Location and Size
The Ada West District is among the sixteen districts in the Greater Accra Region and it is situated in the south-eastern corner of Ghana. It is carved out of the former Dangme East in the year 2012 and it is established by the Legislative Instrument 2129 of 2012.
The District lies between Latitudes 5°45’S and 6°00’N and Longitude 0°20’W and 0°35’E. The total land area of the District is approximately 323.72 Square km, which is about 10% of the total land size of the Greater Accra Region.
The District shares common boundary with the North Tongu District of the Volta Region to the North, Ada East to the East, Ningo Prampram District to the West and to the South by the Gulf of Guinea, which stretches over 45 Kilometres (27.9 miles) from Wokumagbe through Goi to Kablevu. Sege is the District capital, and it lies about 80 Kilometres from Accra on the Accra –Aflao road.
The location and size of the district present a number of opportunities and challenges. Particularly, there are potentials of population outflow from Accra, Tema, Ashiaman and its environs which may expand economic opportunities and, at the same time, this could threatened the social stability of the district. These developments are most likely because of the intended construction of an International Airport and the National Housing Project both at Saglemi and Tsokpoli all in the Ningo Prampram District located few kilometres away from Sege. This has the potential to increase pressure on existing social and economic resources and infrastructure of the District. The size of the district is relatively small and it has an advantage of effective coverage and management. However, with the smallness of its size, the district may be disadvantaged where national resources are to be shared relative to land size.
There is also a perceived challenge of increase in the demand for land for estate development. This may result in converting farm lands into estate development with the resultant possibility of limiting future farm lands, increase in social vices and rise in other negative environmental sanitation related issues.
The Ada Wet District is part of the central portions of the Accra Plains. Almost flat, the Accra Plains descend gradually to the gulf from a height of about 150 meters. The relief is generally gentle and undulating, a low plain with heights not exceeding 60 meters (200 ft.) above sea level. The topography is marked by a succession of ridges and spoon shaped valleys. The hills and slopes in the area are the favoured lands for agricultural development. Continuous cropping is the usual agricultural practice whereby ploughing and cropping is done across the slopes. A plan to irrigate the area could enhance opportunity for large-scale investment in the agriculture, aquaculture and livestock production.
The general drainage pattern of the Ada West District can be described as dendritic with some of the streams taking their sources from the Volta River. Water bodies such as Pagaga in Anyamam, Akplaba in Akplabanya, Kablu in Sege, Woku in Wokumagbe and Taliba in Talibanya among others, are the main streams and lagoons that drain the district. The Gulf of Guinea in the south also contributes to the drainage system of the district. The volume of water received by these water bodies depend on the season and the effect of climate change on the district. Most of these water bodies are seasonal in nature as they dry up in the dry season resulting in severe water shortage in the district for both domestic and agricultural purpose.
In the district, quite a sizeable portion of the land particularly in the southern sector is dominated by lagoons. In areas such as Wokumagbe, Akplabanya, Anyamam, and others, the lagoons are poorly managed resulting to not only serious environmental sanitation challenges but also making the area prone to flooding. These are potential threats to the general health condition of the people living in these areas. The Lagoons are among the major natural resource being exploited by both the indigenes and other migrants for their economic benefit.
The vegetation in the district is basically the coastal savannah type, characterized by short savannah grasses and interspersed with shrubs and short trees. The vegetation is highly influenced by the climatic condition which results in a long period of dry season. Along the coast, there are stretches of coconut trees and patches of coconut groves which combine to give the area a classic look. A few strands of mangrove can be found around the Songhor Lagoon where the soil is waterlogged and salty. Even though the district is noted for large scale livestock rearing particularly Cattle, the vegetation remain the biggest challenge to the livestock industry.
The Ada West District is located on the south-eastern coastal plains of Ghana which form one of the hottest parts of the country. Temperature is generally high throughout the year. The minimum temperature ranges between 20°C and 29°C while the maximum temperature also ranges between 290 C to 33°C which is normally attainable during the hot seasons.
Though the coastal savannah experiences a bimodal rainfall regime, annual rainfalls are very variable and range from 750-1000mm. Rainfall is generally low along the coast but increases towards the inland area. The first and major season starts from March or sometime in April to mid-July while the second season begins from September and ends in early December. The second season is highly unreliable. The average annual rainfall is about 850 millimeters. The erratic rainfall in the district affects the agricultural productivity since most farmers depend solely on it for their crop and animal production.
The local climate is influenced by two air masses that move in opposite directions. One of them comes from the Sahara, and contains a hot and dry desert air that moves southward. This wind is the harmattan that the district experiences from late November to early February. The other wind is from the South Atlantic Ocean which is a warm and humid maritime air and it moves northwards. These two air masses influence the different climatic seasons in the district.
Humidity is about 60 per cent high, and it is due to the proximity of the district to the sea, the Volta River and other water bodies. Daily evaporation rates range from 5.4 - 6.8 millimetres. The relatively high temperatures help in the quick crystallization of the lagoon which supports the salt industry.
Geology and Minerals
A large portion of the District is underlain by tertiary and recent alluvial deposits. A small section of the northern and eastern parts (between Afiadenyigba and Sege) fall under the Dahomeyan complex rocks of Precambrian age. The recent unconsolidated sand, clay and gravel occur in the deltaic areas surrounding the Songhor Lagoon. The rock of the basement is unknown, but it is expected to be Dahomeyan, similar to that cropping to the north of the basin. The suitable soil formed from these soil associations is the Tojeh and Koloidaw series. These soil types vary from red to brown deep (120-150cm) to very deep (>150cm) well to moderately drained fine sandy clay loams to sandy clay. The soil formed under these rocks supports a variety of tropical crops which sustain the agricultural activities in the district.
The District is well endowed with a large deposit of salt which is the main economic resource. Salt mining provides employment for a large number of the population particularly in areas where the resource exists. The Ada West District Assembly generates about 70% - 75% of her internal revenue from the salt industry. The major company in the salt industry is the Songhor Salt Project.
The Songhor Salt is the major mining company in the district and is located on the Songhor Lagoon which covers a total land area of about 12,500 acres. The Project employed a total labour force of about 300 and produces approximately 90,000 metric tonnes of salt annually to meet the demands of both the local and international markets in Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria. Under full production capacity, the project is expected to generate more than 1,500 employments to the youth. Feasibility studies and empirical evidence have adjudged the industry to have tremendous capabilities to support the proposed Petro-chemical Industry including the production of Caustic soda, Chlorine and PVC Pipes etc.
Quarrying and Sand Wining
There are large deposits of quarry and sand pits which are exploited on a large scale in the district to support the housing and road development both within and outside the District. The quarry site is located at Teheh, a community close to the North Tongu District. Quarrying and Sand winning forms part of the local domestic industries in the district and provide potential source of creating employment to some section of the population.
One of the concerns of the industry is the uncontrolled operation of the small-scale sand winning activities which has the potential of creating environmental pollution and land degradation. Of particular concern is the sand wining on the coastal line which if not checked could affect any future tourism development. The quarry activity has a lasting effect on the Sege –Battor road as heavy trucks carting the quarry materials exert pressure on the road and rapidly reducing its life span. This may bring untold hardship to the road users particularly in term of accessing the Battor Hospital which is the closest medical referral point in case of emergency.
Condition of Built Environment
Several factors have influenced the general pattern of the existing communities and their built environment. There were historical antecedents; natural conditions, economic evolution and socio-political values system which define the social structure of the people in the areas. Historically, most settlements started like farm huts but with changes in economic structure as well as population growth, settlements begin to expand in form and shape based on traditional concept and beliefs.
Land use in the District is influenced primarily by human settlements need, agriculture activities, infrastructure development and wetlands conservation. In Ada West District along the coast, most communities are narrowly lying between the Gulf of Guinea and the lagoon. In such built environment, there are no provisions for essential facilities like drainage for allowing free flow of storm water and sewerage systems for toilet facilities. This situation had created congestion and insanitary condition which is sometimes worsened by the lack of access road. Invariably, most of the physical structures are unplanned in the communities due to inadequate planning schemes to guide construction particularly in both rural and urban areas.
Data from the 2010 Population and Housing Census indicates that in the Ada West District, there are 6,826 houses with 1,718 located in the urban settlement and 5,108 in rural areas. In these housing units, there are 11,642 household resulting into 10.2 persons per house in the urban areas and 8.1 persons per house in rural areas. The higher population per house in the urban settlements point to health and other socio-economic implications for development.
The main construction material for outer wall in the District is the cement blocks/concrete (68.6%), followed by mud brick/earth (27.7%) and wooden outer walls (1.6 %) The most common roofing material in the district is the slate/asbestos (52.6%), followed by the metal sheets (25.0%), the Thatch/Palm leaf or Raffia (19.4%) and Cement/Concrete (1.7%).
Condition of Natural Environment
Human activities have led to the exploitation of the existing vegetation through a mixture of economic activities of hunting, gathering and agriculture. In many cases, these human activities have led to the degradation of the environment. The common anti- environmental activities in the district include: uncontrolled sand winning which is carried out extensively in the districts, indiscriminate cutting down of trees for charcoal burning for economic gains. These practices have depleted the vegetative cover of the district to the level of savannah grassland and there is no serious effort to restore what has been destroyed.
The effect of these activities have inflicted irreparable damage to the natural environment by exposing the district to the effects of climate change such as sea erosion, loss of soil fertility, erratic rainfall pattern, high temperature, low humidity, flooding and depletion of fish stock.
Invariably, the rate of destruction of the natural environment supersedes the intervention for restoration of the land and its environment to its original state. The underlying issue is for the district to work more in changing the Values, Attitude and Behaviour (VABs) that people have towards the natural environment and natural resource management.
Date Created : 7/25/2019 5:34:03 AM