A development problem is usually considered as a negative factor, which tends to slow down or militate against the pace of the realisation of the goals of development goals of the District. Such problem may be solved in the short or long run. From the analysis based on the Survey, the views of decision-makers and enlightened resource persons in the District, the following development problems emerged as the major, key or core development problems in the District in order of severity.
- High unemployment and widespread under-employment
- Low economic growth
- Poor conditions of roads
- Inadequate supply of potable water
- Low revenue generation by the District Assembly
The six (6) core problems have a relationship with the impact on other identified problems in the District
High open unemployment and widespread underemployment little sustained studies have been made on the nature, extent and consequences of open unemployment and under-employment in the preponderantly rural-agricultural District economy; the enlightened view is that even though most of the working group in the District are engaged in some form and at some periods of time of economic activity, a very large number of persons are unable to use their abilities to the full, and their earnings as well as their productivity and dismally low. This is an important factor in the high incidence of poverty in the District. This situation causes and impacts in one way or other on the following development problems:
- High incidence of stealing, even of farm crops such as plantain;
- Prevalence of surplus of labour:
- Migration of the youth to urban centres;
- Low economic growth;
- Low agricultural output;
- Low demand for and consumption of locally produced goods;
- Low revenue generation by the Assembly;
- Drug abuse
Prevalence of Poverty
Poverty manifests itself in several ways including low or even absence of cash income and ineffective demand over or low attainment of basic needs of life such as health and education. Poverty in the District causes and affects the following problems in the District:
- High incidence of stealing in which the youth, the unemployed are alleged to be involved;
- Low demand for the consumption of locally produced goods and services.
- Presence of surplus labour
- Migration of youth and the educated to urban centres;
- Low morale for higher productivity;
- Low economic growth
- Pressure on public places of convenience
- Poor sanitary conditions
- Poor refuse disposal system
- Poor drainage system
- Rapid environmental degradation
- Poor drainage system
- Rapid environmental degradation
- Low capital for investment
Low Economic Growth
Economic growth, economic progress, as seen by the people of the District, seems to be meaningful and real only when it means alleviating existing endemic poverty in the District. Low economic growth is a major development problem which requires immediate attention and remedy, even in the short-run for it to have impact on the bases for development interventions since agricultural and industrial per capita outputs are very low, thus hampering the growth of the district economy. Low-income growth further causes and impinges on the following development problems.
- Open unemployment and hidden underemployment;
- Wasteful presence of surplus labour;
- Migration of the cream of society to urban areas;
- Low demand for and consumption of locally produce goods and services;
- Poor roads;
- Poor storage facilities for agricultural product
- Low morale to higher productivity;
- Small nature of businesses;
- Low crop yields, poor storage facilities;
- Low investment capital
- Post harvest losses;
- Poor insanitary conditions;
- Poor roads, non accessibility to major market centres.
Poor condition of road transport
The Fosu-Abura Dunkwa-Cape Coast asphalt highway passing through the heart of the District is the most dependable all-year road in the District. All other motor roads in the District are not satisfactorily motorable at certain times of the year for many reasons, including closure and diversion to permit bridge repairs and where daring drivers persist, are characterised by deep potholes and gullies, thus stepping up maintenance bills. Also the low traffic volumes on the major internal routes, such as the famous Afranqua Junction -
AAK District routes on the Accra-Takoradi Highway near Saltpond, culminate in long waiting hours and tardy process of movement of goods and people between especially Mankessim and the District.
In this connection, poor condition of motor roads in the District must be considered as related to and impact on the following problems:
- Poor conditions of vehicles;
- Poor movement of goods and services;
- High cost of transport;
- Inadequate supply of farm inputs;
- Poor-harvest losses for maize, citrus and foodstuffs;
- Poor storage facilities;
- Low accessibility to major market centres;
- Low productivity of and production of levels of farm staples, resulting in low incomes;
- Lack of well developed water resources to facilitate small-scale irrigation farming.
Inadequate supply of potable water
The large settlements are generally served with pipe-borne water, although there are problems in the dry season. There are also boreholes in a number of the settlement. The majority of the less populated settlements, however, depend on streams creeks but besides being often contaminated by sediments, they are prone to drying or lose their quality during the dry seasons. Potable water inadequacy directly causes and impacts on other direct development problems, including:
- Outbreak of epidemics
- High incidence of water borne diseases;
- Seasonal shortage of food;
- Improper water storage;
- Lack of maintenance on existing water systems;
Low Internal Revenues Generation by the District Assembly
Generation of internal revenue by the Assembly has been found to be unsatisfactory. Over the pas two years, total collection has been falling steadily. This situation does not make it possible for savings to be created internally by the Assembly for investments to supplement grants in support of such programmes as the Productivity Generation and Employment and Income Creation Scheme of the Assembly. Indeed, any internal revenue collected is mainly used for consumption purposes.
Low generation of internal revenue causes and impacts, directly or indirectly, on the following development problems:
- Poor utilisation of available technical problems:
- Lack of statistical data and information;
- Inability to priorities problems;
- Poor planning and management of programmes;
- Community not effectively involved in the planning process;
- Impediments to smooth administration;
- Lack of co-ordination between agencies
- Lack of office and housing accommodation;
- Lack of mobility and logistics generally to ensure full utilisation of costly technicians;
- Low morale for higher productivity
- Inability to provide a meaningful enabling environment;
- Low investment capital;
Development constraints are regarded as factors or situations which hider or restrict the achievement of set goals. They may pose as obstacles and even threats, which, if ignored, can significantly inhibit chances of achieving development goals, but they have to be overcome in the long run. They include the following:
Quite a number of citizens in the District seem to be apathetic and indifferent to the District’s development programmed, installed and constructed by the Assembly’s contractors without ordinary citizens in the community, in some cases, even the Assembly members, not knowing much about the project. Such situation seems to represent a recipe for indifference, even apathy, to the activities of the District Assembly. A good number of people seem to be uninterested, unenthusiastic, unconcerned and indifferent towards development activities sponsored by the Assembly.
Unfortunately, the causes of these situations have not been studied to enable us to understand their nature and extent in order to identify them and turn around such unhelpful, negative and cynical attitudes. The situation could partly be attributed to the prevalence of poverty among the citizenry, the inability of the Assembly to inform, involve and promote conditions for educated and enlightened community decision-making before the implementation of the projects whose ownership and maintenance should be considered by the citizenry and the community as their responsibility and privilege.
If, therefore, one considers the fact that the human attitudinal factor is a decisive condition for development, then an indifferent and apathetic population must be regarded a serious major inhibiting factor to growth and modernisation in the District.
Land Tenure System
Associated with the usufractuary land tenure systems are factors, directly or indirectly, which inhibit increased productivity in agriculture. They include the following:
- Land fragmentation which limits the farm-holdings to small size in terms of cultivated area, thus posing problems of acquisition for medium and large-scale commercial activities;
- Shifting cultivation by which system land is rotated instead of the crops in cultivation and the mode of land clearing (burning) and seedbed preparation do affect soil fertility;
- The share-cropping Tenancy System which does not encourage farmers to increase production by use of purchased inputs since a proportionate part, usually -one third, goes to the landowner or a lazy family member. The system discourages investment in agricultural land improvements such as soil conservation, crop rotation to maintain good soil tilth, as such improvement measures would be carried out only if farming individuals would have exclusive benefits in the use of the land.
As a result of the wanton removal of the vegetation cover over the years, rainfall patterns are characterised by fluctuations in the amount and timing of rainfall, thus posing threats to an agricultural culture which depends on rainwater. Similarly, the rivers and numerous streams and other small water bodies which in the past amply served domestic and economic purpose in the rain season now show signs of drying up in the dry season. These threats can be contained, in addition to protecting the water-shed areas, by the promotion of small irrigation dams.
Summary of Key Development Problems Emanating from Situational Analysis linked to the GPRS II Thematic Areas
Private Sector led Competitiveness:
- Unfavorable land tenure system
- Inadequate access to credit facilities
- Inadequate marketing facilities/ avenues
- Inadequate storage facilities
- Low agricultural productivity
- Limited road linkages/networks
- Inadequate extension services to farmers
- Lack of technical support for Agricultural Development
- Lack of managerial proficiency
- Low productivity
- Low and fluctuating prices
- High post harvest losses
- High cost of farm inputs
- Inadequate funds to expand farms
- Inaccessibility to credit facilities
- Inimical land tenure system
- Small land holdings
- Over reliance on rain fed agriculture
Human Resource Development
- Dilapidated classroom blocks
- Inadequate classrooms
- Inadequate school furniture
- Low female school enrollment
- Falling standard of education
- High drop out rate particularly among females
- Lack of staff accommodation
- Inadequate teachers
- High incidence of diseases e.g. Malaria, Bilharzias, Cholera.
- Absence of ambulance facility for the district.
- Shortage of medical staff
- Inadequate hospital equipment.
- Poor sanitary conditions.
- Insufficient refuse disposal sites.
- Improper siting of refuse disposal sites
- Insufficient household toilet facilities.
- Inadequate health facilities institutions
- Lack of accommodation for health staff
- Lack of logistics for health staff
- Reliance on traditional medicine and local beliefs
- Lack of community participation in health programmes
- Prevalence of diseases like:
- Upper respiratory infections e.g. Tonsillitis -HIV/AIDS
- River blindness
- Gastro-intestinal disorders
- Low nutritional levels (especially in pregnant women and children)
- Poor environmental sanitation
- Pollution of surface and underground water
Good Governance and Civic Responsibilities:
- Lack of coordination between the Core Assembly Staff and Decentralized Departments
- Low capacity base of DA staff (Lack of training programmes for DA staff)
- Poor enforcement of Assembly by-laws
- Low motivation for Assembly staff
- Weak revenue mobilization by District Assembly
- Inability to provide basic services
- Absence of investment policies