PHYSICAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
LOCATION AND SIZE
Dormaa East District lies between Latitude 7◦ 80’ North and 7◦ 25’ and Longitude 2◦ 35’ West and 2◦ 48’ West. It is one of the twenty-two Administrative Districts of Brong Ahafo Region and Wamfie is the Administrative Capital.
The District shares boundaries with Dormaa Municipal to the West, Berekum Municipal to the North, Sunyani West to the East and to the South by Asunafo North and Asutifi Districts.
TOPOGRAPHY AND DRAINAGE
The topography of the District is generally undulating and rises between 180m and 375m above sea level. The medium range rises gradually between 240m and 300m above sea level. Some of the towns in this area include Kyeremasu and Dormaa Akwamu. The general height is between 180m and 240m above sea level.
The Drainage pattern of Dormaa East District is basically dendritic and flows in the North-South. Most of the rivers have catchments within the District around the high ranges near Wamanafo with only a few taking their sources from Jaman and Berekum Districts. The area is well drained as evidenced by the dense network of rivers spread out over the District. The rivers are mostly perennial due to the double maxima rainfall which is experienced in the District. The major rivers are Wam, Asuotia, Akontan, and Anyinasu. These rivers are potential resources that could be tapped for irrigation and small town water projects.
GEOLOGY AND SOIL
The rocks underlying the soils are Birimian formation which covers more than three-quarters of the close forest zone. Economically, it is the most important geological formation in Ghana since it contains all the minerals exported from the country. Associated with the Birimian formation are extensive masses of granite which occur in parallel belts. The basement rock is aqueous and could support the drilling of boreholes to improve accessibility to potable water.
The District lies in the semi-equatorial zone which experiences two rainy seasons (major and minor seasons). The major season is usually between April and June as it peaks. The minor season however begins from September and ends in November. The mean annual rainfall is between 124mm and 175mm. The dry season is severe and occurs in the month of November to March each year. The District has mean temperature of about 30◦C and lowest of about 26◦C in August. The situation makes access to water over the period very difficult as a result of continuous felling of trees, bush burning and overgrazing. The people thus make use of any stagnant water at their disposal resulting in water related diseases like Bilharzias, Cholera among others.
The major types of flora found in the forest ranges from shrubs and climbers to giant silk cotton trees. Timber species including Wawa, Odum, Sapele and Mahogany are found here. The forest has been extensively encroached (Cultivated) upon leading to an invasion of grassland vegetation. The extensively cultivated forest occupies the North, Central, Western and Southern parts of the District. The vegetation is dominated by elephant grass and few short trees scattered all over the area. As a result of the farming activities in the district, these vegetation types are threatened and the forest, for instance keeps changing to grassland. This speeds up the rate at which the water bodies dry up as a result of the high evaporation.
Cultivation of food and industrial crops plays a major economic role in the Dormaa East District. Farmers within the district use slash and burn method of land preparation. Such farming practices leave farm lands bare and expose the nutrients to the vagaries of the weather. Sheet and gully erosion set in especially, during the rainy season where top soils are washed off the farm lands without adequate vegetative cover. The situation is gradually destroying the vegetation and thus changing the ecology of the District. The effects of these are:
- Land degradation
- Low crop yield
- Low income levels
- Poor accessibility
The incidence of bushfires is also very high in the Dormaa East District. It constitutes a threat to the economic species of timber, forest reserves and thus the environment as a whole. The occurrences of these bushfires are mostly attributed to activities of game hunters and farmers. The effects of these activities include:
- Loss of life and property (farm/houses/harvested produce)
- Environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity
- Drop in income levels
- Poverty among the population.
Some of contributory factors to these situations can be deduced from a survey conducted in the Dormaa East District. It indicated that about 84% of the households in the district use firewood with 15% using charcoal and 1% using LPG gas. It is estimated that 88% and 5% of the firewood comes from within and outside the District respectively. About 6% and 14% of charcoal also come from within and outside the district respectively. The continuous exploitation of these sources from the forest reserves contributes to the depletion of tree species.
Though the District has about 197.67Km2 of Forest Reserves with economic trees as Papao, Asanfina, Odum, Ofram, Wawa, Amire, Mahogany, Utile, Edinam, Bonsamdua, Kyenkyen and Hyedua; they are extensively being exploited by the numerous timber firms operating in the District.
This is impacting negatively on the districts environment resulting in the following;
- Deteriorating physical conditions of most feeder roads due to heavy duty trucks.
- Depletion of the economic trees
- Young trees are destroyed in the process of felling and transporting timber from the forest
- Destruction of food and industrial crops through indiscriminate felling and transporting of timber from the bush;
- General degradation on the environment with its accompanying negative effects on water bodies, land and humankind.
AGE AND SEX DISTRIBUTION OF THE POPULATION
The District’s has a population of 72,172 and a growth rate of 2.1% per annum with women constituting 51% and men 49% (projected, 2010). The District’s population is generally youthful with those in age group of 15-64 constituting 57%, age group 0-14 forms 36% whilst those above 64 years constitute 7% of the population. The male-female ratio is 1:1.07.
The District has a large pool of labour force. The labour force constitutes 57% of the sampled population.
Agricultural is the main activity in the District with crops, livestock and poultry sectors dominating.
The District has suitable soils for the production of a variety of crops in commercial quantities. Crops mostly cultivated include cocoa, coffee, maize, plantain, cassava, yam, cocoyam, tomatoes and pepper. The estimated total cropped area and yield for 2010 are as follows.
Table 1: Estimated Total Cropped Area and Yield For 2010
|Major crops grown(metric tons)||Area cultivated per crop (Ha)||Output (yield) per crop|
Fish production in the District is relatively low compared to crops, poultry and livestock production. Few farmers are into into Tilapia and Cat fish production. However, there is a high potential for aquaculture due to the presence of water bodies as well as marshy areas which can easily be tapped. Current production levels appear negligible and the greatest challenge has been inadequate knowhow and expertise and appropriate logistics to support aquaculture.
Cattle, sheep and goats as well as grasscutters are reared in the District. Livestock population captured 2009 livestock census is as below.
Table 2: Livestock population
Currently the poultry industry in the District focuses mainly on table egg production and the District follows Dormaa Municipal closely in terms of production levels. According to the 2009 animal census, the number of layers at various stages is as indicated in the table below. On the average, over 4,000 tons of table eggs are produced annually and these are transported to major cities like Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Takoradi, and Tamale. Others move the products to other West African countries like Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
Table 3a: Exotic Poultry population
There are also local poultry which are reared on small scale at subsistence levels. These are mainly concentrated in the rural areas even though a considerable number of them can be found in the urban communities. The respective populations of local poultry are as indicated below.
Table 3b: Exotic Poultry population
|Chicken (Local breeds)||36,125|
The district has enormous resources in terms of land, labour and conducive business environment for potential investors to engage in viable projects.
• The presence of large poultry industry could attract maize,meat and egg processing industries/plant.
• In the crops sector cassava, plantain and cocoyam processing into flour is another lucrative area that can be considered by prospective investors.
• Potential exist for investment into aquaculture because of the numerous streams and rivers.
• Water bodies serve as high potential for irrigation development.
• Large scale rice production in the inland valleys and large marshy areas is another lucrative area worth considering.
Village Mango Project
The Village Mango Project started in the district 2010. The project is pro-poor focused and intended improve income levels and improve livelihoods of beneficiaries. Over 4,000 mango seedlings (Keith variety) have been distributed to people in four communities including, Nsesresu, Asuhyiae, Dormaa Akwamu and Wamanafo within the last few months
Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme (RTIMP)
The RTIMP programme was implemented in the district in 2010. So far, over 1,000 farmers have been supplied with improved cassava planting materials such as IFAD, Nkabom, Esam Bankye and Bankyehemaa. A total of 4.8 hectares of secondary sites has been established.