Population Size, Growth rate and Density
Population records indicate sharp increases in the district. In 1960 and 1970 the district had a total population of 41,688 and 62,882 respectively. By 1984, the total population had increased by about 18% to 74,463 at a growth rate of 1.2 per annum. At that annual growth rate, the projected population of the district by the end of 1996 was 89,678. In the year 2000, the population in the district was 91,965 made up of 42,395 males and 49,570 females according to the national population and housing census conducted that year. The population growth rate of the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam district (estimated at 2.5%) although lower than that of the national and regional population growth rates has serious implications for development planning.
The population is estimated at 106,848 and 115,170 for 2006 and 2009 respectively given that the prevailing local growth rate still remains at 2.5%, but since there are relatively more youths than other age cohorts, infrastructure provision and the use of the districts resources should be more sensitive to the needs of the young one. The population density currently stands at 197.4 people per square kilometer.
It can therefore be said that, due to increasing population, the concentration of people per square kilometer has been higher and would continue to increase over the plan period. In 1970, the density of population was 116 per square kilometer and in 1984, 138. The density of population based on the 2000 census was estimated at 169.9 however this has increased by 16.2% to 197.4 (i.e. in 2006) currently, and expected to reach 212.2 by 2009.
Natural and Built Environmental Resources
Environmental concerns comprise degradation through natural and artificial means. The natural degradation is mostly heavy downpours resulting in serious erosions causing the development of gulleys in most of the communities. On the contrary, deforestation is the main artificial means prevalent in most zones and communities. In some areas quarrying and sand winning contribute to this threat to the environment.
Irrespective of these, there are few timber resources and other potentials for tourist attractions, the details of which are outlined in the table below: It is worthy to mention here that the District’s have also mineral deposits. These include gold, Mica and Kaolin. Mica is available for about 13 km stretch from Ampia Ajumako to the west. Kaolin is also found behind Ochi, about 13km stretch between Ampia. Ajumako and Kwanyarko, Gold (Nkoso) at Nkwamase in the Enyanmaim zone.
Urbanization is a common phenomenon in most towns and cities. However, it is very slow in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam district. The 2000 population census reveals that it is largely rural with 75,661 rural and 16,304 urban populations. Nevertheless this a great appreciation over the last few decades, since in 1960 and 1970 the only settlement which could be classified as a town using demographer’s definition of 5000 and more people was Bisease with a population of 7,452. The statistic remained same for 1984 but with a population increase to 9,322. Breman Essiam and Enyan Abaasa followed, with a population of 4,974 and 4,216 respectively. By projections, only three settlements in the district, Bisease, Breman Essiam/Nkwantanum and Enyan Abaasa could qualify to be classified as towns by the end of 1996 and remained so by the year 2000.
The district capital itself is presently at a slower growing pace. For the population censuses in 1960, 1970 and 1984, there were 1,330, 2,497 and 1,798 people respectively. By the year 2000, the population of Ajumako was 3,235 and the fourth largest locality in the district after Bisease, Essiam/Nkwantanum, Enyan Denkyira and Abaasa. However, in terms of social infrastructure and other social facilities, Ajumako has the imposing status of an urbanizing centre.
It is the focal point of the main trunk roads in the district, to Mankessim, to Agona Swedru, to Akim Oda through Breman Asikuma and to Essakyir through Mando. While these five centres mentioned (Bisease, Breman Essiam, Enyan Abaasa, Enyan Denkyira and Ajumako) find themselves in various transitional stages to become urban and town centres, there exists the obvious dichotomy of the few urban settlements to the predominant rural population in the rest of the district.
Household size and housing conditions
The operational definition of the term "household" connotes an individual or a group either related or not related who eat from the same pot. However this definition applies more to well established urban setting. In relatively smaller communities and typical rural settings the term has a broader meaning and might include specific arrangements made by persons individual or in groups usually of the extended family line to provide themselves with the necessities of living mainly food but usually eat from different pots. Using the standard operational definition, though the household size ranges from one (1) to seventeen (17), the average is 4.7 (Table 1.4.1) For example in the survey it was revealed that the Baa Area Council averaged ten (10) per household, 4.2 household per house and six (6) habitable rooms in a house, but it was eleven (11), about six (6.3) and six (6) respectively for the Sonkwaa Area Council.
These values are close to 2000 census figures as average household sizes at the area councils were between 3.5 in Abaasa and 4.8 in Besease; but it is worthy to mention here that these figures are just deduced from sample surveys conducted at the area council capitals during the interface.To attempt an analysis of household size in a predominantly rural district is a difficult task requiring a comprehensive study. As stated in the DMTP before 2001. "in the district, the values for the household sizes have not changed significantly. The average of between 18 to 20 people is found in one house including children and adults. Persons per room in a house differed from house to house and from locality to locality.
The average persons per room ranged between 3 to 5 in some communities and between 6 to 10 in others where even portions of the houses have serious cracks, part already collapsed and unfit for human habitation". Such was the observed housing conditions during the survey. It is just about 1 1% of all building in district which is sandcrete, the rest are landcrete and often in threatening condition. In one of the thriving area councils (i.e. Mando- the zone with the best secondary school in the whole district) almost all (98%) of the buildings are landcrete.
This section looks at how settlements in the district are organized spatially. It provides a review of the socio-economic profile of the district within a spatial milieu. It also discusses the type, quantity, geographical distribution of facilities and services in space, and how these factors ultimately inform on the hierarchical ordering of settlements in the district.
The spatial pattern of settlements in the district could generally exhibit a linear form of growth, with most of the settlements found along the principal transport routes. Settlements found in the hinterlands however are rather dispersed as most of them are farming communities. They are only two urban settlements in the district, namely, Bisease and Ajumako. Generally the population of these farm settlements turns out to be very low.This together with the disperse nature of settlement found in the district, has made it very expensive and uneconomically distributing projects to the settlements as it turned out that these settlements do not usually have the thresholds populations to support these projects and services.
Geographical Distribution of Services
Scalogram Analysis technique has been used in an analyzing the distribution of services and facilities within the district. The Scalogram is a non-statistical tool that arrays facilities and services by their ubiquity and ranks settlements by their functional complexity, on a matrix. By this, the settlements in the district were ranked based on both their population, the number of facilities and type of services they offer. The distribution of these services and facilities in the selected settlements are presented in the Scalogram.
The top 30 out of the 163 settlements in terms of population size, with populations ranging from 1000 to over 10502 people were selected and arranged in a descending order was used in constructing the scalogram, Also, a total of 33 functions cutting across commerce, security, transport and communication, public administration, education, health and sanitation, water supply, recreation and other areas were considered. These functions were weighed according to their level of complexity. Subsequently, the Total Centrality for each settlement was determined. From the analysis, the two top settlements Ajumako and Bisease were identified as performing more functions than the other settlements in the district. These were followed by other settlements such as Abaasa, Enyan Deenkyira and Essiam in the functional order.
This clearly indicates that there is incidence of spatial inequity. Over looking this phenomenon poses the danger of centralizing and concentrating the district’s population and resources in the urban areas with the danger of causing backwash effect. This has the potential of leaving the rural communities under served with service and socio-economic infrastructure. There is the need therefore for a well balanced and equitable distribution of facilities and services district wide. In areas where the population sizes did not provide the critical mass to support services, a numbers of settlements will have to be clustered to provide the needed threshold population.
Hierarchy and Distribution of Settlements
Weights were assigned to various services and facilities and the total centrality index which represents the degree to which each of the settlements provide functions to people in other areas, was then calculated, and this was used to classify settlements into 4 levels of hierarchy. With the exception of Ajumako the hierarchy of settlements based on the functions of the settlement was found to run at par with the population sizes of the communities.
The scalogram depicts that with the exception of Ajumako. Which had 25 facilities and services, Essiam came second with 23; all the other settlements had less than 20 facilities and services. This clearly gives evidence of spatial inequalities in the distribution of services and facilities in the district. Such a skewed distribution does not favor the development so desired as a country. Concerted effort is here required to ensure that the deprivations that exist in some area councils like Sonkwaa are ameliorated. These may also include promoting welfare and general development in some of these settlements, through the provision of relevant services at the appropriate scale.
Accessibility to Services
Services are provided within a geographical area to service a given threshold population. In order to determine the ease with which people from different locations within an area can enjoy certain services in other parts of the area; accessibility analysis is normally carried out. Three services that provide basic services to the people were selected for the accessibility analysis. They are, Senior Secondary Education, Periodic Markets and Health Services.
Several standards and assumptions were used to determine accessibility to these functions on maps. They include threshold time for a service, travel speed on the various categories of roads and waiting time on each route and walking speed. Based on the above assumptions, isochrones (imaginary lines joining places of equal travel times) were used to link areas of the same travel time. Two accessibility zones emerged- high and low. The areas covered by each accessibility zone were used to determine the number of settlements and people with potential physical access to services. The various accessibility zones were then super imposed on each other to produce an aggregate accessibility map.
Meticulous examination of the optimum accessibility map reveals that a good many of farming communities in the district do not have easy access to some ver\ basic services in the district. This is largely due to poor and inadequate physical access resulting from the poor condition of roads that link these communities to the facilities. Improving access in the district will require massive investment in roads to ensure easy access to all services.
Land Use Planning and Development Control
Not much has been done in the area of land use planning and for that matter the enforcement of development control. This is evidenced by the complete absences, first of a District’s Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD) in the assembly’s structure and secondly, physical plans to guide the actual growth and expansion of the district’s capital.Thus, the planning and management of physical growth of towns in the district to ensure orderliness, convenience, safety and beauty has been left at the mercies of the market forces. It does not come as a surprise that a number of communities are already experiencing haphazard development and advocated for the preparation of physical plans for their towns.
Date Created : 11/14/2017 2:04:57 AM