Physical and Natural Environment
Location and Size
New Juaben is the first municipality out of 21 administrative assemblies in the Eastern Region of Ghana and covering a land area of 110 square kilometres. It shares boundaries on the north-east with East Akim district, to the South-East with Akwapim North, Yilo Krobo on the East and Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District on the West.
The strategic location of New Juaben, sharing boundaries with districts that are famous in agricultural production, provides an opportunity to develop agro processing facilities to make use of raw materials from these areas. The rural portion is rich in fertile agricultural lands and suitable for small to medium scale farming, cattle rearing and poultry.
Climate and Vegetation
The Municipality falls within the semi-deciduous rain forest climatic zone with a bi-modal rainy season of between 1200mm and 1700mm reaching its maximum during the two peak periods of May/June and September/October. The dry season is relatively short and is experienced between November and February. Humidity and temperatures are generally high ranging between 20℃ and 32℃. The mild temperatures have a significant bearing in making the municipality a major tourist destination.
The vegetation is characterized by tall trees with evergreen undergrowth and rich in economic trees including Chlorohorae excelsa (Odum), Ceiba pentandra (Onyina), Antaris africana (Kyenkyen), Triplochinton scleroxylon (Wawa). These species greatly support lumbering and estate development activities. Scattered patches of secondary or broken forest are also present. Lumbering, farming, and building activities have however contributed to the degradation of the original vegetation.
Topography and Drainage
The underlying rock formation is mainly metamorphic which is known as the Akwapim/Togo rocks. This is part of the Akwapim ranges that stretch across the north-eastern portion of the municipality. The rock formation has significantly contributed to the growth of the quarry industry serving as a great potential for the production of chippings for road construction.
The municipal area is drained largely by the Densu and its tributaries, the Bompon, Obopakko and Afena which serve as the main source of drinking water. The Densu River is dammed at a location close to Koforidua where the water is treated and distributed to the municipality. The effects of destruction of the surrounding environment of the river basin is however impacting negatively on the sustainability of this natural resource and causing perennial water shortages particularly in the dry season.
– Management of the Densu Basin Water Resource
The Densu River Basin is located in the south-eastern part of Ghana with a total land area of about 2,488 sq. km. and spanning 12 districts including New Juaben. There are over 200 settlements along the basin with a population density of 150-200 persons per km. The river is one of the most exploited in Ghana and provides for domestic water supply, industrial and agricultural purposes.
For over three decades a number of management problems have emerged to negatively affect the development and use of the water resource. Key among them are the following:
- Rapid population growth along the basin;
- Inappropriate farming activities on the banks of the river and at the source;
- Use of agrochemicals in mechanized farming and harmful chemicals in fishing;
- Mining of sand and quarrying;
- Dumping of liquid and solid waste material from domestic and industrial sources into the basin;
- Poor planning schemes in the basin area;
- Indiscriminate harvesting of wood from the source to the midstream;
These problems among others have resulted in river catchment degradation and pollution. A number of baseline studies have been conducted to collect, collate and generate information to address the current situation. Major institutions involved in this crusade are the Environmental Protection Agency and the Water Resources Commission. The major activities which have been carried out recently include the following:
- Formation of committees to tackle land-use management, waste management, awareness creation and education;
- Establishment of strong links with Municipal/District Assemblies, Non-governmental organizations, CBOs opinion leaders and Traditional Authorities in the implementation of action programmes;
- Instituting interventions to improve water quality of the river;
- Embarking on systematic public awareness campaign in schools, district assemblies, radio and in communities;
- Collaboration with CBOs, NGOs and community groups to plant trees in response to educational programmes;
- Construction of 560 boreholes in the basin for domestic purposes;
As part of efforts to strengthen capacity for managing the basin training needs assessment of various stakeholders have been carried out in the following areas;
- Management and supervisory roles;
- Town Planning/Land use planning;
- Integrated farming systems;
- Water and sanitation management;
- Human resource management.
The three predominant soil types found in the municipality are the Nankese-Koforidua/Nta-Ofin compound, Fete-Bediesi Complex, and Adawso-Bawjiasi/Nta-Ofin Compound Association. These soil types are well suited for perennial tree crops and the adapted annual and semi-perennial food crops of the area. They support the growth of cash crops such as cocoa, coffee, oil palm and citrus. The Ofin series is particularly suitable for the cultivation of dry season vegetable crops as vegetables, sweet potatoes, sugar cane and rice. The Adawso-Bawjiase/Nta-Ofin Compound Association, which forms the smallest group of soils are characterized by grey-brown loamy humus horizons which are most economically utilized for the production of annual and semi-perennial food crops such as plantain, cocoyam and bananas.
Almost all the existing settlements in the Municipality are reached by improved condition of tarred roads and feeder roads. The district has a road network totaling 72km. The district’s compact size of 110sq. kms gives it a road density of 0.62 km, which is relatively adequate and suitable for efficient movement of people, goods and services. This also provides a good surface accessibility to services such as health, banking, postal services, education, agriculture extension, production and marketing centres, commodity flow and linkage with other districts.
Distribution of Infrastructure & Services
The spatial distribution of basic infrastructure and services, namely, water, electricity, educational institutions, banking and postal services, police, health facilities, markets and allied utilities are depicted in the maps below. Availability of these facilities is one measure of poverty situation in the municipality. The maps below show that infrastructure is concentrated at the built-in or central portion whilst the major agricultural production centres at the peripheries are left with inadequate facilities.
The 2000 Population and Housing Census put the population of the Municipality at 136,768 with a growth rate of 2.6% which is lower than the national average of 3.1. The projected population for 2005 is 154,531 with female population constituting 51.5% and 48.5% for males. The population density is 684 persons per square kilometre.
Koforidua, the regional and municipal capital, harbours over 65% of the entire population of the district. The remaining 52 settlements have smaller population sizes which do not normally measure up to the population thresholds required for the provision of essential socio-economic services.
The municipality has a dependency ratio of 64.7 which implies that there are about 65 persons in the dependent age for every 100 persons in the working age group. This is compared with the regional dependency figure of 90.7.
Age and Sex Composition
The age structure of the district shows a relatively large proportion of children and a small proportion of older persons, i.e. 65+ years. The age and sex distribution of the municipal population is shown in Table 1.2 below:
Age Composition of Population
|UNDER 15||15 – 64||65+|
Source: Statistical Services – 2006
The proportion of the urban population in the Municipality is 88.4%. The rural-urban split, however, is 15.7% rural and 84.3% urban.
Household Sizes & Characteristics
The municipality’s household size of 10.9 persons is the highest in the region. Table 1.3 below depicts a comparison of the stock of houses and households in the municipality and the region
|NO. OF HOUSES||NO. OF HOUSEHOLDS||HOUSEHOLD
Source: Statistical Services – 2006
The New Juaben Municipality also has the highest percentage of households living in room(s) in compound houses, i.e. 67.1% which is higher than the regional average of 43.1%. The district however has 11.3% of households living in separate houses which are the least common in the region. The ratio of male heads to female heads is 2:1. Households in the municipality living in flats, apartments and dwelling units is 7.4%. About 1.7% of households live in kiosks and other improvised dwelling units.
Ethnicity and Religion
The Municipality is heterogenous in terms of ethnicity with a high dominance of Akans and Ga-Adangbes, Ewes and the northern tribes also constitute a large part of population. There is a fair mix of Asantes, Kwahus and Akims with a sizeable number of Akwapims. The municipality on the other hand is predominantly Christian, constituting a population of 82.8%, Moslems 6.1% and traditional believers 2.4%. These religious inclinations have had a major influence on the dissemination of information and constitute a significant force in mobilizing the people towards developmental activities.
The Municipality has a high proportion of self-employed individual businesses. The percentage of workers in the employee category is 27.9% which is the highest in the region. A huge proportion of the employed population are engaged in the public service, industrial, service and education sectors. About 29.3% of workers are engaged in commerce whiles 28.6% are in production, transport and equipment operation.
The key sectors of the municipal economy are industrial manufacturing and processing which constitutes about 26.7%, the service sector 39.9%, agriculture 26.1% and 7.3% engaged in other socio-economic activities. Whilst majority of industrial establishments are found in the central business area of the municipality, agricultural production is carried out at the small settlements and the peri-urban locations of the district.
It is estimated that 26.1% of the economically active population is engaged in the agricultural sector. These are catered for by thirty-four (31) agriculture extension officers who live among the farming communities at Suhyen, Akwadum, Oyoko, Jumapo, Asikasu, Korle-Nkwanta, Nyamekrom, Asokore and Effiduase. The ratio of Extension Officers to farmers is 1:800. The adoption of scientific farm practices is high among literate farmers and has resulted in increased yield per acre.
Nyakoma, Suhyen and Bonya are noted for the production of maize while cassava is cultivated in large quantities at Nyamekrom, Nyakoma and Akwadum. Plantain farming is concentrated in Jumapo, Asikasu and Akwadum. Among the major produce are cassava, maize, cocoyam, plantain, vegetables, oil palm, cocoa, kola and citrus. A recent Agricultural Sample Survey of 10,775 farmers showed the following age ranges engaged in Agriculture.
Age Group Engagement in Agriculture
|AGE RANGE||PERCENTAGE %|
Source: MOFA, 2006
Table shows that farming is still not attractive to the youth who form the majority of the economically active population. Farm sizes in the municipality are relatively small ranging between 1 and 2 hectares. The land tenure systems currently in operation are the Owner Occupancy and Shared Tenancy (where the land owner leases the land to the farmer and the proceeds shared between them).
Crop production is largely rain fed and traditional techniques and subsistence production still dominate. About 95% of farmers use cutlasses, hoes, axes and mattocks. Spraying machines and pruners are also increasingly used. Bush fallowing, slash and burn are still practised.
Existing storage facilities are mostly traditional – barns, roof storage, and narrow cribs. Processing as a means of conserving bumper output is very limited. Urban-based middlemen within and outside the municipality undertake marketing of the bulk of farm produce. Most of the farmers sell their produce at the nearest local markets to these middlemen who cart them to the large urban market centres for re-sale where known market Queens also monopolize the retail trade.
Livestock production is also predominant in the municipality. Animals mostly reared are sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, poultry and snails. Poultry production is fast growing with over 50,000 birds produced annually.
Veterinary Clinic – Ministry of Food and Agriculture Veterinary Services
Abattoir – New Juaben Municipal Assembly
Feedmill – Privately owned poultry feed processing plant
RTTC/ITTU – Producers of agro-processing machines and spare parts (GRATIS foundation)
Palm-oil/Palm – Owned by individuals and FBOs
Agriculture input – 14 privately owned agrochemical and fertilizer
Markets – 5 major markets and community ones
Agriculture information – An agriculture office stocked with reference
And E-commerce Centre books, pamphlets, folders, flyers etc.
Recent Trends of production and yield of major commodities
|Commodities||Cultivated areas (Ha)||Yield (Ha)|
Special Agricultural Projects
Cadbury Cocoa Partnership: Secure Livelihoods Project:
This is a project initiated by Cadbury, now known as Kraft Foods. It has four components or thematic areas, namely:
- i. Sustainable Livelihoods from cocoa
- ii. Sustainable Livelihoods from other sources (Complementary/ Alternative Livelihoods)
- iii. Community- centred Development, and
- iv. Institutional Engagement.
The project also tackles crosscutting issues such as gender, environment, and worst forms of child labour.
A group of young people started the production of silk from silk worms that feed on mulberry leaves. The farms are located at the slopes of Oboutabiri Mountain. These young people need to be encouraged with funds. If enough funds are secured, the project can become an agro tourism centre to be probably called “The Hanging Garden of Koforidua”