Physical and Natural Environment
Location and Size
The Upper Manya Krobo District (UMKD) is located at the North-Eastern corner of the Eastern Region of Ghana and lies between latitudes -6.2-6.50 N and Longitudes -0.3 - 0.00 W of the Greenwich Meridian and Altitude of 457.5m. The district shares common boundaries with the following districts; to the North, Afram Plains, to the South East, Lower Manya Krobo, to South West, Yilo Krobo District, to the East Asuogyaman District and to the West Fanteakwa District. It covers an area of 885 square kilometers constituting 4.6 percent of the total land area of the Eastern Region of Ghana (19,323km2).
Implication for Development
This has implication for development as the proximity of the District to Koforidua the regional capital has both advantages and disadvantages. In the case of the latter, the youth turn to drift to Koforidua in search of jobs and other better opportunities. This in turn affects labour force in the district. The vast land area and long stretch of the Lake Volta provides opportunity for mechanized agriculture and employment.
Almost all the settlements in the District exhibit linear form of nucleated settlement patterns along the major roads throughout the District whiles the outskirt has the scattered settlement. The major factors for this can be attributed to the ‘Huza’ system being practiced by the Krobos and the topography of the district. In the older parts of relatively urbanized towns such as Asesewa, Sekesua and Akateng conditions within the built environment are generally poor due to lack of access roads and insignificant maintenance habit of the people.
Traditional building materials such as stabilized earth, concrete, iron roofing sheet were predominantly used. Drainage and garbage disposal are visible problems throughout the major towns. In the more rural areas, settlements are detached. The collection and disposal of refuse is a serious problem. Refuse is managed on site with disposal being done by raking and burning. Most of the time, the rate of dumping exceeds the rate of disposal leading to huge mounds of refuse at the various refuse sites.
This is traceable to poor spatial planning, poor waste management, lack of bye laws, poor building technology etc. With the absence of effective development control machinery in the district, physical development has been haphazard and uncoordinated leading to uneconomic land use especially in the urban and semi urban settlements of Asesewa, Sekesua and Akateng. General absence of drains in the District has exposed most communities to severe erosion resulting in rills and gullies which has exposed foundations of buildings. Worse still the communities along the Volta Lake farm very close to the shoreline thereby polluting the river especially during the dry seasons.
Implications for development
Weak development control leads to uneconomic use of land. Difficulty in getting access to critical services like Fire Service and Ambulance. Perennial bushfires and the menace of Fulani Herdsmen affects agricultural productivity, further worsening incidence of poverty and vulnerability.
Relief and Drainage
The topography of the district can be generally described as undulating. The highest point in the district is over 660 meters above sea level located in the southern part of Sekesua. The lowest area which is located in the south- eastern part of the district is about 50 meters above sea level. The average height of the land is about 452 meters above sea level. Underlying these landmasses are several rocks or parent rocks from which several rocks have developed. The district is drained with several rivers such as the Volta, Dawado and Anyaboni. With the exception of the Volta River, almost all these rivers are seasonal with most of them overflowing their banks during the rainy season.
Implication for Development: the Lake Volta presents huge potential for irrigation. This could engender massive employment and Local Economic Development.
Climate and Rainfall
The district lies within the semi-equatorial climate belt with a mean annual rainfall ranging between 900mm to 1,500mm (Ghana Meteorological Service). Relative humidity is high during the wet season and low in the dry season. The district experiences two major seasons, namely dry and wet seasons respectively. April to early August as well as September to October is the wet seasons whereas the dry and warm season is experienced from November to March. November to
December is usually dry and characterized by high temperatures and early morning moist / fog and cold weather conditions. Temperatures are generally high with average temperatures ranging between 26oC to 32oC. The pattern of temperature, winds, and rainfall distribution in the district presents a climate that is conducive for agricultural production throughout the year.
Mean annual rainfall between 900mm and 1,500mm and occurring over 100 rainy days.
Daily minimum and maximum temperatures are about 24oC and 32oC respectively.
Maximum sunshine hours are 8.5 and minimum of 4.
Implication for Development
The climate in the District is ideal for the cultivation of both cash and food crops such as cocoa, coffee, cola, oil palm, maize, cocoyam, yam, plantain, cassava, rice and all kind of vegetables. Even though the rainfall is adequate for agriculture, its erratic and unpredictable nature and concentration have adverse implications for rain fed agriculture.
The district lies within the semi-deciduous forest and savanna zone with the former being divided into ‘Fire’ and ‘inner’ zones. The fire zone (dry semi-deciduous) stretches from Yilo Krobo District. Trees commonly found on such vegetation are the Dawadawa, Palm, Mango, Ceiba, Neem, and Acacia (Acacia nilotica). These trees are of varying sizes and densely dispersed in the midst of secondary forest and perennial grasses with associated herbs. The vegetation is gradually being degraded because of overdependence on it for daily livelihood activities such as bush burning, charcoal burning and farming as well as lumbering. As result of these activities, the forest vegetation is being reduced into savanna trees and shrubs. This therefore calls for a more concerted effort for reforestation and preserving the forest and its resources.
The dominant vegetation cover is semi-deciduous forest and derived Savannah zone. Human activities on the vegetation have resulted in scattered patches of secondary or broken forest. Traditional practices such as collection of fuel wood, charcoal burning and overgrazing coupled with climate change have degraded the vegetation. Because of these the semi-deciduous forest is gradually turning into savannah woodland especially at areas like Akateng, Sesiamang and Akotoe. Ceiba (Onyina), neem, mango and cassia are also abundant in the district.
Implication for Development
The flora and fauna is diverse and composed of different species of both economic and ornamental tree species with varying heights and game and wildlife. These are very vast economic potential for timber based value adding industrialization and ornamental purposes. The vegetation of the District has been extensively disturbed by human activities depriving the District of valuable tree species and other forest products.
Fig. Vegetation Cover
Geology and Soil
Soils are predominantly red loaming ochrosols type and with various textures from location to location and is mainly silt or sandy loam. Soil in the district is well-drained. The major soils found in the district include, gravels, loamy soil and sandy soil found in the entire district and sand soil in small portions, Soils developed over sandstone (Yaya-Pimpimso-Bejna association). This group is the predominant soils in the district. They stretch from the northern part of the district through Asesewa to Otrokper. With suitable drainage, the soils are considered good for the cultivation of rice, sugarcane and vegetables. The soils along the Volta Lake can support large scale rice and vegetable farming and those at mid-district support maize, legume, and other cash crop cultivation
The soil types in the district as well as their characteristics and the crops that do well in them are enumerated in Table 2.
Climate Change and Biodiversity
Climate is the fundamental factor that determines different stages of the organism life-cycle, such as plant germination and flowering. It can severely alter habitats and food sources for animals, and ultimately, could have significant impacts on biodiversity of species and ecosystems around the world and Upper Manya Krobo is no exception. The district’s Biodiversity is being affected significantly by climate change, which has negative consequences for human well-being. The district therefore has intensified efforts at conserving and sustainably managing biodiversity.
Risk Factors in the district
· The use of unapproved chemicals and equipment for fishing on the Lake Volta
· Rampant and Perennial Bushfires
· Menace of Fulani Herdsmen in the district
· Eutrophication resulting from fertilizer application
· Indiscriminate sand winning
· Deforestation for agricultural purposes and charcoal burning
· Farming close to the shoreline of the Lake Volta
Implication for development
Dwindling crop yield and income levels
Perennial water shortage and low water yields leading to increased incidence of water borne diseases
Date Created : 11/27/2017 4:30:22 AM