There is widespread research interest in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) all over the world. ICTs are crucially important for sustainable development in developing countries. Thioune (2003) notes that for the past two decades most developed countries have witnessed significant changes that can be traced to ICTs. These multi-dimensional changes have been observed in almost all aspects of life: economics, education, communication, and travel. In a technology driven society, getting information quickly is important for both the sender and receiver.
ICTs have made it possible to quickly find and distribute information. Thoiune (2003) indicates that many initiatives have been taken at the international level to support Africa's efforts to develop a communication infrastructure and these efforts are designed to enable African countries, including Ghana, find faster ways to achieve durable and sustainable development.
Chapter five of this report discusses ICT usage in the Binduri District in relation to the ownership of mobile phones, desktop/laptop computers and the use of the internet.
Ownership of Mobile Phones
Bittner (1989) defines mobile phone as a telephone system that can move or be moved easily and quickly from place to place. Mobile phones were once the tool of rich and busy executives who could afford. Mobile phones are now the ICT that is reshaping and revolutionizing communications globally. Its impact on the economic activities of nations, businesses, and small entrepreneurs is impressive.
According to the 2010 PHC, 6,797 persons representing 17.3 percent of persons 12 years and older in the Binduri District own mobile phones. This proportion is very low compared to the national average of 47.7 percent and still lower than the Upper East regional average of 24.2percent. Figure 1 further shows that the proportion of males (12 years and older) owning mobile phones is higher (25.0%) than the proportion of females (10.7%) in the district.
Use of Internet
The Internet is a global collection of many types of computers and computer networks that are linked together. It is increasingly becoming the solution to many information problems, information exchange, and marketing (Adesanya, 2002). Where, (2000) states that ‘with internet connectivity, one can do business all over the world without physical contact with the buyer or the need for a business intermediary’. The importance of ICTs in the development process was long recognized and access to ICTs was even made one of the targets of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG 8). This emphasises the benefits of new technologies, especially ICTs in the fight against poverty.
According to the International Communication Union (2012), the percentage of individuals using the Internet continues to grow worldwide and by the end of 2011, about 2.3 billion people were using the Internet. However, there is a wide gap in the access to internet between the developed and developing countries. By the end of 2011, 70.0 percent of households in 42
developed countries used the Internet compared to only 20.0 percent of households in developing countries, (GSS, 2010).
The 2010 Population and Housing Census as shown in Figure 1, recorded 435 users of internet facilities out of 39,352 population (12 years and older) in the Binduri District. This indicates that only 1.1 percent of persons 12 years and older has access to the internet which is almost equal to the regional average of 1.2 percent but way below the national average of 7.8 percent. In terms of sex, just as at the national and regional levels, usage of the Internet services among males is higher (1.6%) than their female counterpart (0.6%). Thus approximately, three males against one female use internet services in the District.
Mobile Phone Ownership
Household Ownership of Desktop or Laptop Computer
Computers (Desktop/laptop) are useful for accessing and processing information. Computers are now commonly used for writing letters and reports, printing books, newspapers, and magazines, drawing pictures and diagrams, doing statistics, mathematics and handling financial records, controlling traffic lights, flying aeroplanes, making and playing music and video, sending messages anywhere in the world and other services.
The 2010 PHC recorded 128 households (1.4%) of all households (9,199) in the Binduri District who own laptop or desktop computers. This figure is higher than the regional figure of 1.3 percent but lower than the national figures of 7.9 percent. Ownership of desktop/laptop computers is low because of the high cost or that people have access to them in their offices. 43
With respect to heads of household ownership of desktop or laptop computers by gender, female headed households recorded 1.5 percent of households with laptop/desktop computers whiles male headed households recorded 1.4 percent.
Housing is an integral element of a district’s economy. Its backward and forward linkages with other parts of the economy closely bond people’s needs, demands and social processes with the supply of land, infrastructure, building materials, technology, labour, and housing finance. These linkages allow housing to act as an important engine for sustainable development and poverty reduction in both society and the economy. (UN-Habitat, 2010).
Housing data helps in understanding key aspects of housing and housing conditions. They assist policy makers and planners to make evidence based decisions on housing policies and interventions. This chapter provides an overview of housing and housing conditions in the Binduri District. Data presented include housing stock and types of houses, ownership, household room occupancy and housing conditions with particularly reference to the main source of water for drinking and for other domestic use, bathing and toilet facilities and methods of waste disposal.
The distribution of housing stock and households by type of locality in the district is presented in Table 8.1. The table indicates that the total stock of houses in the district is 6,391 and situated in rural localities. The table further shows that there are 9,199 households in the district. The district average household per house is 1.4, which is lower than the regional average (1.6) and the national average (1.6). The average population per house and household size in the district are 9.6 and 6.6 respectively.
Table 8.2 shows the main construction materials used for outer walls of dwelling (occupied and vacant) in the district. The main materials for construction of outer walls in the district are mud brick/Earth (88.1%) and cement block/concrete (8.3%) with the other materials such as wood, metal sheet/slate/asbestos, landcrete, and bamboo etc. constituting 3.6 percent. The 51
building material hardly used for the construction of the outer walls of buildings in the district is bamboo.
Type of Dwelling, Holding and Tenancy Arrangement
Table 8.3 shows that the proportion of houses owned by members of household in the district is 92.5 percent, owned by a relative who is not a household member is 3.2 percent while the proportion of dwelling units owned by other private individuals is 2.6 percent. Public or government-owned housing forms only a small proportion of (0.6%) and the same figure is recorded for housing units owned by private employers. Only 0.2 percent of dwelling units are purchased probably through mortgage schemes. The ownership status of dwellings by sex indicates that 94.1 percent of houses owned by household members are male headed household as compared to 86.1 percent by their female counterpart.
As shown in Table 8.4, there are 9,199 occupied dwelling units in the district. Out of these, compound houses are the most common (70.4%) of dwelling units in the Binduri District. The proportion of dwelling units constituting separate or detached houses are 19.2 percent whiles Huts/buildings (same compound) constitute 6.4 percent of all dwelling units. The remaining 4.1 percent of dwelling units include semi-detached house, flat/apartment, and huts/buildings (different compound).
As shown in Table 8.5, the main materials for floors of dwellings (occupied dwellings) in the Binduri District are largely made of cement or concrete (72.2%). About one in five (23.3%) houses has floors made of earth or mud. The remaining 4.5 percent is made up of stone, burnt brick, wood, ceramics/porcelain/granite/marble tiles, terrazzo tiles and others. Material hardly used for the floors of the dwellings in the district is Vinyl tiles.
Roofs of dwellings (Occupied and vacant) in Binduri District are mainly made of metal sheets (80.5%) as shown in Table 8.6. The next widely used material for roofing in the district is thatch/palm leaves or raffia (14.0%) whiles 2.4 percent of dwellings are roofed with mud/mud bricks/earth. The situation in the district conforms with the national and regional distributions where metal sheets constitute 67.2 percent at the regional level and 71.4 percent at the national level.
The number of rooms occupied by a household is one of the best indicators for assessing how crowded dwelling units in a locality are and the space available per person. There is health and consequent wellbeing implications or both for the household members. As shown in Table 8.7, 42.3 percent of households with four members occupy two rooms in the Binduri District. Also, 85.2 percent of one member households occupy one room.
Access to Utilities and Household Facilities
The nature of household utilities and facilities determine the level and quality of life. As society develops, the source of energy used for lighting and cooking as well as the quality of cooking space changes from the use of low quality to improved or modern facilities.
Table 8.8 indicates that, the main source of lighting for dwellings in the district is flashlight (44.0%) followed by kerosene lamp (41.0%) with only 13.0 percent of dwelling units using electricity. The remaining sources such as gas lamp, candle, firewood, crop residue, etc. constitute about 2.0 percent.
As shown in Table 8.9, the three main sources of energy used for cooking in households in the district are: wood (62.8%), crop residue (26.6%), and charcoal (5.4%). A part from these, 1.9 percent of households use gas whiles 1.5 percent use other fuel. Due to poverty and the availability of wood in rural areas, it is the main source of cooking fuel for most of the households.
The distribution of cooking space used by households in the district is presented in Table 8.9. The most common type of cooking space for most households is separate room for exclusive use by households. About forty percent (40.8%) of the household use cooking spaces that are 55
separate for exclusive use of the households while 20.6 percent of households cook in enclosure without roof. Households who cook in open space in the compound constitute 21.6 percent whiles (7.8%) cook in separate rooms shared with other households.
Date Created : 11/18/2017 5:49:51 AM