Location and Size North Gonja District is located in the western part of the Northern Region of Ghana. It lies within longitude 10 5 1 and 20 581 West and Latitude 80 321 and 100 2 1 North. It shares boundaries with West Gonja and Wa East districts to the West, Tolon District to the East, Mamprugu-Moagduri and Kumbungu districts to the North and Central Gonja to the South. The district has a total land mass of about 4,845.5sq km, representing 6.9 percent of the total land size of the Northern Region.
The district lies in the tropical continental western margin and characterized by a single rainfall pattern brought in by the rain bearing tropical maritime air mass (MT). This occurs between April and October every year. This is followed by the tropical continental air mass (CT) which brings about the dry season (Harmattan) which occurs from late November to March. The mean annual rainfall is between 1000mm and 1500mm with the peak occurring from July to September. The district experiences a prolonged dry season with the peak occurring between March and April. Temperature is fairly high with the annual mean temperature ranging from 27.4oC to 35oC depending on the season. The highest temperature is recorded in the dry season while the lowest is experienced during the Harmattan season.
The natural vegetation is Guinea Savannah. Its richness is, however, determined by the soil types. The large vegetation cover is dissected by human activities such as shifting cultivation, slash and burn methods of land preparation for farming and housing. The major tree species are sheanut, dawadawa, baobab, acacia, neem and ebony. The Shea tree is of great economic value since it is a source of revenue and welfare for women who pick the nuts and process them into shea butter.These trees are mostly scattered except in few areas and most valleys where isolated wood land or gallery forest are found.
Most trees are deciduous, shedding their leaves during the dry season in order to conserve water (North Gonja District Draft Medium Term Development plan, 2013). Grass which grows in tussocks may reach 2.7m during the rainy season. This indicates that the area is suitable for crops such as millet, sorghum, maize and groundnuts. Yam is also cultivated in the district especially around Bawena, Yazori, kpulimbo and Anyanto areas. Bush fires, and illegal chainsaw activities have reached alarming proportions which need to be checked to avoid serious environmental problems in future.
Relief and drainage
The topography is generally undulating with altitude of between 150-200 metres above sea level. There are outcrops of weathered rocks around Daboya. The White Volta River flows through the district and gets flooded during the peak of the rainy season. The flooding gets compounded when the Bagri Dam in Burkina Faso is spilled over each year. Other streams are Tarchali and Tari. The White Volta River and the streams are potentials for irrigation and fish farming in the district.
Soil and their suitability for agriculture
There are two major soil types in the district. These are the Savannah Ochrosols and Groundwater laterites. The Savannah Ochrosols which cover almost the entire district, is moderately drained and the upland soils developed mainly on Voltain sandstone. The texture of the surface soil is sandy to sandy loam with fairly good water retention.
The Groundwater Laterites cover a smaller portion of the district and is mainly found in the southern part of the district. These are concretionary soils developed mainly from Voltain shale, mudstone and argillaceous sandstone materials. The texture of the soil is sandy loam which is suitable for the cultivation of annual food crops such as maize, millet, sorghum, watermelon, etc., and 4 tree crops with long gestation period such as sheanut, dawadawa, cashew, etc., which are of economic importance.
Date Created : 11/21/2017 7:26:47 AM