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SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE

 Housing Conditions

Introduction

The 2010 PHC provided an official count of all structures (permanent and temporary) within the district. Among the issues covered were the housing stock, type of dwelling, holding and tenancy arrangement, main materials used in house construction, room occupancy status, access to utilities and household facilities, main source of water for drinking and other domestic purposes, bathing and toilet facilities and methods of waste disposal. It is envisaged that the housing data from the 2010 PHC will enable planners and policy makers to formulate realistic and relevant housing policies and design appropriate programmes to meet the district’s housing needs.

In this chapter, data on stock of houses, facilities and amenities of houses in the 2010 PHC are analysed at the district level and by rural-urban residence, where appropriate.

 

Housing Stock

Table 8.1 has information on the stock of houses and households in Amenfi West Muncipal. It can be seen from Table 8.1 that the rural (54,039) population is higher than that of the urban (38,113). Out of the total regional household population of 2,307,395, the district accounts for 89,823 (3.9%). The rural household population is 53,167. The number of houses recorded in the district is 16,783 with majority (63.80%) of the houses located in the rural localities.

The average number of households per house in the district is 1.2, which is lower than both the regional and national averages of 1.5 and 1.6 respectively. In terms of the urban and rural comparison, the urban localities (1.5) have a higher average number of households than the rural localities (1.0). The average household size for the district is the same as the national average but higher than the regional average. The average household size in the rural localities is 4.9, which is higher than 4.1 recorded in the urban localities.

 

Type of occupied dwelling unit

The 2010 PHC recorded various types of dwelling units with different forms of holding and tenancy arrangements. This section describes the type of dwelling, holding and tenancy arrangements in Amenfi West Municipal.  The analysis is based on the total number of both occupied and unoccupied dwellings.

The type of dwelling, ownership and tenancy arrangements vary in the district. Table 8.2 shows that the district has a total of 20,262 dwelling units. About 42 percent of dwelling units in the district are made up of separate houses and 38.5 percent are compound houses (rooms).

The proportion of male-headed households dwelling in separate houses is higher (45.5%) compared with 32.4 percent for female-headed households. Separate houses are the major dwelling units in the rural localities in the district, accounting for 63.5 percent of all types of dwelling units while the compound house is the predominant type of dwelling units in the urban areas, comprising 58.2 percent of dwellings in the urban localities.

Hut/buildings, tent, improvised home (kiosk, containers, etc.), living quarters attached to office/shop, uncompleted building and other types of dwellings, each recorded less than 0.5 percent.


Ownership status of dwelling

Table 8.3 shows the ownership status of dwelling units in the district. Eight main categories of ownership statuses of dwellings are identified in the district. Thirteen thousand, nine hundred and thirty-one (13,931) out of the total dwelling units of 20,262 in the district are owned by household members. Dwelling units owned by other private individuals (3,040) and those owned by relatives who are not household members (1,392) are the other major ownership types.

Most of the male-headed households (10,662 out of the total of 15,129) and female-headed households (3,269 out of the total of 5,133) live in houses owned by a household member. 

 

Dwellings purchased constitute the least (86 out of the total dwellings of 20,262) with only 66 and 20 of dwellings of male-headed and female-headed households respectively living in this type of dwelling unit.

The analysis by type of locality shows that most of the dwellings in both urban (4,847) and rural (9,084) localities in the district are owned by a household member. The rural areas have a higher concentration of dwellings owned by a household member compared to the urban localities. On the other hand, dwelling units owned by other private individuals are more in the urban localities (2,322) than in rural localities (718).

Construction Materials

Houses in the Amenfi West Municipal are constructed using various materials. This section describes the type of construction materials used for the outer wall, the floor and roof of dwelling units in the district.


 Materials for outer wall

Table 8.4 has information on the distribution of materials for the construction of outer walls of dwelling units in the district. The main materials used for the construction of outer walls of dwelling units are mud bricks/earth (67.0%) and cement blocks/concrete (26.7%). Dwelling units with outer walls constructed with stone, bamboo and palm leaf/thatch (grass)/raffia recorded the least proportions in the district, each accounting for 0.1 percent.


In urban and rural localities, the main materials used for the construction of outer walls of dwelling units in the rural localities is mud bricks/earth (80.2%) while cement blocks/concrete (73.1%) is the main construction materials used for outer walls in urban localities. About 6.0 percent of dwelling units in urban localities have their outer walls constructed with wood compared with just about 5.0 percent in the rural localities.


Materials for the floor

Table 8.5 shows the materials used for the construction of floors of dwelling units in the district. The main construction materials used for the floors of dwellings is cement/concrete, which accounts for a little over 70.0 percent of floors of dwelling units in the district. The use of earth/mud constitutes 25.7 percent. Dwelling units with floors constructed with burnt bricks and terrazzo/terrazzo tiles are almost non-existent in the district, and represent only 0.1 percent of all dwelling units in the district.


In urban and rural localities, cement/concrete is the main material used for the construction of floors, accounting for 90.7 percent and 55.6 percent of floors of dwelling units in the urban and rural localities respectively. Only few dwelling units in both urban (0.2%) and rural localities (0.1%) use terrazzo/terrazzo tiles as main construction material for their floor

Materials for the roofing


Mud bricks/earth, wood, metal sheets, slates/asbestos, cement/concrete, roofing tiles bamboo, thatch/palm leaf or raffia among others are the main construction materials for roofing in the Amenfi West Municipal. From Table 8.6, about three-forth (74.3%) of dwelling units in the district are roofed with metal sheets, 9.7 percent are roofed with thatch/palm leaf or raffia and 5.3 percent have roofs made of bamboo. It is also to be noted that 4.6 percent of dwelling units in the district are roofed with slate/asbestos.

In the urban localities, more than four-fifth (86.8%) of dwelling units are roofed with metal sheets and 7.8 percent are roofed with slate/asbestos. Rural localities have 63.9 percent of their dwelling units roofed with metal sheets and 16.2 percent by thatch/palm leaf. A higher proportion of dwelling units in rural localities (1.4%) are roofed with roofing tiles compared to the urban localities (0.1%).

The number of ‘sleeping rooms’ available to a household provides an indication of the extent of crowding in the dwelling unit. Overcrowded living conditions increase the risk of the spread of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, measles and respiratory infections.


Table 8.7 describes the household size and number of sleeping rooms occupied in dwelling units in the Amenfi West Municipal. It indicates that a little over half of households (54.0%) occupy one sleeping room, 27.3 percent occupy two sleeping rooms and 11.1 percent have three sleeping rooms in the district. Those occupying four rooms are less than 5.0 percent (4.2%) while household’s with5-9 rooms or more collectively account for 3.5 percent.


The table further shows that about 89 percent of one-member households, 73.2 percent of two-member households, 66.2 percent of three-member households and 55.4 percent of four-member households have only one room for their use. With the except of households with 5-10 or more members which are credited with between 11 percent and 32 percent, less than 10 percent of households with membership below five can boast of three sleeping rooms.


Less than 3.0 percent of households with four members, 5.5 percent of those with six members and 6.9 percent of households with seven members have four sleeping rooms for their use. At the extreme end, just about 31.1 percent of households with 10 members or more occupy four rooms or more. There is, therefore, some overcrowding at the households 51 level which could have some negative health implications for household members.


Access to Utilities and Household facilities

Availability of utilities and other household facilities such as energy for cooking, cooking space, source of lighting and water, bathing and toilet facility as well as waste disposal is essential for healthy living. This section analyses these utilities and facilities at the household level in the district.

Main source of lighting

The highest proportion of households in the Amenfi West Municipal use electricity (mains), which accounts for 47.6 percent of the sources of lighting available at the dwelling units (Table 8.8). Flashlight/torch provides lighting for 31.2 percent of the households while 14.9 percent of them depend on kerosene lamp. The use of gas lamp, solar energy, candle, firewood, and crop residue together is less than two percent (Figure 8.1).

The use of electricity (mains) as source of lighting is much higher (79.8%) in urban localities than in rural areas where only 20.2 percent of households depend on electricity. In these rural localities, the use of flashlight/torch (54.5%) is the main source of lighting. Furthermore, the use of kerosene lamp is higher in rural (22.3%) compared to urban (6.1%) localities in the district.

Main source of cooking fuel

The distribution of sources of cooking fuel in the district is presented in Table 8.9. From Table 8.9, 63.7 percent of households in the district use wood as the main source of cooking fuel, followed by charcoal (23.0%). The use of gas is by only 8.0 percent of households in the district. The use of electricity, kerosene, crop residue, saw dust, animal waste and other sources collectively accounts for less than two percent.


Wood remains the main source of cooking fuel in rural localities and account for 87.3 percent, while the use of charcoal is dominant in urban localities (40.7%), followed by wood (35.9%). The use of gas as a source of fuel for cooking is also much lower in rural (1.8%) compared to urban (15.4%) localities.


Main cooking space used by household

Table 8.9 further shows the distribution of households by the main cooking space used in the district. A little over half (53.5%) of households have separate rooms for exclusive use for cooking while 21.9 percent of them make use of the veranda. About 7.0 percent of households, however, use the open space in the compound as cooking space.

There are clear urban/rural variations in the type of cooking space used by households. The proportion of households in rural areas with separate rooms for exclusive use is 67.0 percent compared with 37.7 percent in urban localities. However, a higher proportion of households in urban localities cook on the veranda (33.7%) compared to rural localities (11.8%).