Environmental Situation The Built Environment
Generally, there is lack of proper and adequate drainage system in the Municipality. With the exception of the district capital, which has some few stretches of drains, all other settlements do not have drains. Given this lack of general drains in the district, its is no wonder that 36 percent and 48 percent of houses in the urban and rural areas respectively have exposed foundations.
Arising from lack of drain as mentioned above and coupled with high amount of rainfall received, most of the settlements have problems with erosion.
The Municipality Assembly has a refuse truck, which carries refuse to a final disposal site. However, the existing site is getting exhausted and waste is not treated before dumping. Waste is disposed at the final site in their raw state. There are pockets of ‘Refuse Mountains’ within the built up environment which need to be removed to prevent any future outbreak of diseases.
Disposal Of Human Waste
Generally, there is lack of proper and environmentally friendly public places of convenience while the levels of income do not allow people to have private toilets in their houses. About 40 per cent of the population use pit latrine and 9 per cent do indiscriminate defecations. This does not augur well for human health since human excreta can easily contaminate streams used as sources of drinking water when it rains.
The Natural Environment
Again the exploitation of the forest for timber resources by ABTS and other timber firms, also contribute towards the destruction of the natural environment. Even though isolated cases have been reported from time to time, the incidence of bush fire in Berekum as of now, it is not very rampant as obtains in other districts.
The Municipality Assembly has established community fire volunteers groups to prevent and combat bush fires. This should be sustained. However, since the devastating effects of fire are not a function of its frequency, new and constant surveillances and strategies are required to tackle any insurgence of bush fire.
Spatial Organization/Human Settlement Pattern Hierarcy Of Settlements Hierarchy of settlements by population and by service was addressed among other spatial issues. The Municipality total population of 113,650 is unevenly distributed in the various settlements.
Berekum which happens to be the Municipality capital has almost a half (1/2) of the total district’s population. And due to its continued expansion, it is gradually absorbing certain nearby communities such as Kato, Senase, Jamdede and Kutre No II.
This can also be attributed to the fact that it lies along a major road i.e.Sunyani through to Dormaa. Besides, the Municipality weekly market and the Holy Family Hospital, are all located in Berekum, thus encouraging a lot of economic activities, as a result many inhabitants at the other settlements move to settlements nearer into the Municipalityand also into the capital.
Berekum is gradually turning into a form of conurbation.
The Municipality has only four towns using a standard threshold population of 5,000 as a basis of classifying a community as an Urban. These are Berekum (48,331), Jinijini (7,809), Senase (6,754) and Kato (5,466).