The Ellembelle district is one of the newly created districts in the Western Region of Ghana. It was carved out of the Nzema East district in 2008 under LI 1918. Its district capital is Nkroful, the birth and original birth place of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of the Republic of Ghana. The district capital is situated about 4 kilometers of the main trans-West Africa trunk road to La Cote D’ Ivoire. It is about 80 kilometers from Takoradi, the regional capital and 305 kilometers to Accra the national capital. It is made up of 115 settlements with the major ones in the south.
LOCATION AND SIZE
The Ellembelle District which is one of the Seventeen (17) Districts in the Western Region of Ghana is located on the southern end of the region between longitudes 2º05’ and 2º35’ West and latitude 4º40 and 5º20 North.
The district is bounded in the south by the Gulf of Guinea, north by part of the north eastern part of the Axim municipality and the Wassa Amefi west district, west by the Jomoro district and the east by the River Ankobra (a major river in western region which separates the district from its mother district, now called Axim Municipality). It covers a total area of about 1,468 (Square kilometers) which constitute about 6.8% (Percent) of the total land mass of the Western Region.
CLIMATE AND VEGETATION
The District lies within the wet semi-equatorial climate zone of the West African Sub-region. Rainfall is throughout the year with the highest monthly mean occurring around May and June.
The average temperature in the District is about 29.4 with variation in mean monthly ranging between 4 – 5 degrees Celsius throughout a year.
The vegetation of the District is made up of the moist semi-deciduous rain forest in the northern part of the District, but turns into secondary forest as one moves southwards mainly due to human activities like tree felling and farming. There is about 70km coastline which is mainly of savanna vegetation. The District has several timber species and other non timber forest products like rattan, bamboo. It also abounds in game and wildlife all of which offer opportunities to generate resources for development.
Table: Rainfall Distribution 2005 – 2010
|Monthly||Rainfall in mm|
Source: Municipal Meteor Service, Axim
There are three forest reserves in the District. These are Shelter Forest Reserves, Draw River Forest Reserve, the largest among the three and located at the Northern half of the District and Ndumfri Forest Reserve to the North Eastern end of the District.
Some are acidic and low in nutrient due to high leaching. Leaching is the result of the high rainfall in the District. Soil in the District are made of various soil types. They include clay, loams, sandy loams, loose sands and alluvial soil. A large deposit of Kaolin could be located around Teleku Bokazo, salman and Aluku. The soil types support different types of crop and livestock production.
The high rainfall pattern and the long periods of the rainfall has resulted in the presence of many rivers like Ankobra and Mufre in the District which can, using the right technology, easily be harnessed to provide potable water and water transport the communities.
They can also be a good source of Inland fishing as well as for irrigation farming in order to provide employment and improve the nutritional status of the people.
TOTAL POPULATION OF THE DISTRICT
The population of 107,673 for the District may indicate no great pressure of population on the land. However the same cannot be said of the pressure on resources. Settlements or Growth points like Esiama and Aiyinase have been experiencing relatively higher population densities with corresponding pressure being exerted on the existing limited infrastructural facilities.
Table: Population Figures
Source: Ghana Statistical Service (2010)
Farming – Fishing and Cocoa growing – is the main occupation of the people in the district. However, small scale mining, and trading is carried out in the middle and the northern zones. There are three major market days in the district at Aiyinase(two market days) and Asasetre markets where most food stuffs are sold. Processing and sale of copra oil is also carried out in certain parts of the district.
ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – CROPS/LIVESTOCK AND FISHING
Cocoa is the predominant of the tree crops now grown as a result of the devastation of the coconut crop by the deadly lethal yellowing Disease (Cape Saint Paul’s wilt Disease) other tree crops of economic importance include oil palm, robber, and citrus. Major food crops are cassava, plantain, rice, vegetables such as garden eggs, pepper, and tomato.
Livestock kept include cattle, sheep and goat, pigs, local poultry and ducks. Marine fishing is the major activity along the coastal belt of the district.
Credit In Kind Project (Pigs): funded by GoG with the primary objective of supporting flood victims. Other beneficiaries are Ellembelle District Assembly and Nkroful Agricultural Senior High School.
Local Poultry Improvement Project: funded by GoG with the objective of improving local poultry birds.
Inland Valley Rice Development Project (IVRDP): funded by African Development Bank with the objective of increasing rice production.
Block Farming: funded by GoG with the objective of increasing food production.
Cocoa Diseases and Pest Control Project (CODAPEC): funded by COCOBOD with the objective of increasing cocoa production.