Location and Size
The District is located in the central part of Ashanti Region of Ghana between Latitudes 60 50’N and 70 10’ N, and Longitudes 10 40’ W and 10 25’ W. The District has an area of about 409.4 square kilometers representing 1.68% of the land area of Ashanti Region. The District is bounded by Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to the South, Ejura Sekyedumase to the North, Atwima Nwabiagya to the South-West, Sekyere South to the East, Offinso Municipal to the West and Kwabre District to the South East.
The Afigya-Kwabre District was carved out of two (2) Districts namely; Kwabre and Afigya–Sekyere. The central location of the district within the Ashanti Region coupled with accessibility to most of the areas make interaction among the populace very easy.
Its closeness to the second largest city in Ghana, i.e. Kumasi makes it a dormitory district as well as high population growth rate and fast growth of settlements. This has resulted in intense pressure on socio-economic facilities as well as increase in waste generation.
Again, the nearness of the District to the urbanized community of Kumasi Metropolis has made parts of the district to assume urban status. Such towns include Atimatim, Heman, Nkukua Buoho, Nkwantakese, Ahenkro, Kodie and Afrancho. There is an assumption of increased revenue from these communities as a result of the increased commercial activities in the townships.
The Afigya-Kwabre District is located in the semi-deciduous forest zone. The zone is characterized by relatively high rainfall (about 1400mm per annum with a binomial pattern). The major rainy season occurs between March and mid-July with a peak in May /June. There is a dry spell from mid-July to mid-August. The minor rainy season starts from mid-August to about the end of October with a peak in September. A long dry period is experienced from November to February with possibilities of occasional rains.
Temperatures are normally high throughout the year with very little variations. The mean monthly temperatures range from 25oC in July/August to 28oC in March /April.
The District experiences relative humidity ranging from 90 – 98% during the night and early mornings of the rainy season. Day-time humidity falls below 75% during the harmattan season.
The climatic conditions favour the cultivation of diverse variety of cash and food crops which are of tropical nature. Again, the relatively high temperatures and sunshine favour the processing of most crops such as cocoa, maize etc.
The double rainfall regimes experienced by the district makes it possible for farmers to cultivate both food and cash crops two times in a year. Extensive dry season however may lead to long period of drought and retards farming activities in that period.
The original vegetation is forest and this has largely been degraded by lumbering, expansion of settlements and farming. The closed forest consisted of a continuous canopy of tall and medium – height trees with little or no undergrowth no longer exists. The area now largely consists of farm patches with isolated stands of individual trees or small areas of tree-clusters as shown in Fig. 1.5
Crops cultivated in the district include, cocoa, oil palm, citrus, avocado pear, coffee, plantain, maize, cassava, cocoyam, cowpea, vegetables etc.
The District has three (3) forest reserves namely; Afram Head Waters forest reserve, Gianima forest reserve and Asufu Shelterbelt forest reserve. All the forest reserves are located in the Northern part of the District.
Relief and Drainage
The landscape is a dissected plateau with heights reaching 800m to 1200m above sea level. The plateau forms part of the Mampong-Gambaga scarp. The landscape is predominantly undulating resulting in erosion along the slopes.
The relief in the district is generally undulating with altitude ranging between 800-1000 ft. However, the northern part reaches up to 1,200ft above sea level. Isolated hills in the south around Buoho also have altitudes up to 1,200ft. The undulating nature of the relief of the district makes flow of water easy. Besides the river valleys, there are very few waterlog areas. This again supports the growth of deep rooted crops/plants. The high points serve as observations for people who enjoy sceneries as in Fig 1.6
The District is drained by three main rivers and their tributaries. These are rivers Offin, Oyon, Prabon and Abankro as shown in Fig. 6. Continuous human activities along these rivers and streams have adversely affected their flows. Almost all the rivers experience seasonal flows.
The seasonal flow of rivers and streams in the district means that they cannot be relied upon for irrigation during the dry season. Again, fresh fish production is not well supported.
Soils and Geological Formation
The District has two geological formations, namely Voltaian and Dahomeyan. The Voltaian formation consists of shale, sandstone, mudstone and lime-stone. The Dahomeyan formation consists of metamorphic rocks such as gneiss and schist.
The mass presence of granite rock in the district supports the quarry industry. This will continue to be a major source of employment and income and so the citizenry must be encouraged to take advantage of the potential.
The soils of Afigya-Kwabre District are developed over granite, Lower Birimian phylite and coarse-grained Voltatian Sandstone. Soil associations or mapping units over each of these parent materials are shown in Figure 7.
1. Soils developed over granite and associated rocks
Kumasi – Ofin Compound Association
Bomso – Ofin Compound Association
Boamang – Suko Simple Association
Nyanao – Opimo Association
2. Soils developed over Voltaian rocks (standstone)
Bekwai – Oda Compound Association
3. Soils developed over lower Birimian rocks
Bediesi – sutawa Association
Yaya – Pimpimso Association