The Municipality is located in the Western part of Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. It is bounded to the South by Sunyani Municipality and to the North by Kintampo South District. It also shares a common boundary with Tain District to the West and Techiman Municipality to the West. It lies within latitudes 7o 30’ and 8o 05’ North and longitudes 2o 15’ West and 1o 55’ East. In terms of land size, the Municipality covers Three Thousand Four Hundred and Ninety-Four square kilometres (3,494km2).
Wenchi town, the district capital is 56km to Sunyani and 29km from Techiman. Its closeness to Techiman, a major national market, poses several benefits for agricultural production and agro-processing and farmers especially must be sensitised and supported to take advantage of this opportunity.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS
Geologically, the municipality is underlained mostly by Birrimain rock formation. The area falls under the Lower Birrimain, which consists of metamorphosed sediments such as phyillite and schist. There are also granite and granodiorite in the southeast and western parts of the Municipality.
A greater proportion of Wenchi Municipality falls under the savannah ochrosol with some lithosols. The land is generally low lying and most of the soils are sandy loam and in the valleys, loamy soils exist.
The soils are fairly rich in nutrients and are suitable for the cultivation of crops such as maize, yams, cocoyam, and cassava. There are clay deposits for pottery industry and burnt bricks and the soil supports the cultivation of savannah, transitional and forest crops.
The topography is predominantly undulating with gentle slopes of less than 1% inclination. The land generally rises from 30m above sea level to over 61m in the North West. Apart from the North-western high land; the other areas are basins of the tributaries of the Volta and therefore low lying.
Temperature in the Municipality is generally high averaging about 24.5oC. Average maximum temperature is 30.9 (oC) and a minimum of 21.2 (oC). The hottest months are February to April. Table 1.2 shows the mean monthly, annual maximum, minimum temperatures and changes in mean maximum and minimum temperatures in the Municipality.
Mean monthly and annual maximum and minimum temperature in oC for Wenchi (1961 – 2010)
|Mean Max 0o||32.5||34.3||33.7||32.5||31.4||30.1||28.2||28.0||28.7||29.7||30.6||30.8||30.9|
|Mean Min 0o||19.9||22.0||22.2||22.3||22.3||21.9||21.4||21.0||20.9||20.8||20.9||19.8||21.2|
Source: Ghana Meteorological Services
The prevailing climatic conditions in the Municipality constitute important parameters for development. The temperature has some influence on the quality and quantity of land cover. The rainfall pattern is characterised by seasonality, which is a limiting factor to crop cultivation and plant growth. The municipality has two main seasons – rainy and dry seasons.
The rainy season occurs between April and October with a short dry spell in August. The average annual rainfall is about 1,140 – 1,270mm. The Municipality experiences an average of four (4) months of rain. However, rivers such as Tain, Subin and the Black Volta flow throughout the year, which can be dammed to support dry season farming. The pattern of rainfall has been erratic over the years, which has affected production levels of farmers.
The dry season, also known as the hamattan, occurs between November and February. This long period of dryness makes the Municipality very vulnerable and susceptible to bush fires. Bush burning is therefore very rampant during the dry seasons. Community education and fire volunteerism must be intensified to reduce the occurrences of bush fires during the dry seasons.
Generally, the Municipality is well drained. The Black Volta marks the northern boundary of the Municipality with the Northern Region. The major rivers, which serve the communities in the Municipality, are Tain, Subin, Kyiridi, Trome and Yoyo. While some of the streams dry up in the dry season, the major rivers flow throughout the year. Rivers such as Tain, Subin and the Black Volta flow throughout the year. These can be dammed to support continuous agricultural production and safe water provision.
Groundwater potential in the Municipality is slightly variable. Much depends on the nature of the underlying rock formation and rainfall pattern. The present combination of lack of water storage in the wet season, heavy run-off, high evaporation and low infiltration rates to charge aquifers in the north-western portion of the Municipality contribute to water deficiencies hampering human settlement in that area. There is, however, good groundwater potential in the Subin, Tain and Volta Basins and generally across the Municipality.
VEGETATION – FOREST RESERVE AND GROOVES
The Municipality falls within the moist-semi-deciduous forest and the Guinea Savannah woodland vegetation zones. The Guinea savanna woodland represents an eco-climatic zone, which has evolved in response to climatic and edaphic limiting factors and has been modified substantially by human activities.
The original forest vegetation has been subjected to degradation, caused mainly by the indiscriminate bush fires, slash-and burn agriculture, logging and felling of trees for timber and fuel over the years. The cumulative effect is that secondary vegetation occurs in cultivated areas. Timber species like Odum, Sapele, Wawa and Mahogany are found in places such as Nwoase. In the semi-derived savanna areas, there is the absence of large economic trees as a result of logging, charcoal burning and mechanised farming.
The groves at Nwoase show that with protection, forests in the Municipality can be very productive because the soils in the sacred groves appear more fertile compared to soils, a few metres away which have been laid bare by intensive cultivation and other unsustainable uses. In the grooves, wildlife like deer and antelope are found. Other forest reserves are Sawsaw and Yaya. The combination of the vegetation zones – guinea savannah, transitional zone and the forest permit the cultivation of a variety of crops – cereal, tubers and vegetables and even animal rearing.
There are three major highways linking the Municipality to adjoining districts. These include the Kumasi-Techiman-Wa highway which links Wenchi to Techiman Municipality and the Bole Bamboi District. The other two are the Wenchi-Nsawkaw Road and the Wenchi-Sunyani. The Wenchi-Sunyani road is in a very deplorable state and is in need of rehabilitation to reduce the latest incidence of road accidents.
There are many feeder roads connecting the three major roads in the Municipality. The feeder roads are generally poor and unmotorable during the rainy season. The risks posed by transportation are related to poor road conditions. Traveling on these roads during the rainy season is very difficult, risky and disrupts agricultural marketing and other economically important communications. During the rainy season, tractors are often used on feeder roads.
The role of the private sector in road transportation in the Municipality is very significant. The private sector captures over 98% of all the road transport business. This is however done mainly with urvan buses which are not safe for use as public transport. Regulations need to be put in place to ensure that the right types of vehicles are used in the Municipality to guarantee passenger comfort and safety.
Population Size and Growth Rates
The 2000 National Housing and Population Census estimated the population of Wenchi District to be 166,641. Tain District was then part of Wenchi District. However Tain was ceded from Wenchi Municipality in 2004. The municipality has an estimated population of 102,175 (projected population for 2010).
Wenchi has a more active population as compared to the region. 53.9% of the Municipality’s population is within the active age group (15-64). The existing large labour force is an asset that needs the requisite social services to position it to pursue the Municipality’s development agenda. Table 2 below is a breakdown of the age and sex composition of the population of the Municipality.
Sex Composition of Wenchi Municipality
|Age Cohort||Males||Percentage (%)||Females||Percentage (%)||Total||Percentage (%)|
|0 – 14||21,559||21.1||18,902||18.5||40,461||39.6|
|15 – 64||25,952||25.4||29,120||28.5||55,072||53.9|
Source: Extrapolated from Population and Housing Census, 2000.
The table above depicts the age and sex distribution of the district population. The sex ratio in the Municipality is 1:1.02. . It can be inferred that females are in the majority (50.6%). As a result, municipal authorities have to put in place deliberate measures to improve the welfare of women, especially rural women who are in the majority. The population of children (0-14) is also significantly high (39.6%). In order to guarantee the future development of the Municipality, every effort must be made to ensure that this group receives quality education.
RURAL URBAN SPLIT
The population of the Municipality is largely rural as 58.6% (59,875) lives in rural settlements while 41.4% (42,300) is urban. In Ghana, settlements with population over 5000 are considered urban, among other criteria. By population criteria alone, only Wenchi town would be classified as urban. Nchiraa the next bigger community has a projected population of 4,419. Other big settlements are Nkonsia, Tromeso, Subinso No 2, Beposo, Droboso, Awisa, Nwoase, and Buoku.
LABOUR AND DEPENDENCY
About 53.9% of the population of Wenchi Municipal falls within the economically active age group (15-64years). Of these, 47.1% are males whiles 52.9% are females.
Dependency ratio shows the relative predominance of persons in dependent ages (Persons less than 15 and those above 65) and those in productive ages (15-64 years).
|Wenchi -Comparative Production Figures (2009-2010)|
|Crop||Area Cropped (Ha)||Average Yield (Mt/ha)||Production (Mt)|
|2009||2010||% Change||2009||2010||% Change||2009||2010||% Change|
LIVESTOCK CENSUS 2009
|7.||Poultry local birds||560|
CASHEW DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
2003 – 2010
(i) Expansion of cashew farms
(ii) Building farmers capacity in cashew production
(iii) Farmers organized into groups
(iv) Formation of cashew co-operative societies,
(v) Formation of district union
(vi) Creation of employment
(vii) Establishment of clonal gardens to improve unproductive trees, and
(viii) Extension of projectline credit to beneficiaries.
WAPP: WEST AFRICA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY PROGRAMME
(1) Formation of farmers group
(2) Establishment of ten learning plots (cassava and cowpea intercrop)
VILLAGE MANGO PROJECT
2006 – 2010
|Name of community||No. of household||Seedlings supplied||Seedlings planted||Seedlings survived||Seedlings dead|
|Subinso No. II||110||800||800||700||100|
ROOT AND TUBER IMPROVEMENT AND MARKETING PROGRAMME
2005 – 2013
(1) Expansion of Cassava Secondary Multiplication Field
(2) Establishments of tertiary fields at
Nkonsia, Amponsakrom and Nchiraa (54 acreages (21.6ha))
(3) Establishments of Farmer Field For (FFF) within Ayigbe, Droboso, Ayaayo and Nchiraa.
(4) Farmers organized into groups. So far one of the (FFF) groups at Amponsakrom has been able to open a banks account and has expanded their farm from 0.8 acres to 3 acres.
(5) 25 Gari processors have been trained in quality standard and packaging.
– Land banks
– Grain storage facilities
– Cashew apple processing
Key Issues that affect Agriculture
• Increasing incidence of bush fires and deforestation;
• Declining soil fertility;
• Low water tables at the North Western portion of the Municipality i.e. around Nwoase area;
• Unpredictable rainfall pattern;
• High run off, low water storage and high evaporation of fresh water (streams and rivers) as a result of deforestation: