The heterogeneous structure of the social system that characterises the district is important in analysing the extent of cohesion, level of tension and, also to measure the success of social mobilization in development activities. It is important to state that in spite of the diversity of composition, the district enjoys an enviable peaceful co-existence.
The Jasikan District had a population of 82,494 in 1984 and 111,285 in year 2000 with an annual growth rate of 1.9 percent which is the same for the region but lower than the national rate of 2.7 according to the 2000 Population and Housing Census. The Year 2000 population represents 35% increase over 1984 population and accounts for 6.8% of the regional population. The male population of 56, 106 to that of female of 55, 179 indicates a higher proportion of male to female in the district.
The buoyancy of the cocoa production in the 1970s had attracted a large number of people to work in the plantations. However, the collapse of the industry as a result of the 1981 - 1983 drought in the country which led to bushfires destroying cocoa farms, blackpod, capsid and swollen shoot diseases, compelled the youth and settlers to move away from the district to urban areas for other employment opportunities. The increase in population at Abotoase for instance, between 1984-2000, could be attributed to the economic potential available along the Volta Lake.
Many migrants from the southern part of the country flocked in to engage in fishing along the Volta Lake. The potential labour force connotes people aged between 15-64 years. The labour force for the district is 52.3% and it is important for the district to adopt strategies to maintain the high labour force, especially with the high HIV/AIDS pandemic.
According to the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS, 200 I), in terms of economic activities, poverty is by far highest among food crop farmers. About 49% of rural Ghana is classified as poor, and by implication, since the district is an agrarian one, and that, over 70% of the population are in agriculture, it suggests a deepening level of poverty.
Human Settlement Pattern
The settlements in the district are characterized by dispersed pattern with about 194 settlements. Such settlement pattern does not have any specific form except that development is usually concentrated in the centre. This settlement pattern does not augur well for development with distribution of social and technical infrastructure, which require certain population threshold to make them qualify for such services. The major settlements are located along the main roads that traverse the district. The is generally determined by the existence of some economic infrastructure.
Population Size And Growth Rate
The Jasikan district had a population of 82,494 in 1984 and 111,285 in year 2000 with an annual growth rate of 1.9 percent which is the same for the region but lower that the national rate of 2.7. The year 2000 population represents 35% increase over 1984 population and account for 6.8% for the regional population. Analysis of the annual growth rate of some communities with population over 2100 according to the 2000 census as shown in table 1, revealed striking difference in growth, among the various localities. Some localities like Bodada (-0.5%) and Apesokubi (-0.4%), registered negative growth while Tapa Abotoase (6.7%) Okadjakrom (.9%0 and Baglo Buem (5.5%) experience positive growth over the censual period of 1984 – 2000.
The negative and slow growth in the various localities is partly due to the country experiencing drought during 1981 and 1983. The effects of this drought led to large tracks of cocoa plantation being destroyed by bush fire. Cocoa black pod capsid and the swollen shoot diseases also affected the collapse of the cocoa industry. The buoyancy of the cocoa production in the 1970s attracted a large number of people to work in the plantations. Thus the collapse of the industry compelled the youth and settlers to move away from the district to urban areas for other employment opportunities. The increase in population at Abotoase for instance, between 1984 – 2000 could be attributed to the economic potential available along the Volta Lake. Many migrants from the southern part of the country flocked in to settle there. These are people who moved into the district to engage in fishing along the Volta Lake and settled on the islands. Refer to table 1 in pdf file below.
From the table above, it shown that the district experienced sluggish population growth. Based on the population threshold of 5000 and above, the district can be described to have three urban towns: Jasikan, Kwamekrom and Worawora Jasikan town grew from a moderate level of 0.24 from 1970 – 1984 annually to 2.1 for the period 1984- 2000. this could imply pressure on the existing infrastructure. The development implication therefore is that greater attention needs to be focused towards the provision of social and economic infrastructure to meet the need of the growing population. The same can be said of other localities like Kwamekrom, Tapa Abotoase, Okadjakrom, Worawora, New Ayoma, Nkonya Ahenkro, Nkonya Wurupong and Baglo. What is needed is to develop these areas into service centres.
The sex composition of the population as shown in the Table below is of much significance in the planning process. It affords the opportunity to know the proportion of female to male with their respective age to ascertain which segment of the ages and sex need much attention. Refer to table 2 in pdf file below.
The above table shows the male – Female split in the district. The district has a higher proportion of male to female unlike the regional and national figures. From the 2000 census, it was found that for every 100 females there were 101.7 males in the district compared with 100 female to 93.6 male for the region . The high sex ratio indicates an in-migration of males to fishing and farming areas, while there is an out migration of females to urban areas.
The age-sex structure of the district shows a normal population structure and corresponds to the national and regional pattern with insignificant variation. The structure as shown in Table 3 indicates broad base that gradually tapers off with increasing age. The fact that the population aged 5-9 is slightly more than 0-4 apparently indicates fertility decline, which can be attributed to increased acceptance of population management programmes in the district.
The structure is characterized by a large proportion of children below 15 years and smaller proportion of elderly person above 64 years (see Table3). the district current statistics show that children between age 0-4 years account for 41.06% (45.701) of the total population compared with 41.3% for the country 52.3% (58.256) for those in the labour force (15-64yrs) and the aged 6.5% (7,328) which is higher than the National records of 5.3% apparently indicating increase in life expectancy of the district.
However, the fact that the ratio of the elderly to children decreased slightly between 1984 and 2000 is an indication that the population has not aged much and an improvement in health and life expectancy. The moderate gain in health and life expectancy also translates into a reduction in the dependency population from 48.9 percent in 1984 to 47.6% in 2000. Refer to table 3 in pdf file below.
Rural – Urban Split
The rural- urban classification of localities is based on population size of 5000 and more being Urban and less than 5000 as rural. Based on the categorization and using the 2000 census, only three localities namely Jasikan, Kwamekrom and Worawora are classified Urban (see Table 4). They account for 20% of the total population. In the 1970 only Jasikan was classified urban. In 1984, Kwamekrom and Worawora attained urban status.
By implications therefore, the district is basically rural with about 80% of the population living in the rural areas, which is higher than the national ration of 73%.Refer to table 4 in pdf file below.
According to the Ghana poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS, 2001) in terms of economic activities, poverty is by far highest among food crop farmers. About 49% of rural Ghana is classified as poor, and by implication, sine the district is an agrarian one, and that, over 70% of the population are in agriculture, suggests deepening level of poverty. The district can be classified among the poor rural areas in Ghana.
In development terms, greater effort needs to be made with regard to the rural folk to improve upon the living standard. Majority of the population is living in the rural and deprived areas and they must be considered in the allocation of development resources.
The district population density is 89.4 persons per square kilometers. This is higher than the regional and national average of 79.5 and 79.3 respectively. The density has been increasing steadily over the years. In 1984 it was 66.2 persons per square kilometers, showing a35% increase over 16years. The population density is generally used to determine the degree of pressure on existing facilities and natural environment.
In an agrarian district like Jasikan, it helps to assess whether there is enough land for farming an other economic activities. The figure shows no apparent pressure on land. However, the 35% increase over 16 years’ calls for attention.
Household Size And Distribution
The average household size for the district is 4.7 as compared with the national figure of 5.1 though there are rural – urban variations. The household size compares favorable with the national average. Large household size often impose great burden on the household heads unless large proportion of the household members are working. The majority of people in the households are not working. This makes for a high dependency ration.
Labour Force And Dependency Ratio
The potential labour force connotes people aged between 15-64 year. The labour force for the district is 52.3%. it is important for the district to adopt strategies to maintain the high labour force, especially with the high HIV/AIDS pandemic. This is very important because, the district geographic location makes it susceptible to the spread of the disease since it shares boundary with Togo with high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 5% -9% and the regional rate of 4.6%.
The people in the district are multi-ethnic with Buem, Nkonya, Bowiri and Akan in the majority. There is also an Akan enclave at the western and northern part of the district dominated by the people of Worawora Tapa and Apesokubi. Apart from these major ethnic groups there are migrant settlers of Ewe, Fanti, Ada and Ningo origin. Interspersed with these people is a large army of Kotokoli, Hausa, Bassari. The table 5 below shows the various ethnic groups in the district. Refer to table 5 in pdf file below.
The heterogeneous structure of the social system that characterizes the district is important to analyze the extent of cohesion, level of tension and also to measure the success of social mobilization in development activities.
Beliefs System / Religion
Three religions generally dominate in the district. These are the Traditional, the Christian and Islamic religions. The traditional system is characterized by the worship of Voodoism, which is epitomized in the establishment of the shrines and other forms of occultism. The traditional religion is deep rooted in the traditional towns and it is believed that these deities protect the lives of the people in the district. An example is the shrine in Jasikan Township. Christianity is also gaining firm grounds in the district since many people especially the youth are breaking away from the traditional system to Christianity. Virtually in every settlement in the district are found Christian organizations and born again Christians.