Physical features

Location and size

The District lies in the north western corner of the Upper West Region of Ghana between Longitude 2°25 W and 2°45W and Latitude 10°20 N and 11°00 S. It is bounded to the East and South by the Lambussie and Lawra Districts respectively and to the North and West by the Republic of Burkina Faso. The total area of the District is put at 404.6 square km. This constitutes about 3.1% of the Region?s total land area.

The District is constituted by 84 communities with 86% of the inhabitants living in rural areas. The population density is approximately 114 per square kilometer. It is the most densely populated District in the region. Below is a map showing location of the District in Ghana. Its closeness to Burkina Faso offers it a strategic location for international interactions and exchanges. It however poses a challenge related to the influx of Fulani herdsmen into the district from the Sahel.

Climate and vegetation

The district falls within the Guinea Savannah vegetation belt. The vegetation consists of short grasses with scattered fire resistant trees such as the Shea trees, acacia and Baobab trees. The vegetation is very congenial for livestock production, which contributes significantly to household incomes in the district.

The greatest influence on the vegetation is the prolonged dry season. During this period, the grass becomes dry and subsequent bush burning leaves the area patchy and almost bare of vegetation.

Human activities particularly indiscriminate tree felling for fuel wood, charcoal and other purposes, early torrential rain and poor animal husbandry practices have continuously decreased the vegetation cover and increasing soil erosion and depletion of soil fertility. Moreover, inappropriate farming practices such as shifting cultivation, road construction, sand and gravel winning increase land degradation.

Climatically, the District is tropical continental as experienced in the northern regions of Ghana. Throughout the year, temperatures are high with a minimum of 230C at night and a maximum of 420C during the day. This favours plant growth. The mean monthly temperature ranges between 210C and 320C. The highest monthly maximum temperature rises up to 400C before the rainy season usually in May with lowest minimum temperature falling to about 120C in December when the Harmattan winds from the Sahara dry up the vegetation.

As a result of the single maximum rainfall season prevailing in the district, crop production is mostly done during the rainy season (May to September/October). The dry season is a 2 potential for the preservation industry that could use the sunshine as a natural preservative. By implication, however, since farming is the major occupation of the people, it means that their major sources of livelihood and income are limited during the dry season apparently resulting in the migration of the youth to the south in search of greener pastures. There is thus, the need to have adequate irrigation facilities to promote and enhance agricultural activities in the dry season.

Relief and drainage

The topography of the district could be described as gently undulating. Generally, the district is located about 180 meters above sea level with a few isolated hills. The rock formation in the District is essentially birimian with dotted outcrops of granite.

Some research work done indicates the presence of minor occurrences of manganese, traces of gold and diamond, Iron ore and clay. As a result of a well- developed fracture pattern in the rocks, the potential for obtaining ground water in the District is very high which makes it suitable for all year farming. The relative plain topography is suitable for road construction, distribution of utility lines and general construction works.

The District is poorly endowed with water bodies. The only natural water bodies are a few interconnected streams flow into the Black Volta which cuts through the district. The Black Volta River is considered by the district as a potential for aquaculture.

There are a number of dams and dugouts which provide water for irrigation, domestic chores, construction, and animals on graze. The interconnected water bodies in the district facilitate storm water drainage, thus making the district less floodable, except in few low lying areas.

A significant characteristic of most of these rivers and streams is the perennial nature of their flows. Many of these water bodies are reduced to intermittent pools in the dry season while others completely dry up. Many of these streams could be developed to support dry season farming.

Geology minerals and soils

With a gently undulating topography, the district is bound with fresh granite. The main soil types in the District are sandstone, gravel, mudstone, alluviam, granite and shale that have weathered into different soil grades. Due to seasonal erosion, soil types emanating from this phenomenon are sand, clay and laterite ochroslols. The availability of these soil types have contributed to housing development which have resorted to the use of local building materials such as sand, gravel and clay.

These soil types are better suited for the cultivation of cereals and root tuber crops including millet, maize, sorghum and yam. They respond well to the application of organic manure and commercial fertilizers to give high yield. With adequate rains and good farming practices, these soils have the potentials of improving agriculture production.


Date Created : 4/11/2018 5:51:50 AM