The Sekyere East District was created in 1988 and is one of the 21 districts in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. It has Effiduase as the district capital. Located in the North-eastern part of the region, it lies approximately between Latitude 6° 45’ - 7° 32’ North and Longitude 0° 22’ West. The district shares common boundaries with some districts in Ashanti Region.
They include, Afigya Sekyere to the West - West, Sekyere West to the West, Ashanti Akim North to the South-East and Ejisu-Juaben to the South-West. It also shares boundaries with Sene and Atebubu Districts in the Brong Ahafo Region and Kwahu North District in the Eastern Region. Sekyere East District is the largest of all the twenty one (21) Districts in Ashanti and covers a total land area of about 4,231.4sqkm.
The district has 48 electoral areas, three (3) town Councils at Effiduase, Asokore and Kumawu and six (6) Area Councils at Oyoko, Anyinofi, Ahensan, Bodomase, Senchi and Seniagya. It also has two (2) Parliamentary Constituencies, made up of Effiduase-Asokore and Kumawu constituencies and there are 124 Unit Committees in the district. The district has 136 settlements of varying sizes. Out of this figure, fifty-five (55) of the settlements are located in the Afram Plains portion of the district. The location of the District in both the National and Regional contexts are shown in appendices 1 and 2. Appendix 3 shows some of the settlements in the district.
The climatic conditions in the district conform to the general conditions that prevail within the middle belt of Ghana. Monthly mean temperature is around 26°C, although some areas record lower figures. Maximum temperatures of between 29°C and 31°C are recorded in March and April, whilst minimum temperatures of 21°C and 23°C are experienced in August. Double maxima rainfall is experienced in a year.
The major rainy season starts in April and ends in July, whilst the minor seasons begins in September and ends in early November. June is the wettest month of the year. Rainfall distribution is not even in the district and it is heavier in the southern parts than in the northern parts. The relatively low-lying nature of northern parts accounts for floods that occur during the rainy season. Humidity is high during the wet months of the year and low during the dry months. Relative humidity within the district averages about 80 percent in the southern part and 60 percent for the northern portion.
The Southern part of the district is covered with moist semi-deciduous forest. Within this area can be found the Boumfum Forest Reserve and the Bomfobiri Nature Reserve. Extensive burning has virtually destroyed the Boumfum Reserve. Some areas of the reserve has however been replanted with teak. The northern part is generally covered with guinea savanna and consists of short deciduous fire resistant trees.
The bottom lands, flood plains of the larger rivers, streams and swampy sites within the areas are covered with dense stands of Anthropogenic Chloral Association of Forests. Basically, the vegetation consists of transitional and forest zones. The transitional zone covers 70 percent and the forest zone takes 30 percent. Riverine forests also occur along the Afram River and streams of the savanna zone. (See Appendix 4)
Conditions of the natural environment
The district is endowed with immense natural resources in the form of arable lands, forests and wildlife. The total arable land in the district is about 15,000 hectares, representing about 1.6 percent of the regional total of 960,000 hectares. The exploitation of the arable land in the district to meet socio-economic needs of the inhabitants has adversely affected the fragile environment.
Uncontrolled bush burning and excessive felling of trees for charcoal burning, particularly in the Afram Plains is fast threatening the bio-diversity, thus putting the fertility of the soil at risk and reducing potential resources for future generations. The felling of trees for charcoal burning is affecting the vegetation in the Afram Plains.
The vegetation is fast generating into secondary forest and derived savannah. Originally the Afram Plains was a wooded savanna which sheltered the southern part of the Ashanti Region and beyond against the effect of the harmattan and the sahel. Large scale clearing of watersheds, particularly around Kumawu is likely to be one of the major causes of dwindling rainfall and consequent effect on acute water supply especially during the dry season.
Logging in the district is another serious threat to the environment. The destruction of farmlands coupled with the removal of both larger and smaller trees has also destroyed the forest eco-system.
The District is endowed with many tourist site. One such sites is the Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary. It was originally part of the Boumfum Forest Reserve which was gazetted as a totally protected wildlife area in 1975. The Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary which covers an area of about 4921 hectares has several species of buffaloes, monkeys, bush dogs and crocodiles (in the Ongwam River).
The activities of trespassers, especially hunters have affected the wild life situation in the district. Sand winning is also extensively done in the district. The destruction caused by this activity to the environment are extensive.
Conditions of the built environment
Most houses in the district are compound with few detached and semi-detached in the large settlements like Effiduase and Kumawu. Generally, houses are built with landcrete and few plastered walls. In the large settlements like Kumawu, Effiduase, Bodomase and Asokore the landcrete houses are plastered with cement. Roofing in the smaller settlements is done with leaves, while few other houses are done with roofing sheets.
The foundation of most houses in places like Seniagya, Senchi, Banko and other smaller settlements like Temante, Wonoo and Oguaa have been attacked by severe erosion. The condition has been caused by constant erosion from rain and stormy water resulting from poor drainage around houses.
Constant weeding and sweeping around the houses also contribute to the removal of the topsoil and the erosion that ensues. Most houses have no toilet facilities attached to them and the inmates depend on the public places of convenience. Few houses have kitchen and the main courtyard is normally used as kitchen. Bathrooms are normally embodied in the building plan and where there are no bathrooms improvised structures are erected just behind the houses.
The resultant problem created by the bathrooms is that the waste water (sludge) is not channeled into any proper drainage system and this serves as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Relief and Drainage
The district is divided into two by a scarp running westwards. The southern portion of the scarp has undulating characteristics, with the highest point around Kumawu. The northern portion is generally low lying with an average elevation of between J 00 - 150 meters above sea level. In the south-west of this northern portion is the heavily dissected back slope of the Wenchi-Koforidua scarp with hills up to 330 meters. Overlooking the Ongwam and Boumfum valleys, a gentle slope extends to the north-east, rising to 105 metres above the Afram flood plain.
Across the Afram river lies the Afram-Obosom divide with a scarp overlooking the Afram River ^hich rises to 180 metres above seal level. Behind the divide is a large undulating area, which slopes to the Sene-Volta and Obosom rivers between 90 and 150 metres above sea level. The northern part of the district, which lies within the basin of the Volta River, is drained by Afram, Ongwam and Boumfum Rivers.
Most of the rivers are seasonal in nature. They overflow their banks during the rainy season and may disappear entirely in the dry season. Even in the case of river Afram it may become a chain of pools during the dry season. (See Appendix 5)
The soil found in the district can be grouped according to the geological formations from which they have developed. The four main geological formations are, Granitic, Birrimian, Voltaian and Alluvium rocks. These formations are subdivided into Associations.
Soils developed over Granitic Rocks
These are subdivided into two, namely;
- Kumasi - Offin compound and
- Bomso - Offin compound
The Kumasi - Offin Compound Association is made up of six members namely; Kumasi, Asuansi, Akroso, Nta, Offin and Densu series. The Kumasi series normally occur on summits to upper slope sites and are followed by the Asuansi, Akroso, Nta, Offin and Densu in that order. The Densu series are normally found within the valley bottoms and are very poorly drained.
The Bomso - Offin Compound has large muscovite mica flakes and less of biotite mica flakes which is characteristic of Kumasi and Asuansi series.
The Kumasi and Asuansi series are ideal for the production of tree crops such as cocoa, citrus, coffee, oil palm and food crops such as maize, plantain, cassava and cocoyam. The Akroso series are better suited for mechanized cultivation than the Kumasi and Asuansi series. They are also suitable for both food and cash crops.
The soils however, have a low inherent fertility, moderate water-holding capacity and slight to moderate erosion hazards. The Offin-Densu series are only suitable for rice, vegetables and sugar cane, especially in the dry seasons under appropriate agronomic practices and fertilization. The Bomso-Offin soils are not as fertile as the Kumasi and Asuansi and are easily prone to drought so that cocoa does not survive on them.
Soils developed over Birrimian Rocks
These soils are mainly of the Bekwai - Oda Compound Association. They are well drained to moderately well drained up land simple association of Bekwai - Nzema, Kokofii, Akumadan and Afrancho series. They are imperfectly to very poorly drained lowland, simple association of Temang and Oda series.
The upland deep to moderately deep concretionary to free soils are suitable for plantain, cocoyam, cassava, maize, legumes and vegetables. Plantation crops like oil palm, cocoa, coffee, citrus and pear also do well on these soils.
Soils developed over Voltaian Rocks
These are of eight Associations and include, Bediesi - Suatawa, Yaya - Pimpimso, Damongo - Tanoso, Ejura - Denteso, Kintampo - Techiman, Kintampo, Nyankpala - Kpelesawgu -Volta and Kowani - Kasele.
The Bediesi - Suatawa is extensively used to produce wide range of crops such as maize, yam, cassava, plantain, cowpea and groundnuts. The soils of Yaya - Pimpimso are generally shallow and are therefore considered poor for agricultural production. The Damongo -Tanoso soils are low to medium in fertility. The Ejura - Denteso soils are good agricultural soils suited for both hand and machine cultivation. They are used extensively for the production of maize, yams, cassava, groundnuts, tobacco, kenaf, sorghum, millet, soya beans, cowpeas etc.
The Kintampo - Techiman soils are not suited for crop production. They are better utilized for rough grazing. Soils of Nyankpala - Kpelesawgyu - Volta Association are marginal soils for crop production due to their shallow depth. The Kowani - Kasele series are shallow in depth. They are also gravelly and so not suitable for cultivation. The Kintampo Association soils are found on flat-topped low-lying hills with completely bare rocky surfaces. The soils are not suitable for agriculture.
Soils developed over Alluvium
These are of two main Associations. They are Denteso-Sene and Dukusen-Bramba Associations. The Denteso-Sene soils are found along streams and river valleys within the transitional zone developed from fine-grained Voltaian sandstone. These soils can be used for the production of vegetables, rice and sugarcane. The Dukusen-Bramba soils are basically of two main series. They are found within the transitional zone developed from alluvial material from Voltaian shales and mudstones. The soils are suitable for rice and sugarcane production and when drained they can be put to vegetable production.
According to the District Agriculture Directorate, out of the total land area of the district (4,231.4 sq km) savannah woodland covers 1,692., sq km, bush fallow 1,269.4 sq km, forest reserve 211.6 sq km, annual crops 846.3 sq km, wild reserves 42.3 sq km, tree crops 126.9 sq km and unreserved forest 42.3 sq km. (see table 1.2)
Impact of Human Activities
Human activities in the district have had an important impact on the environment and on the lives of the people. Bush burning has destroyed and continues to destroy a greater part of the vegetation cover and the bio-diversity, particularly around Kumawu and the Afram Plains portion of the district. Thus, the fertility of the soil is at risk and reducing potential resources for future generation. In some cases communities, human beings and farms get destroyed during bush fires.
Logging in the forest areas of the district has caused destruction to farm lands. Coupled with the removal of both large and small trees the ecosystem has been destroyed in most areas. Tree felling for commercial charcoal burning in the Afram Plains portion of the district is another potential activity that has caused and continues to cause great destruction to the vegetation cover in the district. Due to tree felling for charcoal burning, the vegetation in the area has fast degenerated into secondary forest and derived savanna.
Large scales clearing of watersheds and sand winning activities have affected rainfall in the district and have caused water shortage in the district. A number of communities thus experience acute water supply during the dry season.
The District experience three main disasters. They are, rainstorm, domestic fire and bushfire. From 2003 up to 2005, the District recorded a total of 117 cases of rainstorm and 27 cases of domestic fire. In the period under review 915 people were affected by rainstorm alone, whereas 317 people were also affected by domestic fire. (See table 1.3). From 2003 up to 2005 the District experienced at least one type of disaster. The implication is that the District is a disaster prone one.
From the District NADMO Office, apart from a few assistance in the form of roofing sheets, cement, lumber boards, sleeping mats, plastic cups, blankets, foam mattresses, plastic plates, plastic buckets and secondhand clothing distributed to a few affected persons to rehabilitate them, majority of the affected population could not be rehabilitated due to lack of funds.
The District NADMO Office required a colossal estimated sum of 02,135,000,000 to rehabilitate victims that were affected by rainstorm, domestic fire and bush fire for 2003 to 2005. As a disaster prone District, the Assembly in collaboration with traditional authorities and other development partners and the District NADMO office will embark on a number of programmes and activities to lessen and/or prevent the occurrence of disasters in the communities.
The programmes and activities will include constant public education, afforestation or tree planting, workshops for community leaders/stakeholders and the organisation of Disaster awareness week. In extreme cases of disaster occurrence, affected victims will be assisted with building materials and other logistics.
Aesthetic Features and Land Management
The current aesthetic features at the important settlements like Effiduase, Kumawu, Asokore and Bodomase can simply be described as bad due to the following reasons;
- Gully erosion has affected most parts of the towns.
- There is poor drainage system and unhealthy environment in these towns.
- Lack of permanent staff for departments such as Parks and Gardens and Town and Country Planning in the district to formulate and implement policies on aesthetic features in the communities.
- Uncontrolled movement of livestock like sheep, goats and cattle destroying landscape plants.
- Lack of technical know-how on landscaping issues in the communities.
- Poor waste (both liquid and solid) management in the communities
The system of land tenure is predominantly the "Abusa" system, the farmer takes two-thirds of the produce, while he land owner takes one-third. These systems do not augur well for increased productivity as they serve as disincentive to the farmers. One possible advantage of the systems is the permanence of land holding. Settler farmers are allowed to hold their farms for a longer period, thus creating a situation of security and permanent settlement in some areas like the Afram Plains portion of the district.
Implications for development
The physical and natural environments discussed above imply that;
- The rivers and streams in the district cannot be relied upon for any meaningful irrigation agriculture due to their seasonal nature.
- The soils in the district are generally good for agriculture.
- The effects of human activities on the environment are alarming. And that unwarranted destruction of the forest trees and felling of trees for commercial charcoal burning should be monitored closely.
- The total development of the Afram Plains portion of the district is the development of road-net work in the area.
Date Created : 11/25/2017 3:01:01 AM