Suhum Municipal Assembly

INTRODUCTION
Suhum Municipal Assembly was formerly part of Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District until the recent decentralisation process which resulted in the fragmentation of the District into Suhum Municipal and Ayensuano District. The Municipal was established by Legislative Instrument 2012 (L.I. 2048) prior to that, it was created under the Local Government Act, 1993(462). The Municipal is divided into three zonal centres. The Suhum zone is the only urban among the three. The other two are Nankese and Akorabo. Zonal councils and unit committees have been established for these zones. These committees are expected to work at the community levels and serve as agents of change, growth and mobilization in support of the Assembly’s development efforts.
POPULATION CATEGORIES
             Size and Growth Rate of the population
The district as at 30th June 2012 had a projected population of 87,000 made up of 43,152 males and 43,848 females. The growth rate is 0.4%
The low growth rate may be explained by the fact that the municipality is very near Accra and therefore, loses a lot of young people to the national capital under rural – urban migration.
 Major Settlements
Most of the one hundred and forty (140) settlements (localities) of the municipal have population of less than 500. The projected populations of the fifteen largest settlements in 2012 were as follows:
Suhum(36,268),Nankese(5319),Okorase(2628),Akorabo(2222),Obretema(1321),Brong Densuso(1037),Omenako(952) ,  Akorabo (2359),  Jato(944) , Ayisikrom(926), Kofigya(880), Amanhia(800), Kukua(786), Okanta(705), Kwahia(587).

Rural : Urban Split
About 52% of the population lives in Suhum and its adjoining settlement of Kofigya and Okorase and Nankese. This gives a rural urban split of about 1:1

Settlement Pattern
The settlement pattern is generally nucleus (cf: dispersed) type. However, there is this pattern of hamlets inhabited by a man and his family and a few other persons strung along the bush road or path which may bear the same name. This makes the location of amenities especially schools building and the extension of electricity very difficult and expensive. More boreholes for example are needed than what the population actually calls for.

 Ethnic Composition
The major ethnic groups and the proportion of the population they command are Akan (37.4%), Ga-Dangme (25.6%), Guan (17.4%), Ewe (17.4%)

Cultural Practices
While the Akan are matrilineal the other ethnic groups are patrilineal with respect to inheritance.
The land tenure system in the district is quite different from the practice in most parts of the country. Land is generally owned by individuals and families as a result of freehold acquisitions from the allodia title owners- the Akyem Abuakwa Stools.

Population Density in Regional and National Context
With a land area of 400sq km and population size of 87,000 the population density of the municipal is 217 per sq km in 2012.

Age Distribution
The population is a relatively young one, as shown by the age distribution: 0 – 14 years (41.62%). 15 – 49 years (45.10%), 50 – 64 year (7.75%) and 65 years and above (5.5%).

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
             Location
Suhum-Municipality is located in the south-central part of the Eastern Region of Ghana and covers a land area of about 400 square kilometres. It is bounded anti-clockwise by the New Juaben Municipality to the north-east, East Akim Municipality in the north, Ayensuano District to the west and south, Nsawam-Adoagyir, Municipality to the south and Akwapim North Municipality in the east. It is located within Latitudes 50  451 N and 60 51 N and Longitudes 00 151W and 00 45W. Its capital, Suhum Town, is only sixty (60) kilometres northwest of Accra on the busy Accra-Kumasi-Tamale-Ouagadougou Highway.

Climate
The climate is of the tropical type and the temperature range from 240C to 290C.  The hottest months are March and April while the coolest months are December and January. Relative humidity especially in the rainy season is between 87% and 91%. It is between 48% and 52% in the dry season.
The annual rainfall figures for the municipal ranges between 1270mm and 1651mm.  The first and major rainy season occurs between April and July and the second and minor season falls between September and November. 

Relief and Drainage
The area has a few highlands with the Asarekrom area overlooking the Densu River and standing at about 450metres above sea level being the highest elevation. The main river basin is the Densu which takes its source from the Atewa range in the East Akyem Municipality. Its major tribute is the Kua whose main tribute is the Suhum. 
There are outcrops of gigantic rocks near Nankese and Bokor near Suhum on the way to Asamankese. A formal sector company operates a quarry at Brong Densuso near Nankese.

Vegetation
The district was originally covered by a semi deciduous forest. However, human activities in the form of cultivation, lumbering and extraction of fuel wood have drastically reduced the original vegetation to an insignificant level and the land is now covered mostly by re-growth thickets and secondary forests. Other types of vegetation like the elephant grass have also grown on farmlands where the fallow periods are not adequate and the fertility of soils has now been reduced due to sheet erosion.

3
Cocoa Farms

There is no original forest cover anywhere in the municipality communities

 Soils
The types of soil, where they occur in the district and what they are capable of producing are shown in the table below:
Table: Soils and Their Capacity.

S/N

Soil Classification

Area Found

Soil Capability

1.

Kumasi-Asuansi/Nta-Ofin, Nsaba-Swedru/Nta-Ofin and Bekwai-Nzima/Oda Soil Associations

 

Suhum,

Export crops – cocoa, coffee, rubber, cola, oil palm.
Non-traditional export crops – black pepper, sweet berry, ginger.
Food crops – maize, cassava, cocoyam, plantain, potato, vegetables.

2.

Atewa/Ansum, Adawso-Bawjiasi/Nta-Ofin, Atewiredu-Katie and Atukrom-Asikuma Soil Associations

Nankese
Akorabo, Kukua

Well suited for hand cultivation of maize, cassava, cocoyam, cocoa, plantain, oil palm, ginger, tiger nuts, and vegetables

3.

Yaya-Bediesi/Bejua, Nyanao-Tinkong/Opimo and Pimpimso-Sutawa/Bejua Soil Associations

Odikro Akwei,
Ningo No.1,
Opare Kwesi,
Tetekasum

Suitable for the cultivation of crops, only with appropriate cultural practices.
To be reserved for forestry, wildlife and watershed protection purposes.

4.

Chichiwere-Ayensu/Kakum and Amo-Tefle Soil Association

 Miawani
Govinakrom

Suitable for the cultivation of maize, pepper, tomatoes, onions and garden eggs

5.

Pegi-Agu, Adunjansu Bechem/Nta Ofin and Koforidua-Nankese/Nta-Ofin Soil Association

Amamprobi, Adjetey, Ntumkum

Suitable for the cultivation of cocoa, coffee, black pepper sweet berry ginger, rubber, sunflower, oil palm, maize, cassava, cocoyam, plantain, soya bean, banana, sugar-cane and vegetable

Source: CSIR

 

LAND USE
Land use falls into the following patterns
Agriculture
Agriculture made up of cultivation of the cocoa & cash crop such as cashew, oil palm, citrus farming, cultivation of food crop – maize, cocoyams, plantains, yams, vegetables etc
The non-agriculture land use include

  1. Areas for housing in Human Settlements ( hamlets, village & town)
  2. Industry – (sawmilling & woodwork, agro-processing, auto mechanics, metal fabrication work.
  3. Road and tracks
  4. Power supply, communication infrastructure, water pipelines etc.

Recreational facilities mainly football fields.
CROPS
ANNUAL ESTIMATED CROP AREA (HA) AND PRODUCTION
Table:

YEAR

MAIZE

CASSAVA

PLANTAIN

COCOYAM

 

Area/Holder

Crop Area (Ha)

Productions (mT)

Area/Holder

Crop Area (Ha)

Productions (mT)

Area/Holder

Crop Area (Ha)

Productions (mT)

Area/Holder

Crop Area (Ha)

Productions (mT)

2010

0.27

8193.4

32773.6

0.25

8487.2

314026.4

0.26

3882.8

34556.9

0.23

571.5

18573.7

2011

0.27

8818.4

33951.0

0.26

9084.6

245285

0.27

4124.5

49494.2

0.22

365.6

2012

0.30

9829.2

33419.3

0.28

9314.5

217935.9

0.26

2715.2

33940

0.20

13.8

449.9

Number of farmers sensitized on HIV/AIDS
Table:

Number of sensitization sessions

Number of Participants

Males

Females

Total

% Females

33

1249

765

2014

38

Farmers sensitized in the year 2012 against HIV/AIDS in the municipal in Table above shows an increase in numbers of males sensitized by 62%. Female participation was only 38%. Men are often considered head of homes and as such are often present at meetings whiles women are made to stay back and take care of the home. Assumption is that the men will brief their family upon return from such meetings.

PRODUCTION
Agriculture is the main economic activity of the municipal employing about 50% of the population in either full-time or part-time. Yields for staple crops are not high given the following figures Maize:  2.6mt  – 4.0mt per hectare, Cassava: 28.0mt – 40.00mt per hectare, Plantains: 8.0mt – 9.5mt per hectare and Cocoyam:  5.0mt  –  12mt. per hectare. The major cash and non-traditional crops produced in the municipality are cocoa, citrus oil palm, pineapples, pawpaw & vegetables. Productivity in agriculture is not high as a result of the low yields and low prices for the produce especially foodstuffs. A lot of environmental problems are as a result of pollution of water bodies and hardening of soils by agro-chemicals and chemical fertilizers. Human beings are also put to danger by the excessive use of chemicals on crops such as tomatoes and garden eggs.
The populations of livestock are as follows: Cattle 185, Sheep 56000, Goat 7166, Pigs 1112, Commercial Poultry 4362 and local poultry 35000.
The proximity to Accra makes the area a potentially high in respect of the production of poultry products and non-traditional crops that are exported such as pineapples, pawpaw and vegetables.

MARKETING
There are two major markets in the municipal which are prominent in food marketing. The major markets are

  1. Suhum
  2. Akorabo

These markets operate bi-weekly to allow clients to move from one market to the other.

ROADS
This municipality has about 30kms of highway all being sections of the Accra-Kumasi and Koforidua- Asamankese trunk roads.
At the moment a 36km dual-road project is taking place from Kwafokrom in the Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipality to Apedwa in the East Akyem Municipality with 10 kms passing through Suhum municipality. Only about 10 kilometres of the feeder road network is surfaced with most of them having earth surface.

IRRIGATION
The municipal has no major irrigation facility. However, vegetable farmers use pumping machines to draw water from Densu and Kua rivers to irrigate their crops.

AGRO PROCESSING
There are few agro-processing facilities in the municipality. Processing of cassava into gari are found in Kukua, Abenabu and Nankese-Ada while palm oil production is found in Dawa, Brong Densuso and Ayisikrom.

FARM POPULATION
Agricultural Holders
Table 3

AGE GROUP

NUMBER OF PEOPLE

AVERAGE

% OF TOTAL

 

2010

2011

2012

 

 

Up to 19 years

593

228

137

319.3

 

20-29 years

5,540

5,216

4,241

4,999

 

30-39 years

8,892

9,605

8,892

6,165.6

 

40-49 years

8,732

8,949

8,185

8,622

 

50-59 years

5,540

5,472

5,768

5,593

 

60 years above

7,091

6,128

6,817

6,678.6

 

Total

36,388

35,598

34,040

32,377.5

 

SPECIAL PROJECTS
CADBURY COCOA PARTNERSHIP ( CCP)
This partnership is between Cadbury UK and COCOBOD, Ghana. VSO is the implementing agent in Suhum Municipality and MOFA is the lead organization in the partnership. The project basically aims at improving Cocoa production in the Project communities.
The communities have increased from 11-40 (30 new communities). A total of 375 bicycles have been distributed to 15 schools in 15 communities and some teachers. Also an ICT centre is being constructed at Kofi Pare one of the project communities.
The project has provided boreholes in 5 communities ( Abenabo, Kokotesua/ Safrosa, Adidiso, Kromameng and Duodukrom). They have also distributed mosquito nets to all 41 communities. Beneficiaries are pregnant women and children of 1 day-3 years old.
This project has facilitated the drawing of community action plans for all 41 communities integrated into District/Municipal Development Plans. Has trained women extension volunteers in 12 communities to organise and educate women especially on basic Agric practices and other health, gender and Human rights issues.

4-H GHANA
It is part of a network of 4-H programmes in over 70 countries in North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The 4-H youth experience includes practical skill building activities, meaningful leadership roles and connection with caring adults. The project covers 12 Districts in Eastern region of which our Municipal is one and targeting 3600 school children and 1000 out of school youth expected to other parts of the country. The project focus is engaging the youth between the ages of 18-25 in agriculture, community work, health and other programmes that targets the livelihood and skills. The project for the Municipal is named Enterprise Garden Project.  Within the Municipal, 5 schools have been chosen for this project namely Adarkwa D/A JHS, Abenabo Presby Primary, Akorabo D/A JHS, Suhum D/A Experimental JHS and Otwebediadua D/A Primary where student practice school gardening in their various schools. Also 4-H has formed youth clubs in some communities like Akorabo and Ayisikrom.

POTENTIAL OF DISTRICT
The Municipal has the potential of growing a wide range of crops namely citrus, cereals, vegetables, oil palm, tubers and cocoa as a result of the good rich soils in the Municipal. The Municipal has a bimodal rainfall pattern which support plant growth throughout the year. Most of arable crops do well and with some form of capital investment, production can be boosted massively. Animal rearing is also another potential area that can be looked at. Animals have forage to graze throughout the year, hence it is lucrative venturing into animal production. The Municipal is also at close proximity with Accra about 60 kilometres distance and producers can easily convey their produce to bigger market centres in Accra for sales. The Municipal is surrounded by some research facilities that makes it easy for farmers to access knowledge, Kusi Oil Palm Research Institute, Tafo Cocoa Research Institute and Plant Genetic Resource Centre at Bonsu. The Densu and Kua River routed through the Municipal can support aquaculture and irrigation of vegetables and other crops.

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