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SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Information Community Technology


Introduction


Information communications technology (ICT) is important for sustainable development in every country. Information Communication Technology (ICT) has become an important tool in today’s knowledge-based information society and economy. It is also recognized as an important component of socio-economic development. This section presents information on households’ access to ICT in the Ekumfi District.

 

Ownership of Mobile Phones

Bittner (1989) defines mobile phones as a telephone system that can move or be moved easily and quickly from place to place. Mobile phones were once the tool of the rich and business executives who could afford. Mobile phones are, however, now the ICT that is reshaping and revolutionizing the communications industry globally. Its impact on the economic activities of nations, businesses and small entrepreneurs is phenomenal. According to Marcelle (2000), the availability of this new technology has been reshaping the material basis of the society as well as bringing about a profound restructuring of economic, political and cultural relations among countries, including Ghana.


The use of mobile phones has been an important mode of communication for social and business activities for the majority of Ghanaians in the recent past (Ayensu, 2003). Table 5.1 shows that the number of persons 12 years and older in the District who owned mobile phones was 9,817, representing 28.7 percent which is lower than mobile phone ownership in the region (44.9%). This may be as a result of poor telecommunications network coverage in the District or low income levels of the people. A higher proportion of the males (36.3%) than females (22.7%) own mobile phones in the District.

 

Use of internet

Accessibility to the Internet is very essential in this era of technological advancement where almost all aspects of human life can be found on the Internet. The Internet enhances access to information, research, education, entertainment and so forth. Table 5.1 has information on access to the Internet by persons 12 years and older in the District. From the table, out of the total population of persons 12 years and older (34,237), only 1.6 percent has access to the Internet compared to 7.0 percent in the region. A higher proportion of males (2.5%) than females (0.8%) have access to the Internet perhaps on account of differences in educational attainment between the sexes with the females relatively more disadvantaged.

 


Households Ownership of Desktop or laptop computer


Table 5.2 also shows the proportion of households owning desktop or laptop computers in the District. About 2.0 percent (1.6%) of households owned desktop/laptop computers in the District compared with 5.3 percent in the region. Again, a higher proportion of households in the District that are headed by males (2.2%) than females (1.0%) own desktop or laptop computers. The lower desktop/laptop computer ownership among female-headed households may be due to their lower economic status or lower educational level of the heads.

 


Housing Condition

Introduction


Housing is one of the basic necessities of human life. The UN definition of a 'house' as adopted during the 2010 Population and Housing Census is a "structurally separate and independent place of abode such that a person or group of persons can isolate themselves from the hazards of climate such as storms and the sun”. Information on number of houses and housing characteristics is relevant for housing planning and policy interventions. This chapter describes the housing stock, type of dwelling, ownership of dwelling, main construction materials, access to utilities, sources of fuel and waste disposal sites in the Ekumfi District.

 
Housing stock


Table 8.1 shows that the Ekumfi District has a total population of 52,231 which represents 2.4 percent of the population of the Central Region. There are 10,743 houses which accommodate 12,631 households. Of the total number of households, 91.1 percent are located in rural areas and 8.9 percent in the urban centres. On the average, there are 1.2 households per house in the District: 1.4 in urban areas and 1.2 in rural localities. 
The District has an average household size of 4.1 which is slightly lower than that recorded for the entire region (4.2), and there are about 5 persons in a house. The urban areas have larger household sizes (4.9) and higher number of persons in a house (7.0) than the rural areas (4.1 and 4.7 respectively). This partly explains the rising level of congestion in the urban localities in the District.

 

Type of Dwelling, Holding and Tenancy Arrangements


House Ownership


Table 8.2 shows that 57.6 percent of dwelling units in the District are owned by household members, 29. 3 percent are owned by a relative who is not a household member, about 11 percent is owned by other private individual with 2.0 percent owned by public or government, private employer, other private agency and other persons. On headship of dwelling units, the proportion of dwelling units of female-headed households owned by household members (58.9%) are higher than those of male-headed households (56.4%). In the urban localities, 62.5 percent of dwellings are owned by household members compared with 57.1 percent in rural areas.



Type of Dwelling


Table 8.3 shows that in the Ekumfi District, 45.5 percent of households live in compound houses, 42.2 percent lives in separate houses while 6.3 percent is housed in semi-detached houses. Female-headed households (47.9%) recorded a higher proportion in compound houses than male-headed households (43.3%), but the opposite is the case with regard to separate houses where the male-headed households (43.8%) rather than the females (40.5%) have a higher proportion. Separate and compound houses are the most common houses used by households in both urban and rural localities. However, there are slight differences between urban and rural localities with respect to the proportion of households living in compound houses (46.7% urban versus and 45.4% rural) and separate houses where the urban areas have 44.4 percent compared to 42.0 percent in rural localities.

 

Construction materials


Materials for Outer Wall


Among the various materials listed for the construction of the outer walls of household dwellings in the District, cement blocks/concrete (66.0%) is the most common (Table 8.4). This is followed by mud/brick/earth (28.9%). In terms of locality, cement blocks/concrete is still the main constructional material for outer walls in either urban (71.9%) or rural (65.5%) areas. The observation that cement blocks/concrete is the most preferred constructional material for out walls of household dwelling units in the Ekumfi District is consistent with the situation in more than half of the Districts in the Central Region.

 

Main materials for floor


Table 8.5 indicates that the main construction material used for the floor of dwelling units is the same as the material for the outer walls of dwelling units in the District. Like the outer walls, cement/concrete (87.8%) is the main construction material for floor of dwelling units in either the urban (94.2%) or rural (87.2%) localities. The proportion of earth/mud material used in rural localities (11.6%) compared with urban areas (4.1 %) signifies that earth/mud is more commonly used for the floor of dwelling units in rural areas than in the urban localities. This might be due to the higher rural than urban poverty in the District considering that compared to cement mud/earth is less expensive and readily availability.

 

Room Occupancy


Information on the number of persons sleeping in a room determines whether the room is overcrowded or not and this has  possible health implications on the people. Table 8.7 provides an overview of household size and the number of sleeping rooms they occupy in a dwelling unit. It indicates that 65.3 percent of households in the District occupy one sleeping room while 21.1 percent occupy two sleeping rooms. This means that 76.4 percent of households in the District have one or two sleeping rooms. There is an inverse relationship.

 

between household size and the proportion of persons using one sleeping room. Consistent with this observation, 90 .0 percent of all households with one person have one sleeping room compared to 21.0 percent of their counterparts with 10 or more members. This means that as household size increases, there is need for more sleeping rooms. It is, however, clear that for every household size, 68 percent or higher of them have up to three sleeping rooms, which suggests some overcrowding at the household level particularly for households with more persons.

 

Access to Utilities and Household Facilities


Main source of lighting of dwelling unit by type of locality


Figure 8.1 shows that majority of households in the District are connected to the national grid with 66.6 percent of households using electricity (main), 30.6 percent of households use kerosene lamp while 2.8 percent of households depend on other sources of lighting ranging from gas, kerosene lamp to flashlight/torch. Electricity (mains) serves 77.3 percent of urban households compared to 65.5 percent of rural households. There is no household that uses solar energy and firewood for lighting in the urban areas in the District (Table 8.8).




Main sources of cooking fuel


Table 8.9 provides information on sources of cooking fuel in the Ekumfi District. Wood (58%) and charcoal (33%) are the two main sources of cooking fuel for households in the District. Households that do not cook represent 4.0 percent of the total number of households in the District. Households that depend on cooking fuels such as kerosene, gas, electricity and crop residue together form 4.9 percent. Sawdust and animal waste are, however, not used in the District for cooking. 
According to Table 8.9, wood is the most used cooking fuel in the rural areas (59.6%) whereas charcoal is the most widely used fuel in the urban localities (48.7%). The use of electricity as cooking fuel is limited with only 0.2 percent of rural households and 0.1 percent of urban households depending on electricity for their cooking.