The present physical structure of Kumasi Metropolis could be described as circular or concentric in nature, encouraging development in all directions. All major roads converge at Kejetia, which is the city centre. Settlement growth is towards all directions from the city centre. Currently the population of Kumasi is growing at an increasing rate.
The city’s current growth rate of 5.47 per cent, which is higher than the regional and national rates stems from its vibrant commercial activities. This phenomenon of high growth rate of the city’s population has led to a situation where settlements are growing rapidly and in all directions. Major growth directions are towards the major roads. The high rate of migration has also led to the emergence of slums.
Urban planning is to manage the spatial organisation of cities for effective land use. Urban infrastructure can therefore be categorised into five major sectors; namely, Transportation, Housing, Water and Sanitation, Electricity supply and Telecommunication. The shape of a city and distribution pattern of land use affects air quality and its health impact.
The major economic activity points in the city can be grouped into four. These are Kejetia Lorry Park, Central Market, the defunct Kumasi Race Course that is temporarily being used for commercial activities; Adum Shopping Centre; Suame and Asafo Magazines; Kaase/Asokwa Industrial Area and the Anloga Timber Products Markets. Land Use of KMA
The total land coverage of Kumasi Metropolitan Area is approximately 254sq. Km (25,415 hectares). Out of this, 20,054.1 hectares (79.0%) has been planned, approved and developed. The major landuse that make up the metropolis are residential, commercial, industrial, educational, civic and culture, open spaces and circulation. Residential Land use refers to the predominantly living areas in the metropolis. Currently, it takes up 8,003.8 hectares (43.9%) of the total land use of the metropolis.
Commercial activities in the metropolis take approximately 481.3 hectares (2.4%) of the total land area. Commercial activities are mainly concentrated in the central area of the metropolis. However, these activities are now taking up new locations along the radial roads. The central area comprises Adum shopping area, the Central and Asafo Markets, Kejetia and Asafo transportation terminals which act as the main magnetic points, creating concentration of activities in the metropolis.
Sites for Educational facilities total about 3,469.4 hectares (17.3%) of the metropolitan area. The largest educational land user is the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) located in the eastern section of the metropolis. There are other five (5) tertiary educational institutions and fifteen (15) major second-cycle schools located within the metropolis.
Civic and Cultural facilities occupy 1,458.1 hectares (7.3%) of the total land area of the metropolis. It comprises locations for public and private offices, health delivery facilities, security establishments and centres for religious and social functions. Manhyia Palace, Centre for National Culture, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and five major Polyclinics are among the prominent civic and cultural land users. Table 8 shows land use over the years (1988-2000) and projections for 2005.
It is important to note from Table 8 that over the years (1988-2005) there has not been any significant change in the proportion of various land uses. Assuming that there will be no drastic change in the next five years and using the national standards, land requirement for the various land uses are projected for the year 2005 as shown in Table 8. The projections above indicate that an additional land area of 601.7 hectares would be needed by 2010 thus increasing the total planned (develop) area to 20,655.8 hectares. Telecommunication
Cities have become major areas of trade across nation-states. All aspects of the development and functioning of global cities are increasingly reliant on advanced telecommunication networks and services; such cities concentrate the most communications – intensive elements of all economic sectors and transnational activities within small portions of geographic space (Leyshon and Thrift 1997). The need for cities to develop their communication networks has come to the fore now more than ever as they strive to become attractive to multinational organisations and some foreign direct investment. Manhattan, for example, has more telephones than all forty nations in sub – Saharan Africa put together (Sussman, 1997: pg. 231) Network
Two types of telecommunication networks exist in Kumasi, the mobile networks and the fixed line system as in any other modern city. There is only one operator for the fixed line system in Kumasi, Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited. However, there are four operators for the mobile telecommunications network system, Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited, Scancom Ghana Limited, Millicom Ghana Limited and Celltell Communications Group.
With the mobile network there is some variety and access is fairly easy. However, with the fixed line system there is some form of monopoly, as only Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited provides the service. Below is a brief description of their capacity. The Company has four digital telephone exchanges operational in the city. They are:
- Kumasi Main Exchange with a capacity of 30,000 DELS,
- Buokrom RLC Exchange with a capacity of 9,000 DELS,
- Tanoso RLC Exchange with a capacity of 12,000 DELS and
- KNUST RLC Exchange with a capacity of 9,000 DELS.
These 60,000 lines are used for voice and non-voice (data) communication and they are linked to each other by Digital Radio Transmission Links in start configuration. Key issues and Opportunities
The service is beset with some institutional problems like the lack of appropriate maintenance mechanisms and theft. There are also some opportunities like the increasing demand for the service and increased private sector participation and best practices from other developed places and all the advancements in the industry that would facilitate a massive improvement in the service.
Kumasi is a growing and peaceful metropolis in a very turbulent sub region of West Africa. The city has the potential to grow into a preferred investment destination and the demand for the telecommunication service is bound to expand. The need for the telecommunication in a budding city like Kumasi cannot be over emphasized and the expansion of the service for the anticipated demand. Problems
- Lack of installation/maintenance materials.
- Lack of vehicles for maintenance work and fault clearance.
- High incidence of overhead wire theft.
- High incidence of bush fires that burn overhead cables.
Surface Accessibilities to Services Health
- High and increasing demand for telephone services.
- Increase private sector participation in the telecommunication business.
- The technologically moving industry in telecommunication and new facilities are being added daily.
The Ghana Health Service provides Clinical and Public Health Services through hospitals and clinics and static and outreach stations (Public and Private). Kumasi Metro is endowed with many Hospitals, Clinics, Maternity Homes and Outreach Stations and therefore accessibility to services in terms of distance is good. There are 15 Private Laboratories in addition to the Laboratories in the various hospitals.
Table 9 shows the distribution of Health Facilities, Private Laboratory service and outreach stations in Kumasi. Agricultural Extension
The Metropolitan Food and Agriculture Directorate is headed by a Director who oversees its activities and operations. It consists of six (6) departments, each headed by an officer. They are the Veterinary Services; Livestock Production; Crops, Plant Protection and Regulatory Services; Extension Services; Women in Agriculture Department and the Management Information System Department.
The veterinary department has ten (10) officers comprising four (4) field technical officers and six (6) abattoir technical officers.
There are twenty-two (22) extension agents in the Metropolis. However, the metropolis has been divided into nineteen (19) operational zones with an extension agent each. Extension services cover areas such as crops, pets, large and small ruminants, poultry, aquaculture, piggery, abattoir inspection, snail, grasscutter and rabbit production and the control of the use of insecticides, pesticides and weedicides. Financial Institutions
There are several Financial and Insurance companies in the city. These include Bank of Ghana, Standard Chartered, Ecobank, Barclays Bank, SG-SSB, Forex bureau and Rural Banks. Production and Marketing Centres
The Kumasi Metropolis has the infrastructure for both production and marketing. In terms of food crops it is a net importer. Most of the foodstuffs brought into the metropolis are brought in from the adjoining districts as well as distant areas such as Techiman, Nkoranza and Ejura. These areas are noted for yam and maize production. However, a limited amount of food crop production goes on in the peri –urban areas of the metropolis in cassava and vegetables.
Some production takes place in the area of manufacturing and industrial food processing. Automobile parts are manufactured at the Suame Foundry. Vehicle bodybuilding is undertaken at the Neoplan Assembly Plant. The Breweries as well as the Coca Cola Bottling Plant undertake beverage processing.
Another area of manufacturing is in the wood processing industry, which is concentrated at Asokwa – Ahinsan – Kaase Enclave and Anloga. There are also pockets of other wood processing businesses dotted all over the metropolis. Poverty Situation in the Metropolis
Poverty which is a state of want and deprivation pervades the entire metropolis. It is a situation which one barely exists because one cannot afford the basic necessities of life.
In a dialogue with a cross-section of stakeholders drawn from departments, institutions and communities during the Poverty Profiling, Mapping and Pro-Poor Programme in 2004 perceptions about poverty differed from person to person. Nevertheless, these varied perceptions gave an insight into what poverty was.
It was variously perceived as a condition of low income, low productivity, malnutrition, high illiteracy, poor shelter, unsafe drinking water, very little personal possessions, high morbidity and mortality rates, poor physical appearance among others. However, under this exercise, poverty was generally described as the absence of basic needs – water, clothing, food and shelter. Poverty Levels/Location
Poverty levels are generally perceived to be high in the metropolis. Even though the issue of poverty transcends the entire metropolis, it is more pronounced in the peri-urban and slum communities where facilities/opportunities are either inadequate or non-existent; poor housing, poor road network, absence of educational facilities, lack of access to quality health care, poor environmental sanitation, high illiteracy rates, relatively low incomes and high unemployment levels among others.
A few of the locations are Apatrapa, Dompoase, Ayeduase, Nyankyerenease, Kokoben, Asawase, Aboabo No 1 & 2, Moshie Zongo, Dichemso Old Town, Ayigya Zongo, Dakwadwom, Sawaba, Yalwa near Asem, Daban, Kaase, Sokoban, Nsenie, Anwomaso etc. Dimensions/Manifestations of Poverty in the Kumasi Metropolis
In both urban and peri-urban communities in the Metropolis poverty manifests in the following dimensions - in terms of basic needs, livelihoods, resources/vulnerability, political alienation, social/cultural and psychological deprivation as outlined in the Poverty Profiling, Mapping and Pro-Poor Programme of the Metropolis in 2004.
The following have been identified as manifestation of poverty in the Kumasi Metropolis;
- Low income and low productivity
- High school dropout
- Child labour
- High illiteracy
- Poor living conditions
- Inadequate balanced diet
- Lack of decent accommodation (without basic facilities)
- High mortality rates
- Lack of finality education
- Poor physical appearance
For tables refer to pdf file attached