ada East District is a subset of this process and has a recorded data on population from 1960.
Therefore, to adequately follow the trend of growth and make realistic projections into the future, the inter-censal growth rates within the periods in which the population censuses took place were determined. Hence, growth rates within the period of 1984-2000, 2000-2010 and 2010-2020 were accurately ascertained. The table below presents the population and inter-censal growth rates of the District from 1984 to 2020.
Having derived the inter-censal growth rates of the District, it became significant to determine an appropriate growth rate to project the population of the District.
Based on this, a variant was determined using the inter-censal growth rates to appropriately determine the future populations. The table below therefore, presents the projected population of the Ada East District from the period of 2018 – 2021 using the determined variance.
Table 47 below presents the population of the top 20 communities in the district. The inter-censal growth rates of the communities were also determined to assess their rate of the growth over the years.
From table 47 above, it can be realized that, the population of the biggest communities is quite outstanding. Communities such as Kasseh, Ada-Foah and Big-Ada have assumed a drastic transformation as far as their growth of population is concerned. With respect to Kasseh, for instance, a growth of 5.7 per cent has been recorded within the inter-censal period of 1984-2000. This is quite evident through the recent sprawling, jostling, and noisy nature of the area. More importantly, Kasseh has enjoyed comparative growth due to the fall in the level of economic activities initially being pursued by the District Capital, Ada-Foah.
To a large extent, it is extremely true that economic variables affect the growth of population and it has been justified by the situation in Kasseh. The main focus of the district is the provision of the necessary economic and social infrastructure required for a swift take-off in that part of the local economy.
Table 48 below presents the projected population of the top 20 communities in the District. The median variant was used extensively to project the population upon realization that it was the most accurate and presents the population of the communities in a more realistic manner.
From table 48 above, the projection analysis revealed that, only one community will attain, in terms of population, an urban status at the end of the plan period. The median variant revealed that, within the plan-period of 3 years, it is likely for the population of Kasseh to grow at considerable rate of 6.6% leading to a total population of about 14,556 by the end of 2021. The anticipated increase in population should not be seen as counterproductive, but, rather an incentive that should invigorate the District’s revenue generation machinery.
It is possible for the district to increase its revenue if stringent measures and other interventions such as an expansion in market infrastructure could be adopted. The analysis has showed that, the other two bigger communities – Big-Ada and Ada-Foah will rather grow at a much lower pace. This can be justified with the view that, the gradual depletion of economic opportunities in these areas has reduced the sentimental attachments people once possessed for these areas. A lot of people are now moving out of the District Capital, because it is not as vibrant as it used to be.
As a way of policy, it will be more laudable for the District to generate more enterprising economic endeavours which will serve as stopgap for the rural-urban migration canker bedevilling the district. The development of the Ada-Foah market infrastructure and the provision of Satellite markets within the community constitute some of the interventions likely to reactivate the area.
Determination of Needs and Facilities
Population projection assists to a large extent in the determination and allocation of resources. In development planning, interventions are made based on adequate foundations and analysis. Therefore, the projected populations of the various communities are expected to assist fundamentally in the allocation of resources and direction of interventions.
However, it is also imperative to first and foremost assess the existing needs gap for certain facilities which always constitute the primary focus of every development mechanism. These facilities –education, health, market infrastructure, police post, post office etc – have been adequately standardized for proper allocation and usage.
The following tables present the needs assessment of the district for the 4-year plan period. It should be noted that, for precision and relative accuracy, the median variant has been utilized in the assessment
From table 50 above, it will be deduced that, according to the planning standard, the District requires about 5 Senior Secondary Schools to adequately serve the school going population. However, a lot of factors will adequately go into the determination of the number of schools the district should have. Factors such as enrolment levels, fertility rate of women, and the school going age population as well as the economic endeavour of the people all go to determine whether it is feasible and socially justifiable to provide the district with the required number of schools.
Given this analysis therefore, it is presentable to say that, the district is adequately served with the provision of Senior High Schools. It is again defendable that, not all the students who qualify to the Second Cycle Education stand the chance of attending schools in the respective jurisdiction. The School Selection Computerization Programme plays a part in this process.
The provision of health infrastructure has become the primary focus for most governments and global donors. Following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals the commitment of governments towards the provision of health infrastructure has been stimulated through the renewed commitment of Development Partners as well as some governments in developed nations.
From the above assessment, it will be realized that, the number of health centres in the district, given what the planning standards dictates and the population of the district, is woefully inadequate. The district has a backlog of seven (7) health centres to match the population. In terms of cushioning measures, the district can only boost of two (2) Community Health and Planning Services otherwise known as the CHPS Compound. It is therefore important for the district to direct intervention to the provision of more CHPS Compound to augment the services being rendered by the Health Centres.
In an agrarian economy, the development of market infrastructure is very crucial to the marketing of agricultural produce and serves as an incentive for increased production. In the district however, the situation is the otherwise of the equation. The mainstay of the people is Agriculture, yet, the district can only boast of one vibrant market at Kasseh. This is producing a counterproductive effects to producers especially farmers. The assessment above presents the real situation facing the district.
It is therefore important for the district to build a market infrastructure to supplement the functions of these two markets. Out of the two markets stated, it is only one that is functioning vibrantly. The Ada-Foah market has become relatively inactive.
According to the Planning Standards, an area with a population of 35,000 people should have a Police Station. The District has only one Police Station at Ada-Foah. There are however, Police Posts in the other two biggest communities- Big- Ada and Kasseh. With respect to Kasseh particularly, considering the growth rate of the population, it will be more laudable if the police post could be turned into a police station.
The assessment revealed that, the District has a backlog of 2 Police Stations to adequately serve it population. It should be however noted that, in Ghana, an administrative region differ to a greater extent from a service providing region. Whiles it will be quantitatively appropriate to say that the District is in short supply with respect to the number of police stations it should have, the service jurisdiction of the police could possible spell a different solution to the condition. Besides, the District is making strenuous efforts to pull resources for the establishment of a police post in Big -Ada- one of the Area Councils of the District.
District Development Focus
Over the past years, contemporary development goals and approaches have stimulated a renewed commitment towards a battle against poverty. Significantly, the past national development agenda of Ghana - the GSGDA I & II respectively- has contributed to the realization of the fight against poverty.
Within the global arena, this commitment was again renewed through the focus of the Millennium Development Goals which also brought the issue of poverty reduction into the global development agenda.
In relation to this, the development focus of the District seeks to emphasis an approach of
“facilitating a strong commitment towards reduction in the levels of poverty through the pursuance of vigorous production infrastructure provision, which will lead to an improvement in the socio-economic lives of the people”
Poverty is a multi-faceted problem and their levels tend to vary considerably over space. Therefore, tackling the issues of poverty requires the necessary technical prerequisites which will facilitate a holistic approach towards the improvement in the socio-economic dimensions of people. The District’s prime aim is to renew commitment towards the pursuance of poverty reduction interventions with a strict focus on projecting the district into the perspective of national development as well as working arduously towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
District Development Goal
The previous years of Ghana’s development assumed a characteristic of development measurement through the setting of development goals, objectives, targets and indicators which become a commonplace in subsequent development approaches. The introduction of Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA I), GSGDA II and the National Policy Framework 2018-2021 all carried this attribute from their predecessor national development agenda.
The effort of placing development into a context and stimulating a guiding principle as well as target for its measurement has characterized all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies’ (MMDAs) Development plan in Ghana. Experience has shown that, without a guiding principle, the pursuance of development approaches or methodologies will be haphazard, of which interventions emanating from such any endeavour are likely to be minimally targeted at the utmost recipients in society.
In line with this, the District has endeavoured through a stakeholder workshop to curve out a development goal, which will serve as a guiding principle in pursuance of development projects and programmes leading to the realization of the development focus of the District. The goal:
“Achieving sustained economic growth through rapid infrastructure provision which will lead to poverty reduction in an accountable, transparent and participatory environment” seeks to emphasize the provision of infrastructure as a crucial element for the socio-economic take-off of the district.
Despite these several years of development, the gap between infrastructural provision and demand for basic infrastructure is still widening. The ever-increasing population of the district, basically through natural factors, has not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in the provision of infrastructure.
Following this however, the vehicle, which seeks to achieve economic growth, has placed emphasis on the vigorous overhaul in sectors such as agriculture, education, health-with a focus on HIV/AIDS, Maternal and Infant mortality, population management etc, tourism, provision of potable water, electricity as well as devising ways to solve the structural problems of small-scale industries in the district.
In comparison, the District development goal was found to be strongly compatible with the goal of the Medium-Term Development Policy Framework of the country. The result of the compatibility analysis shows a sign of consistency, commitment of resources and support towards the attainment of a middle-income status in 2015. Below is a table showing the goal compatibility process.
Date Created : 11/15/2017 7:16:19 AM