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physical characteristics


Sekyere South District, formerly Afigya Sekyere is located in the North Central part of Ashanti Region. It shares boundaries with five districts: namely Ejura-Sekyeredumase to the North, Sekyere West to the East, Sekyere East and Kwabre to the South and Offinso to the West.  Specifically the district lies between Latitudes 6º 50´N. and 7º 10´N. and Longitudes 1º 40´W. and 1º 25´W.  Figure 1.1 and 1.2 shows the district in both national and regional context respectively.


Currently, the District spans a total area of 780 square kilometers forming about 3.27% of the total land area of the region.  Figure 1.3 shows the administrative map of the district.

Climate
The climate of the district is equatorial.  It has a double rainfall maxima regime- with the major rainy season occurring between March and July.  The minor rainfall season occurs between September and November.  Mean annual rainfall ranges between 855mm and 1,500mm.  The average number of rainy days for the year is between 110 and 120 days.  The months, December to March are usually dry and characterized by high temperatures, and early morning moist/fog and cold weather conditions.

Temperatures are generally high throughout the year with mean monthly temperature of about 27ºc.  Humidity is high during the rainy season.  The months of December to February, however, record very low humidity. It must be stressed however that, current trends in the climatic conditions of the district is becoming unpredictable. This has however affected agriculture planning. The situation calls for measures to reduce the overeliance on climate for agricultural production.

Vegetation
Lying within the rain forest belt, the vegetation can best be described as moist semi-deciduous. The rain forest consists of three layers namely the Upper, Middle and Lower layers.  The upper layer consists of the tallest trees, whereas the Middle and Lower layers consist of trees of lower height respectively.    The forest abounds in different species of tropical woods of high economic value.  These include Wawa, Odum, Mahogany Sapele, etc. 
 

Relief and Drainage
The greater part of the district falls within a dissected plateau with heights reaching 800m to 1200m above sea level.  The plateau forms part of the Mampong-Gambaga scarp.  Many years of erosion has reduced the area to uniformly low height between 480m and 600m above sea level.

The district is drained by many rivers and streams.  Notable among them are the Offin, Oyon and Abankro rivers.  The Offin River takes it source from the Mampong scarp and flows between Boanim and through Bipoa to Afamanaso to Duaponkor and Amoako.  At Nsuotem, it is joined by the Abankro River.  The Oyon also flows from Banko in the Sekyere East District through Yonso in the Sekyere West District to Agona and joins the Offin River at Afamanaso.  River Kunkum flows from Obomeng in the Sekyere East District through Asamang to Tano Odumasi and joins the Offin River.  Continuous clearing of the catchment areas of the river and streams have adversely affected their flows. (see fig 1.5 for district relief map)

Soil and Geological Formation
There are two geological formations in the district, namely, the Voltaian and Dahomeyan formations. The Voltaian formation was formed through deposition of sediments over a period of time.  This mainly consists of sandstones, shale, mudstone and Lime-stone.  The Dahomeyan formation is one of the oldest formations and it consists mainly of metamorphic rocks such as gneiss and schist.

The main soil types of the district consist of the Kumasi -Offin compound Association, Bomso-Offin Compound Association, Jamasi Simple Association, Boamang Simple Association, Bediesi-Sutawa Association and Yaya-Pimpimso Association.

The Kumasi-Offin Compound soil is ideal for the cultivation of tree crops such as cocoa, citrus, coffee and oil palm.  They can also be cultivated for food crops such as plantain, cassava and cocoyam.  The Boamang Simple Association is suitable for mechanized and subsistence agriculture but is highly susceptible to erosion and hence control of erosion on such soils are necessary.
The Bediesi-Sutawa Association has adequate water holding capacity and is suited for mechanized agriculture.  They support crops such as maize, yams, legumes, cassava, plantain and groundnuts.

Conditions of The Natural Environment
The natural environment of the District which used to be one of the purest in the region is gradually losing its purity and importance. This can be attributed to the increase in population and its attendant problems and effect on the environment.

The District can boast of natural environment ranging from forest reserves with rich species of flora and fauna to vast arable land that can support the production of both stable crops and cash crops.

The forest reserves are found in the northern part of the district and abounds with high economic value trees. Chain sawn operators and some timber merchants are encroaching on the reserves so rapidly that it is feared that the reserves will lose its value in the next few years. These chain sawn operators and the timber merchants have taken advantage of the government’s policy of releasing part of the reserves for farmers to cultivate it. Notwithstanding, the policy has increased food production in those areas.

The district also has a number of undeveloped tourist sites. These include the Offin / Abankro Confluence, Tabre Aboum Water Falls and the Nobesu/ Kyeamanso.

Conditions Of The Built Environment
Like any other District in the country, the condition of the built environment differs from larger communities to smaller communities with the larger communities having very poor environment conditions.  Conditions of the urban communities like Agona, Jamasi ,Wiamoase ,and Tetrem, are characterized by large compound house, poor drainage facilities, unkempt surroundings and heaps of refuse.

In the rural areas, the erosion is severe  that most buildings have exposed foundation, even though conditions in the rural areas are better than the urban areas, traces of unkempt surroundings, stagnant water can be found in some rural communities.

 Housing conditions in the rural areas are characterized by exposed foundation   with majority of them being built with mud. Settlements are nucleated with some of them very far from larger settlements. In the urban centers, modernity and westernism is catching up speedily. Most of the houses are built with sandcrete  and roofed with aluminum sheets.

Implications for Development
The findings of situational analyses of the physical characteristics has the following implications for development.
  • Changing trends in climatic conditions call for the need to plan agriculture such that farmers will not over-rely on rain-fed agriculture.
  • The soil in the district can support both food and cash crop production. Efforts should be made to tap the good soil for effective agriculture development.
  • The well drainage systems can be tapped for irrigational agriculture
  • The Offin/Abankro confluence can be developed into a tourist attraction.
  • For ecological balance, the flora and fauna in the forest reserves should be preserved.



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