Greater Accra

Ashaiman Municipal

Physical Characteristics

Introduction
Ashaiman Municipal Assembly covers a total land area of about forty five (45) square kilometers with a population size of 190,721 according to the 2010 Population and Housing Census. It was carved out of the then Tema Municipality, now Tema Metropolitan Authority, as one of the newly created Districts in 2008 by LI 1889 and Local Government Act of 1993 (Act 462). The Local Government Act of 1993 (ACT 462) and the National Development Planning System Act of 1994 (ACT 480) designate the Municipal Assembly as the Planning Authority with the mandate to plan, initiate and implement development programmes at the local level.

 

Physical Features
Ashaiman Municipality is located about 4km to the North of Tema and about 30km from Accra, the capital of Ghana. Whiles Tema is situated on the Greenwich Meridian on the Longitude 00, Ashaiman falls within Latitude 5° 42’ North and Longitude 0° 01’west. Ashaiman shares boundaries to the North and East with Kpone-Katamanso District and to the South and West with Tema Metropolis. Ashaiman covers a total land area of 45km2. Its proximity to Tema and Accra makes it easy for community members to have access to high level social facilities and infrastructure such as good roads, water, Hospitals and electricity. It also serves as a dormitory town for workers in most industries in the Tema Township.

 
The area is underlain by the Precambrian rocks of the Dahomeyan formation: metamorphic rocks mainly consisting of granite, gneiss and schist probably derived from sedimentary layers. These rocky formations are weathered or decomposed at the surface with a thickness (of the weather component) not exceeding 12m in the area. The soils are mostly sandy clays which are suitable for the cultivation of vegetables: okro, peppers, cabbage, cucumber are major vegetables produced in urban gardens. Most crop farmers in Ashaiman therefore cultivate these crops and market them to surrounding restaurants and hotels.

 
The relief of the area is generally flat and forms part of the Accra-Togo plains. However, there are isolated hills in the general area but even these barely reach 65m high. The relief makes it easy for construction of roads and drains.
Ashaiman lies within the Accra-Togo plains, and therefore experiences a climatic condition that extends from the east coast of Ghana into Togo. Rainfall in this area ranges from 730mm to 790mm.


The rainy season starts from April to July (the major season) and September to November (the minor season). Temperatures are high throughout the year. March – April is usually the hottest period with temperatures reaching 32ºc during the day and 27ºc at night. Cooler temperatures occur from May - September with a range of 27-29°c during the day and 22-24°c in the night. Humidity varies with the seasons with a height of 60-80% in the wet season and less than 30% in the dry periods. The vegetation consists of savannah grasses and shrubs due to the low rainfall regime. However, as a result of human activities, the natural vegetation no longer exists.

 
Ashaiman has well engineered drains along major roads in the township. Drainage within the residential units is, however, very poor as there are no well-engineered drainage system,
Creating  problems of liquid waste disposal within these units. This situation compounds the already existing problem of sanitation in the Municipality. Most of the drains along the major routes are also choked.

 

 

Political Administration and Structure
The Ashaiman Municipal Assembly is headed by a political head, that is, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) and assisted administratively by the Municipal Co-ordinating Director. The Assembly through the Local Government Act of 1993 (ACT 462, section 10 sub sections 1,2,3,4 and 5) carries out legislative, deliberative and executive functions of Government.


There are currently twenty seven (27) Assembly members including the Municipal Chief Executive and the Member of Parliament for Ashaiman constituency. The remaining twenty five (25) members are made up of eight (8) appointed and seventeen (17) elected members. There are only four (4) women out of the twenty seven (27) Assembly members, representing only about 15 percent. The Municipality is divided into seven zonal councils under which exist seventeen (17) electoral areas. There are 13 Departments performing various functions in the Municipality.

 
Social and Cultural Structure
Ashaiman was founded by one Nii Amui who migrated to the area from Tema in the 17th Century. Later, other migrants from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly area to the east of Tema came to settle in Ashaiman. The area where they settled is present day Lebanon (a suburb of Ashaiman). Ewes from the Volta Region were among the earliest migrants who settled in the area.

 
Currently, Ashaiman is home to people from many ethnic groups. The construction of Tema harbour and the railway line in the 1950s, contributed to the migration of people to the area in search of jobs and for relatively less expensive accommodation as compared to Accra and Tema. The area is known for multi-traditional dances that are often performed during festivals and other ceremonial occasions. Ashaiman is a cosmopolitan area which comprises large numbers of ethnic groups but no specific cultural festival is observed. The major ethnic groups include Ga-Damgbe, Ewe, Guans, Hausa, Dagomba, Asante, Fante, among others.


The Municipality is dominated by Christians followed by the Moslems and the traditionalist constituting the smallest proportion.
Ashaiman is a sprawling “urban settlement”, parts of which exhibit characteristics of a slum. This pertains especially around the core business arena of the community. Ashaiman has 37 public schools, made up of 18 JHS, 18 primary and 1 SHS. There are also about 290 private schools.


Ashaiman Senior High School is the only public Second Cycle Institution in the Municipality. A sizeable proportion of youth in Ashaiman therefore access senior secondary education in Tema.
Ashaiman has 17 health facilities with only one public health facility being the Ashaiman Polyclinic.


These health facilities render services like laboratory, pharmacy, school health, family planning, reproductive and child health and maternal services. Cases above these facilities are usually referred to the Tema General Hospital, which is less than 30 minutes’ drive from Ashaiman. With these facilities, it can be concluded that physical access to health care delivery is not a major problem in Ashaiman.
 
Economy
The 2010 population and housing census estimates that 91.6% of the economically active population (between 15 and 65 years) in the municipality are employed and the rest 8.4% are unemployed. Of the employed population, 5.3% are in Public (Government Sector), 20.5% in the Private formal, 73.1% in the Private informal and the remaining 0.9% are in the semi-public, NGOs and other international organisations. Service and sales workers constitute 36.5% of the employed population, which represent the majority of the labour force and is followed by craft and related trades workers with 22.0%. Other residents are also engaged in the agriculture sector (i.e. crop farming, livestock and poultry and fishing), small scale manufacturing and processing, quarrying and construction.

 
Farming in Ashaiman is mainly under irrigation at the Irrigation Scheme, Motorway, Community 21 and Roman Down. The Potential Area at the scheme site is 200 Hectares. The scheme has a developed area of 155 Hectares, 56 Hectares on the left bank and 99 Hectares on the right bank. About 40 Hectares is along the Motorway and the Roman Down. However, part of the 99 hectares is cultivated under rain fed agriculture. Other areas along the motorway, Community 21 and the Roman Down (covering 40 Hectares) are irrigated with motorized pumps.

 
The main Irrigation Scheme has a reservoir with a capacity of 5.6 million cubic meters of water for irrigation. The farmers have organized themselves into Co-operative societies which are registered under the Department of Co-operatives. There are about 800 livestock and crop famers in the Municipality. Each farmer has a land holding of between 0.4 and 2 Hectares. The scheme has a modern rice milling machine with a destoner. Quality milled rice is produced and patronage of the scheme’s rice (Perfume) is high.
 
The Annual Crop Production in the Municipality is as follows; 112.5 metric tons of rice, 350 metric tons of okro, 400 metric tons of green maize and 450 metric tons of onion. The major challenges for agriculture production in the Municipality has been identified to be inadequate land preparation machines for poor fields, lack of high horse power tractors for preparing vegetable fields and encroachment on farm lands and the Scheme’s Reservoir catchment area by Estate Developers.

 
There are a number of manufacturing activities in Ashaiman that provide employment opportunities for the people. These are large, medium and small scale in nature. The activities cover textile industries (e.g. kente waving, tier and die), production of agricultural inputs and block making machines (e.g. Homaku Engineering) as well as small scale aluminium industries that produce cooking utensils.

 
Ashaiman has two main markets; the central market and the Nii Annang Adjor market. The Assembly has initiated plans to put up about five (5) multi storey market complexes at various locations within the Municipality under Public Private Partnership (PPP). The Nii Annang Adjor market has a decent toilet and urinal facility. The markets in the Municipality have all kinds of commodities for sale.

 
Ashaiman Municipality is served with a number of services. These include banking, transport, telecommunication, electricity and tourism services. There are Fourteen (14) financial institutions, about ten (10) fuel services station in the Municipality. The only tourism potentials in Ashaiman are the multi-traditional dances that are often performed during festivals and ceremonial occasions. There are a number of decent hotels, guesthouses and restaurants for the hospitality industry.

 
Ashaiman is connected to the national electricity grid. Current estimates show that almost every household in Ashaiman has access to electricity. The Municipality is served with a good layout of roads with engineered drains. The roads are however not tarred. The major dual-carriage road in Ashaiman is currently under construction while some of the access (minor) roads are being provided with drains. Various forms of transport including private vehicles, commercial private minibuses, public buses, motorbikes, tricycles, bicycles and other modes of transport can be found in the Municipality.

 
There are a number of industrial activities in Ashaiman that provide employment and skills training for the people, especially the youth and these are large, medium and small-scale in nature.
Ashaiman has a formidable Garages Association under the Ghana National Association of Garages (GNAG) with over 400 artisans and 950 apprentices. Over the past few years, a number of programmes have been rolled out to addresses the problem of youth unemployment in the Municipality.


These include the Social Inclusion Transfer (SIT) under the Urban Poverty reduction Project (UPRP/SIF), Gender Skills Responsive Programme and the LESDEP programme. These programmes introduced a number of modules that engage the youth in economically productive skills.