In planning the best employment of new investments in the Atwima Mponua District Assembly, there is the need to integrate the environmental concerns in the light-of competing need of urbanization agriculture and industrialization and their impact on the environment. Since the mainstay of the economy is agrarian there is the need to develop sustainability in the use of farmland.Conditions of the Build Environment
Within the built environment, most houses (about 60%) in the District are built with either landcrete or swish walls and also roofed with either roofing sheet or thatch. The houses have poor or no drains at all, unkempt surrounding, leaking roof and exposed foundations due to erosion. There are serious gully erosions in some of the communities such as Nyinahin and Sreso Tinpom.
The main housing problem of the District is the poor quality of houses. Most essential housing facilities such as toilet, water and electricity are woefully lacking. Compound houses constitute about 65% of the housing stock. The average household size is 5.5 compared to the Regional average of 5.3. The District also suffers from serious water and sanitation problems. The major sources of drinking water in the District are from Rivers and streams, boreholes and hand-dug wells. Most water bodies in the district are contaminated by farming and household waste.
Stomach and worm infestations are therefore common diseases in many communities in the District. It is therefore necessary that the District Assembly takes optimum advantage of Community Water Sanitation Supply Programs in the Region. Refuse disposal is largely unorganized, as people tend to dump refuse anywhere in the communities.
The few organized dumps have unkempt surroundings that are not regularly maintained. The filth from the refuse dumps contaminates streams and rivers as well as homes near- by. Pit latrines are the dominant household method of liquid waste disposal. In rural communities there is usually only one pit latrine for the whole community. Given the unhealthy situation depicted above the people in the district are prone to diseases such as cholera, guinea worm etc. It will be necessary for the District to improve on the quality of housing and waste and environmental management. Domestic Energy
Result of the baseline survey revealed that about 96% of the respondents use fire wood. (See Table 22 .below). The situation is alarming considering the fact that the forest is already desecrated in many places and what is left has to be protected and preserved for agricultural production among others. The excessive use of firewood and charcoal creates environmental 23 towns along the main Abuakwa – Nkawie Bibiani trunk road from Mpasatia to
Kuffour – Camp have been connected to the National electricity grid. Deforestation
Even though the District abounds in natural forest resources, the rate of reforestation has not matched up with the rate of exploitation. The situation has been compounded by bush-fires, firewood extraction, lumbering and mining around Nyinahin, Wansanmire and Bayerebon # 5. Efforts have to be made to intensify forestation and encourage good agricultural practices.Impact of Deforestation on Development
Lumbering activities by large timber firms in the District have impacted negatively on the environment. Unemployment has driven people to over exploit the environment for livelihood.
The effects of human activities on the environment include:
- Depletion of economic trees as a result of rapid lumbering and inadequate re-forestation programs.
- Deterioration of the already poor condition of feeder roads in the District as a result of excessive pressure exerted on the roads by the heavy timber trucks that ply these roads.
- Destruction of crops through the indiscriminate felling of trees and careless carting/haulage of timber through farmlands.
- Indiscriminate bush-burning has led to destruction of forest reserves in the district thus affecting the Eco-system.
As a result of the abuse of environmental resources in the district, some Settlements are experiencing environmental degradation. A significant portion of the land, forest, wildlife and water resources are seriously threatened by this degradation. To contain the situation and restore the district ecological balance, there is the need to expand and intensify the on-going conservation activities. Environmental conversation bye-laws must be of the Assembly must be enforced to the letter to help reduce the pressure on the environment.
For tables refer to pdf file attached