The region covers a geographical area of approximately 18,478 square kilometres. This constitutes about 12.7 per cent of the total land area of Ghana. The region is bordered on the North by the Republic of Burkina Faso, on the East by Upper East Region, on the South by Northern Region and on the West by Cote d’Ivoire. (Figure 1.1)
The region is located in the guinea savannah vegetation belt. The vegetation consists of grass with scattered drought resistant trees such as the shea, the baobab, dawadawa, and neem trees. The heterogeneous collection of trees provides all domestic requirements for fuel wood and charcoal, construction of houses, cattle kraals and fencing of gardens. The shorter shrubs and grass provide fodder for livestock.
The climate of the region is one that is common to the three northern regions. There are two seasons, the dry and the wet seasons. The wet season commences from early April and ends in October.
The dry season, characterized by the cold and hazy harmattan weather, starts from early November and ends in the latter part of March when the hot weather begins, with intensity and ends only with the onset of the early rainfall in April.
The temperature of the region is between a low of 150C at night time during the harmattan season and a high of 400C in the day during the hot season.
Political And Administrative Structure
The region is administered politically from Wa. The main administrative structure at the regional level is the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC), headed by the Regional Minister.
Other members of the RCC include representatives from each District Assembly, regional heads of decentralized ministries, and representatives of the Regional House of Chiefs. The region has five administrative districts namely, Wa, Nadawli, Jirapa-Lambussie, Lawra and Sissala District Assemblies.
A Municipal/District Assembly, headed by a Chief Executive nominated by the President and approved by the Assembly Members, administers each district. Two-thirds of the members of the Assembly are directly elected. The other one-third is appointed by the Central Government in consultation with local leaders.
The districts are autonomous with regards to the planning, budgeting and implementation of projects. In addition, Area/Town Councils/Unit Committees assist in the performance of key roles.
There is also effective traditional leadership and vibrant Youth Development Associations to facilitate efficient and effective mobilization of local resources. The region currently has eight political ,parliamentary constituencies namely, Wa Central, Wa East, Nadawli North, Nadawli South, Jirapa, Lambussie, Sissala and Lawra-Nandom.
Wa West district carved out of the existing Wa district with Wechiau as its capital; Wa East district with its capital at Funsi, and Sissala West district with Gwollu as the district capital.