Demographic and Socio-Economic Characteristics
Population Size and Growth
The Nkoranza District has experienced a significant growth in its population size form 38, 591 in 1960 to an estimated figure of 127, 877 in 1994 as can be seen in Table 1.01 Between the 1960 - 1970 inter censual period the District experienced and increase of 6.7 per cent. This gave an average annual growth of 6% during the period.The 1970-1984 inter censual period showed a dramatic increase in the District’s population of about 127.7 per cent. The average annual change in population was 9.1%. The population more than doubled within the 14 year period. A similar trend can be observed for the Brong Ahafo Region as a whole, where the inter censual percentage increase for the periods 1960-1970 and 1970-1984 were 30.4 percent and 53.9 per cent respectively.
The dramatic increase in the populations, both in the Nkoranza District and the Brong Ahafo Region as a whole, has been attributed largely to the inflow of settler farmers from the Northern part of Ghana as evidence by the ethnic composition of the District population in Table 1.10
Population By Settlement
Based on the definition that any settlement with a population 5,000 or more is classified as urban tow four towns out of 156 settlements in the district have population of 5,000 or more. These towns are Busunya, Nkwabeng and Dromankese. Some of the relatively large settlements in the district and their population over the period can be seen.
TABLE 1.01 POPULATION OF MAJOR SETTLEMENTS
POPULATION OF NKORANZA DISTRICT (1960,1970,1984, 2000, 2002 AND 2004)
DISTRICT POPULATION VERSUS DISTRICT CAPITAL POPULATION
Medium Term Plan (1996 - 2000)
From the 2000 population census, it appears the District has experienced a less dramatic increase population size as evidenced by a relative smaller percentage increase of 35.41 per cent. The estimate showed average annual change of 2.2 per cent. This can be attributed to out-migration of the District’s population which has more or less balanced the immigration as shown in Table 1.02 below. The District population is projected to 135,302 (2004)
From the household survey, the males make up about 52 percent while the females make up 48 per cent of the population. Of crucial importance is the age distribution, pyramid derived from the Children (0-17) form 39 per cent of the population.
The population within the labour force age bracket, 18-64 is 56 per cent and is slightly higher than both the regional and national figures of 51.6 per cent and 51 per cent respectively. The aged, 65+ form only 5 per cent, though still significantly above the regional figures of 1.9 per cent. This characteristic age distribution has the following implications for the development of the District.
- The population has an immense growth potential.
- The large number of children will place a high pressure on pre-university educational facilities which the District will have to provide. In addition, pressure on other social services such as health, water and housing will increase.
- The district is likely to experience an increasing dependency ratio.
- There is a high proportion of the population within the labour force age group. This has the potential to grow with more of the younger age groups moving into the labour force age group. Although this could be an asset if the District has the capacity to train and harness this large reservoir of labour, under the prevailing constraints the District will be faced with the problem of creating new job opportunities for the increasing labour force. As indicated already, there are limited job opportunities outside agriculture at the moment. This could also lead to an increase in the out-migration of the productive labour force.
Crude Density and Spatial Distribution of the Population
It would be seen that the crude densities of both Nkoranza District and Brong Ahafo Region are relatively low compared with the national figures.
The relatively low densities together with the fairly good soils and favourable rainfall patterns have been major attractions for the in-migrant farmers from the northern parts of the country where high population densities coupled with precarious weather conditions ,prolonged dry seasons, and poor soil conditions compel farmers to migrate.
The population of the district is basically rural with only 31 per cent living in settlements with population 5,000. There are are only four settlements with populations of more than 5,000. Nkoranza is the dominant settlement with 17.2 per cent of the entire district population. The population is concentrated along the major trunk roads which link the major settlements.
RURAL- URBAN SPLIT
Nkoranza District can be considered as a rural one in respect of its rural urban split. In 1960, 16 per cent of the population lived in urban town. This increased to 17 per cent in 1970 and 30.9 per cent in 2000. The districts urban rate is far lower than the national rate of 32 per cent .This is related to the occupational distribution of the district.
This situation poses a problem for the distribution of services and functions in the district. Services must have the required threshold population before they are provided. The implication therefore is that many of the settlements may not qualify for higher order services.
The distribution of the sampled housleholds by size is as indicated in Table 3.5. The average household size is 8 as compared with the national figure of 5.24 persons for rural area. Each household has a large number of members to feed, clothe and house. Given the low average houslehold income it is clear that most families are living a low standard of life as is evidenced by the expenditure pattern where a bulk of the family income goes into food, clothes and household energy needs.
DISTRIBUTION OF SAMPLE HOUSEHOLDS BY SIZE
1 - 3
4 - 6
7 - 9
10 - 12
The predominant occupation in the District is subsistence agriculture which Engages 82 per cent of the economically active labour force. About 28 per cent of those engaged in other occupations outside agriculture still take up agriculture as a minor activity.
The rural nature of the district coupled with the limited employment opportunities accounts partly for this skewed occupational distribution in the District. The next occupation after agriculture, trading, scored only 5.8 per cent thus, indicating very weak industrial and services sectors. At the regional and national levels, agriculture engages about 71 per cent and 57.2 per cent of the economically active labour force respectively. |
Despite the predominance of agriculture, a substantial amount of household expenditure of 59 per cent is spent on food, thus reflecting low production in the sector as average farm holdings are only 1.8 hectares with low yields per hectare, comparable to the national average of 2 hectares.
Religion and Ethnicity
In terms of religion, Christians dominate, comprising 81 per cent of the Population as shown in Table 1.11. Traditional religion still forms a significant proportion with 5.0 per cent. The Muslim population is also significant, and represents about 6.6 per cent; possibly due to the in-migration of settler farmers from the Muslim strongholds in the northern region part of the country.
In sufficient access to credit and repayment from the banks are some of the major problems which re-enforce each other.If farmers are to be served, the role of the informal money transaction has to be appraised.
EMPLOYMENT AND GENDER ISSUES
Majority of the people are engaged in subsistence agriculture. About 82% of The people are engaged in agriculture. Their farm holding is about 1.8 to 2.0 hectors. Since the majority derive their income from farming, income levels are low.
With regard to ethnicity, the District is ethnically diverse as shown in Table 1.10. The Bonos form about 85.0 per cent of the population whiles 15 per cent are ethnic groups from the northern part of Ghana.
Conditions of the Natural Environment
In the Nkoranza South Municipal, the prevalent farming practice is the slash and burn method of clearing the land. This practice does not only leave farming lands bare and exposed to erosion but it is also gradually destroying the vegetation and changing the ecology of the district. Incidence of bushfires is very high in the area. The activities of farmers, game hunters and charcoal burners support the occurrence of bushfires. According to respondents, the highest incidence of the phenomenon occurred in 1983 and the forest cover was destroyed. The vegetation cover has not regenerated since. Thus, the vegetation in the area is rapidly changing into grassland. In addition, there has not been much change in the use of firewood and charcoal for cooking among households.
According to data collected from the field, about 89 percent of the households in the municipal use fuel-wood and charcoal extracted from the forest, a situation which contributes to the depletion of the trees in the forest. This calls for re-afforestation programmes. Streams and rivers in the municipality dry up during the dry season. This is due to increased human activities in and around watersheds and river banks. Poor farming practices along water bodies, for instance have led to exposure of riverbanks. This has led to erosion and evaporation of streams, and dependant on rainfall. The change from forest vegetation to grassland exposed the environment to erosion which is destructive. In the municipality, one can see the destructive effects of erosion on the built environment and farmlands.
Conditions of the Built Environment
According to data generated from the field, Nkoranza South has a total of 15,487 premises. Out of this housing stock, 14,757 (95.3%) are residential houses with the remaining 4.7% (730) standing for drinking, eating, schools, industries and others as About 65 % percent of residential houses are built with either landcrete (mud/mud bricks and earth), 30 percent with concrete (cement blocks), whilst 5 percent are built with other materials such as wood, packaging cases, bamboo, metal sheet and slate, Corrugated metal sheet is the main material used for roofing representing about 58 percent followed by thatch with 40 percent and other materials such as tiles, wood, mud and bamboo with 2 percent.
Roofs made of thatch and palm or raffia leaves are mostly found in the farming rural communities in the district. These types of roofing materials have a very short lifespan and require constant replacement almost every year. These roofing materials are also succesceptible to fire. Table 1.10 shows the material used for roofing in the municipality as depicted by 2000 Population and Housing Census.
Cement and roofing tiles, which are a new phenomenon in housing construction in Ghana, have not made any significant in the municipality and the region as a whole. The housing environment in the district is characterized by poor drains, poor landscaping, exposed foundations and leaking roofs (especially in the villages). Incidence of erosion is high in the old built-up areas of Nkoranza Township, especially around Sessiman, Zongo and areas surrounding St. Theresah’s Hospital. Erosion is also pronounced in some of the other communities. The type of material used for constructing various parts of a dwelling unit determines the quality of and durability of dwelling unit. The unhealthy housing situation i needs to be addressed.
Most of the houses in the new sites lack electricity and potable water supply. New sites in the suburbs of Nkoranza such as Shallom International School, Ayilekrom/Ofumkrom, Sessiman-Nyinase street road, Tom road, New Market area, Breman-Gyediem, Zongo and New Zongo are not connected to the pipe system. There are virtually no open spaces in the old built-up residential areas in almost all the towns and villages in the municipality since those areas were developed without planning schemes. This feature presents serious implications for disaster management such as fire outbreak, as access lanes and roads are blocked.
Given the average household size of 5.4 persons which is about the same as the national average (5.1) and room occupancy rate of 4.3, in the short term, the housing problem in the Nkoranza South Municipal appears qualitative rather than quantitative.
Date Created : 11/17/2017 2:14:42 AM
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