Infrastructure Distribution and Availability
Socio-economic facilities and infrastructure are the physical and service inputs that facilitate the production and exchange process in any economy. Existing socio-economic facilities in the district include schools, health centres, water roads, electricity, solar energy, markets, post and telecommunication facilities, and banking services. Some of these facilities are inadequate, and most are in deplorable conditions.
Roads and Transportation Services
Access roads are available in all communities. The district has about 282 km length of first, second and third class roads; only 38 km of the road is tarred (paved). The remaining is unpaved and makes accessibility, especially during rainy season, difficult
The district has one hospital located at Nalerigu. There are three health centres and three health posts in the district. There are about 19 chemical shops and 140 trained traditional birth attendants. Generally shortage of qualified personnel and access to health facilities by remote communities pose a problem.
Hydroelectric Power, Solar Power and Telecommunication Facilities
The following towns are hooked to the national grid: Gambaga, Nalerigu. Langbinsi, Sakogu and Dindani. Gambaga and NaJerigu have telephone facilities but have limited lines which need to be expanded.
There is limited access to safe drinking water in the district. The existing water facilities cater for about 36.4% of the population. Two communities, Nalerigu and Gambaga, have access to potable water supply from the mechanized pipe systems. There are 102 boreholes with hand pumps and 24 hand-dug wells. Some parts of the district depend on streams, rivers and dams for water for domestic, livestock and industrial need.
There are two commercial banking facilities: one community bank in Gambaga and a branch of the bank in Nalerigu. In addition there is one rural bank: BESSFA Rural Bank in Nalerigu, with its headquarters in Garu.
The major market centres are Nalerigu, Gbintiri, Sakogu, Langbinsi and Nagboo. The markets at Langbinsi and Nalerigu have the required facilities for modem markets. The others are mostly opened spaces with sheds made of mainly local materials. These are the brisk commercial and business centres in the district, which attract people.This school has just started and has only first year students.
The informal sector plays a dominant role in this sub sector. Their role is however, complimented by the formal sector through the services provided by departments of the District Assembly and other government organizations such as the police and the courts. The informal sector comprises hairdressers, tailors, barbers, drivers, painters, etc. Their area of operation is scattered in various communities in the district and they operate in kiosks and stores, often rented. They sometimes train apprentices who support them in their daily business activities.
In the district, the commercial sub-sector comprises both retailers and wholesalers. It is however, worthy to note that retailers out number wholesalers. Both individuals and organized institutions engage in commercial activities in the district. It is however, obvious that individuals dominate this sector. Manufactured goods that are sold include roofing sheets, ply wood, iron rods, cement, cutlasses, consumables and other chemical products such as hair creams and fertilizers.
Business activities are conducted in wooden structures, rented stores and stalls in the markets, on tables in open spaces and private buildings in various communities. Wholesale business activities are mainly found in bigger settlements like Afrancho and Buoho. It is worthy to note that due to improved access and transportation, a considerable number of people in the district acquire manufactured goods from Kumasi. By implication, the full advantages of trade and commerce have not been realized in the district. The service sector also consists of those in health, education, postal and telecommunication (mobile phone repairs, sale of top-up units) and banking sectors.
Inter and Intra Trade
There is yet to be established data on inter and intra trade in the District. Despite the absence of concrete data, it is obvious that there is more of inter than intra trading activities. The District produces more of agriculture produce than any other.
These produce which are both food and cash crops are sold outside the District to places such as Takoradi, Accra, Tema and Kumasi. In turn, items like building materials, clothing, kitchen wares, etc. are imported into the District from these cities.
This trend creates opportunities for the business community in the district to invest in wholesale and distribution sectors which will create jobs, increase incomes and broaden the revenue sources of the District Assembly.
Physical Accessibility to Services
Services are provided within a geographic setting to serve a given threshold population. Physical accessibility studies have been undertaken to determine areas that are easily accessible to facilities and services within the district that are not necessarily in their localities. Five services and facilities have been considered.
• Health Hospital/Health Centre
• Education 2nd Cycle Institution
• Market weekly/Periodic Market
• Banking Commercial/Rural Banks
• Agriculture Agric Extension Service
In assessing physical access to facilities and services, various roads in the district were classified and defined according to the conditions and frequency of transport on the road. The district has a total of 180.2 Km of road length, of which 80% is untarred. Four main types of roads were identified in the district as shown in Table 1.17:
Accessibility to Health
Hospital/Health Centres were identified in thirteen Communities in the district. These are Afrancho, Kodie, Brofoyedru, Kwaman, Adwumakasekese, Aboabogya, Ejuratia, Bronkron, Atimatim, Mowire, Ahenkro, Boamang and Kyekyewere. The analysis revealed that accessibility to Hospital and Health Centers in the district is very high in and around the district capital as shown in Figure 1.14. Health facilities in the District are fairly distributed which makes it easily accessible by the majority of the populace. This is so because as much as five service centers were identified in the area.
It is important to state that about 80% of the communities are either within the high or medium access zones. Those within the low and least zones are as a result of the fact that majority of these settlements are mainly farming hamlets and cottages whose individual threshold population cannot support even level “A” health facility which requires a threshold population of 2500.
The population of individual hamlets and cottages of the area ranges between five (5) households to 16 households with an average household size of 5 people. It is worth noting that even though their individual threshold population cannot support the least level of health delivery, the sum total of population of hamlets in the area suggest that a relatively high number of the people do not have adequate access to health facility.
Accessibility to Second Cycle Institutions
Second Cycle Institutions have been classified to include senior secondary schools, technical schools and vocational schools. Five service centres were identified in the following Communities: Bronkrong, Afrancho, Tetrem, Mowire, Aduman, Boamang and Heman-Buoho (see Figure 1.15). Again, the situation suggests the concentration of facilities in the Southern portion of the district. Over 71% of second cycle educational institutions are located in this portion of the district. The Northern portion enjoys only 29% of the facility.
Accessibility to Agriculture Extension Services
The mainstay of the local economy of the district is agriculture. The sector employs 61% of the total labour force of the district. This prompted the assessment of physical accessibility to agricultural extension services in the district. A total of six (6) service stations were identified (see Figure 12). About 65% of the district has access to agric extension services.
Again, the area on the map which depicts poor access zone is a very important farming area. It is virtually the food basket of the district. This is a clear indication of the fact that not all inhabitants have access to the services of agricultural extension. Again, the situation means that the area would have done better if it had good access to the services of an agricultural extension services. Major Communities with poor access include Oyera, Abidjan, Adukro etc. In fact access to Agricultural services would not have been a problem if the Agricultural Extension Agents (AEA) were well resourced in terms of transportation.
Accessibility to Banking Services
Capital formation for investment lies in the purview of the banking institutions in the district. To this end, efforts were made to assess the physical access to banking facilities by the people of the district. Commercial and Rural Banks in the district were considered. Unfortunately only three (3) service centers were identified in the district which is also located at the extreme ends of the District leaving the entire middle portion orphaned (see Figure 1.17). The 3 facilities are all Rural Banks located at Afrancho Boamang and Tetrem as shown in figure 1.4 overleaf.
It can therefore be said that the low access to banking services is a barrier to development as most of the people travel far outside the District before they can access banking services. The analysis revealed that about 85% of the district has access to banking services. This suggests that physical access to a bank in the district is not a barrier to development.
Accessibility to a Weekly/Periodic Market
The district can boast of six relatively key periodic markets. The studies revealed that about 80% of the district has access to a periodic market. The market centres are located in Ankaase, Wawase, Kwamnag, Tetrem, Kyekyewere and Boamang (see Figure 1.18). The situation indicates that the problem of post-harvest losses in the district is not with access to marketing centres but with storage system and processing, and calls for effective storage system for the farmers in the district.
This is a sieve map indicating areas of the district that have access to at least a facility. All the communities have access to at one facility (see Figure 1.19). So there is 100% coverage in terms of aggregate accessibility. This is an indication that the District should focus more on the improvement of the quality of the services available.
This is also a sieve map indicating areas of the district that have access to all the various facilities used. The analyses revealed that about 55% of the district has optimum access to Hospital/Health Centre, periodic/Weekly Market Centre, Banking Services, and Agricultural Extension Services and Second Cycle Institution (see Figure 1.20). About 60% of this 55% is found in the Southern part of the district with the remaining 40% occupying the Northern portion. This is an indication that facilities in the district are skewed in favour of the Southern part of the district.
The scenario depicted above implies the need for effective and a coordinated development in the district that will benefit both the North and the South.
The current population of the District, according to the 2000 Population and Housing Census is 180,877 of this figure 92,332 are female while 88,545 are male. This constitutes 51% and 49% respectively. Comparing the current population with the 1984 figure of 122,000 the population has increased by 58,877 (32.6%) over the sixteen-year period.
The average density of population is 59 persons per square kilometre. There are three hundred and nine (309) communities in the district with 17,656 houses and 22,281 households. The average household size is 7.7 Majority of the people are Moslems. There are however a number of Christians and Traditional Religion worshipers in the District.
In a socio-economic study of the Onchocerciasis-freed zones in Ghana, a sample survey was carried out in the District by the National Onchocerciasis secretariat in 1997. This survey revealed that 38.5% of the respondents (2,029 respondents in 350 households) were in the age group 0-14, another 41.2% in age group15-44, and 20.3% in age group45-60 and above. Considering time lapse and the sample size the above figures may not be the exact situation of the age distribution currently but may reflect the general trend.
Since women constitutes 51% of the total population, more focus on gender mainstreaming and women empowerment to have a greater say in decisions that affects their wellbeing is identified as a factor that will enhance development in the district. The current growth rate of the population is 3% per annum. The high growth rate is due to high fertility rate, of women in the district. This is evident from the large number of pregnant women and women with children and the large number of children below the age of fifteen years seen at public gatherings in the rural areas.
The high rate of growth has created a high dependency ratio and has escalated the poverty situation of parents. Another effect of the high growth rate and high fertility rates of population in the district is that infrastructure facilities and services lag behind demand and there is considerable strain on the existing services and facilities and this has negative implications for the district’s economy and development.
The above problem also has deep-rooted negative impact on the general wellbeing and development of the people. Parents’ inability to control births or cater for the education of their children over the years have resulted in out migration of the youth into the cities in search of jobs. Due to the low educational background lack of employable skills many migrant youth end up with menial jobs and others out of frustration indulge in anti-social practices like drunkenness, prostitution and its attendant spread of HIV AIDS and other Sexually transmitted diseases (STD), forced labour and child labour.
Intervention aimed at reducing poverty and enhancing development of the people of the East Mamprusi Municipal should adopt fertility management and strategies through an aggressive programme to sensitise the people on Family Planning and reproductive health issues.
The major Population related issues identified for redress by the District Population Advisory committee are the following: Inadequate knowledge of reproductive health issues, High birth rates, High fertility rates, Prevalence of HIV Aids and STDS. Migration of the youth to the urban centres, teenage pregnancy, inadequate access to family planning services, low acceptance of family planning, conservative attitude towards contraceptive usage among others
For most of the above problems, social and cultural as well as religious beliefs, norms, and practices of the people over the years has made members of society to accept them and disregard all negative impacts of such practices. These religious and socio-cultural practices not only hinder change of attitude for the better but in some cases also perpetuate its ill effects.
Approaches to solve the problems should be handled tactfully and professionally through education, dialogue, consensus building and where necessary adopting and modifying existing practices. Outright condemnation, disrespect for existing perceptions that are considered to be negative will not be the right approach to solve population related issues in the District.
Human Settlement Patterns
There are five urban settlements with population of 5,000 and above. They are Nalerigu, Gambaga, Langbinsi, Nakpanduri, and Bunkprugu.The people in these urban settlements constitute about 30%of the total population of the District. Seventy percent of the people are thus rural dwellers. Since all the major social and economic infrastructure and services are located in the urban areas majority of the people are either deprived totally of utilising these facilities or have limited access to them. Any programme aimed at alleviating poverty of the needy and vulnerable should best target the rural communities.
The major ethnic group in the District is the Mamprusi who speak Mampruli. Other ethnic groups are found in the eastern part of the District is the Bimobas and the Konkombas.These are the dominant ethnic groups. Minority groups found include Moshi, Talensi, Hausa, Fulani and Chokosi.
Throughout the district, settlement patterns are largely dispersed. This is more so with the rural communities. A number of compounds made up of usually round huts roofed with thatch and owned by a number of households are scattered over large farmlands. This pattern in the rural areas sometimes poses a problem of distinguishing one community from another in some cases.
Most of the people especially in the rural areas live in circular structures roofed with thatch. These are usually built in circular groups to form a compound. Compound houses in most rural communities found in the western part of the District for mostly nucleated while scattered compounds are associated with the Konkombas and other communities in the eastern part of the District. The scattered nature of settlement patterns in the eastern part of the District makes accessibility to communities quite difficult. Most of the roads linking such places are only footpaths or roads in very bad conditions.
The major road across the District from the East to the west is however motorable throughout the year. The scattered nature of the settlements especially in the eastern part of the District implies that there should be greater investments in the provision of socio- economic infrastructure like roads and boreholes. Another implication of the scattered nature of settlements on the provision of water facilities for instance is that boreholes with pump for separate settlements are more feasible and cost effective than small towns mechanized boreholes.
The map showing service centre (Map 5) gives a clear view of current spatial structure of the settlements in the District. The three-tier functional settlements hierarchy growth centres is based on the functions and socio economic services provided. The higher the number of socio economic infrastructure and services, the more important the settlement is regarded as a major, minor, or rural service centre.
Based on these socio-economic services, and also the size of the population of the settlements, the following emerged as the major settlements in the district, Gambaga, Nalerigu, Bunkpurugu, Nakpanduri and Langbinsi. Other settlements that follow are Gbintiri, Yunyoo, Nagbo, Nasuan and Jimbale. Refer to scalogram and centrality index in appendix 1 and 2 respectively.
As portrayed in the service centre map, socio economic infrastructure and serves are concentrated in the Northern half of the District. Settlement in the south and central parts do not have easy access to these facilities and in some cases have very limited access to the major service centres.
Problems of the existing spatial organisation are as follows:
1) There is inadequate services in the major service centres
2) There is limited access to essential services.
3) There are disparities in the distribution of services.
The urban population that constitutes only 30%of the total population has easy access to socio- economic infrastructure and services concentrated mainly in the major service centres.
In the first medium term development plan, proposals for the establishment and strengthening of existing services centres through provision of needed facilities and rehabilitation of existing ones was mooted. Table 1 below shows the current state of the District centre, major service centres, minor service centres and rural service centres and services currently available and required.
Date Created : 11/18/2017 4:41:56 AM