PHYSICAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
Location and Size
The Kassena Nankana East District lies within the Guinea Savannah woodlands. It is one of the nine (9) districts in the Upper East Region.The District shares boundaries to the North with Burkina Faso, to the East with Bolgatanga Districts, West with the Builsa District and South with West Mamprusi District (in the Northern Region).
Number of communities
The District has a total of 97 communities
Topography and Drainage
The District is generally low-lying. The landscape is generally undulating with isolated hills rising up to about 300 metres in the western parts of the District. Notably among these hills include Fie (280 metres), Busono (350 metres) and Zambao (360 metres).
The drainage system of the District is constituted mainly around the tributaries of the Sissili River – Asibelika, Afumbeli, Bukpegi and Beeyi. A tributary of the Asibelika River (Tono River) has been dammed to provide irrigation facilities, which is of great economic importance to the entire District. There are some few dugouts and ponds, which are used for livestock, crop farming in the dry seasons and domestic purposes. This feature makes the district a suitable destination for irrigation development
Geology and Soil
Two main types of soil are present within the District namely the Savannah ochrosols and groundwater laterite. The northern and eastern parts of the district are covered by the Savannah ochrosols, while the rest of the District has groundwater laterite.
The Savannah ochrosols are porous, well drained, loamy, and mildly acidic and interspersed with patches of black or dark-grey clay soils. This soil type is suitable for cultivation and hence accounts for the arable land sites including most parts of the Tono Irrigation Project sites where both wet and dry season farming activities are concentrated.
The groundwater laterites are developed mainly over shale and granite and covers approximately 60 per cent of the District’s land area. Due to the underlying rock type (granite), they become waterlogged during the rainy season and dry out during the dry season, thus causing cemented layers of iron-stone (hard pan), which makes cultivation difficult.
The climate conditions of the District are characterized by the dry and wet seasons, which are influenced mainly by two (2) air masses – the North-East Trade winds and the South-Westerlies (Tropical Maritime). The Harmattan air mass (North-East Trade Winds) is usually dry and dusty as it originates from the Sahara Desert. During such periods, rainfall is virtually absent due to low relative humidity, which rarely exceeds 20 per cent and low vapour pressure less than 10mb. Day temperatures are high recording 42° Celsius (especially February and March) and night temperatures are as low as 18° Celsius.
The District experiences the tropical maritime air mass between May and October. This brings rainfall averaging 950mm per annum. This makes most of the youth in the district idle during the dry seasons (November to April)
The District is covered mainly by the Sahel and Sudan-Savannah types of vegetations; comprising open savannah with fire-swept grassland and deciduous trees. Some of the most densely vegetated parts of the District can be found along river basins and forest reserves. Examples are the Sissili and Asibelika basins, Kologo and Naaga forest reserves. Most of these trees in the forest areas shed off their leaves during the dry season. The vegetation type is conducive for animal rearing especially small ruminants and poultry.
However, the activities of man over the years have affected the original (virgin) vegetation cover. Common trees found are dawadawa, baobab, sheanut and mangos.
The Kassena Nankana East District lies within the dry land zone. The natural environment is fairly degraded as it faces threat of severe drought with high temperatures and perennial outbreak of bush fires. It is evident that high population densities (especially in towns) with high demand for land for constructional activities, extensive cultivation, over-grazing, erratic rainfall and the extent of devastation do affect the natural environment thereby exposing it to desertification.
It is therefore important for a conscious effort to be made to intensify education on environmental implications with regard to sustainable developments. This is because economic development should progress hand in hand with environmental protection in the achievement of sustainable development.
Forest Resource and Production
Situation of Forest Resources
The District has five (5) forest reserves covering a total of164km². Off-reserve community fallow lands also contribute as forest resources. To recharge aqua-fresh systems and protect water resources, most forest reserves were established near rivers and other drainages. Table 1.7 below depicts the extent and ownership of forest in the District.
The population of the District from the 2000 Population and Housing Census is estimated to be79, 187. This inter censual growth rate of 1 per cent is below the national growth rate of 1.1 percent.
The sex composition of the District’s population favours female. The female forms a little over one-half of the total population of the District. The female population is estimated to be 40,940 representing 51.7 per cent while the male recorded 38,247 representing 48.3 per cent of the population. This is indicated in table 220.127.116.11 below.
The District recorded a population density of 91 persons per sq. km. This is higher than the national density of 79.7 persons per sq km but below the regional density of 104.1 persons per sq. km.
The District’s current population has a high growth potential unless a very marked decline in fertility sets in within the next few years. This is because, with reductions in mortality especially infant and child mortality as a result of improvement in health care services, more and more people are surviving to reach the childbearing ages.
Dependency Ratio (DR) is defined as the ratio of the sum of the population aged below 15 years and above 65 years to the population between 14 and 65 years as expressed as a percentage.
The District recorded age dependency ratio of 87.8 as indicated in Table below. This means that 100 economically active persons have responsibility for approximately 88 dependents.
Age and Sex Distribution of the Population
|Age group||Population||Sex distribution (%)|
|< 19 years|
|20 – 29 years|
|30 – 39 years|
|40 – 49 years|
|50 – 59 years|
Sex and Rural-Urban Distribution of the Population
|Sex||Population||Percentage Distribution (%)|
The labour force in the district comprises agricultural labour, non-agricultural labour and casual labour. Under agricultural labour, family labour claims over 60% usually comprising men, women and children of age 15 years at least. The remaining 40% goes to non-agricultural labour and casual labour. The demand for labour is at its peak in the rainy season, when more farming activities are being carried out.
AGRICULTURE (with Maps)
Agriculture is the mainstay of the District economy; employing over 60 per cent of the economically active population. Farming activities are mainly rain-fed. However, irrigation facilities at Tono Irrigation project areas, smaller dams/dugouts and some other water bodies serve as sources of water for dry season farming.
Although crop farming, as indicated in the table above, is the highest contributor to agricultural development, in practice, the people in the District integrate the other non-cropping activities such as fishing, hunting, livestock and poultry keeping with their cropping activities. Nevertheless, the non-cropping activities are less intensely practiced as compared to cropping which is relied on to satisfy the domestic needs through direct consumption and sale of others to patch up nonfood requirements.
The kassena Nankana East District Agricultural Development Unit (KNEDADU) is the major organization for analyzing problems of farmers and disseminating information useful to them with the aim of assisting them to improve upon the production, processing, storage, marketing and utilization of field crops, tree crops, livestock, poultry, fish and other related agricultural production such as bee keeping.
The KNEDADU has qualified professional and technical staff in the various disciplines of agriculture and is able to perform the activities mentioned above.
The organization has linkages with relevant nstitutions and collaborates with various stakeholders such as NGOs, Agroprocessors, input dealers and farmers who are the major stakeholders. The organization reaches out to over 35,000 farmers.
Cereals: Maize, Rice, Millet, Sorghum
Legumes: Groundnuts, Cowpea, Soyabean, Bambara beans
Roots & Tubers: Sweet Potatoes, Frafra potatoes
Vegetables: Okro, Pepper, Leafy vegetables
Irrigated Crops: Tomatoes, Onion, Water melon, rice, okro, pepper, maize
Seed production: maize, soyabean, rice
Livetsock sector: Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Pigs, Fowls, Guinea fowls, Pigeons, ducks, turkeys
The main crops cultivated by farmers during the rainy season are:
|Crop||Ha||Total coverage||Yields (MT/Ha)|
|Crop||Ha||Total coverage||Yields (MT/Ha)|
Apart from crop production, livestock and poultry rearing is the second most important feature in agricultural development. Almost all farmers are engaged in the rearing of at least one type of livestock and poultry. Livestock serves as a good source of income for farmers especially when there is crop failure. Production is largely at the subsistence level. The livestock reared include poultry (guinea fowls, fowls, ducks, and turkeys), cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and donkeys
|Livestock Development Project (LDP)||2005||2010||80 farmers received 800 sheep-stock as credit-in-kind|
|Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP)||2009||2014||Four (4) Producer Organisations were linked to the Bank for support and cultivated 147 acres for seed under dry season irrigation.||64 men and 22 women benefited|
|Block Farms Project||2008||On-going|