Location and Distribution of services
An examination of the nature of the distribution of services was made, by means of a Scalogram Analysis. A Scalogram is a matrix presentation of the functional structure of settlements. This technique enable the determination of the hierarchy of settlements in the district and hence the nature of spatial integration. In all 35 services were considered from the various sectors of the district economy namely education, health, agriculture, commerce, communication etc.
Hierarchy of Settlement and its implications
The analysis revealed four levels of settlements within the district. Swedru the district capital is the highest of the settlements. Nyakrom and Kwanyako are the second order settlements.The third order settlements are made up of Nsaba, Bobikuma, Dwakwa and Abodom. These settlements are to provide some of services for the surrounding satellite towns. But for one reason or the other they are not able to do so do to the distances from these settlements to the main towns. Such that even though these settlements have some basic facilities the transportation systems are not efficient hence people in need of basic facilities end up in the district capital because it is easier to access the district facilities than the lower order ones.
The fourth order settlements offer the lowest services such as nursery and primary schools, streams and dugouts. Most of the settlements were found outside the functional region, which is an indication that there are spatial imbalances in the distribution of services in the district and some communities are cut-off from enjoying socio-economic services. Services and facilities are concentrated at Swedru (District Capital). Of the 35 services listed, Swedru has 35 services. Nyankrom follows Swedru with 24 services. Hence if development is to benefit the populace and have a wider coverage there is the need for these lower order settlements to be upgrade.
In this analysis, market surveys (Buyers and Sellers) ware conducted in the district for Two months to determine the extent of natural interaction between the market centres and their surrounding areas. The analysis helps in establishing a trade balance for the district in terms of Agricultural and Industrial goods.The flow considers sellers and buyers of two market centres namely Swedru and Madela Markets. Both Exogenous and endogenous flows were classified under agricultural and industrial goods in the district and their economic values were measured in monetary terms.
The basic functions of these markets are retailing of agricultural produce (like fish, tomato, pepper, okro, garden eggs onion, cassava,) mainly produced from the municipality and manufactured items (Like clothing, hardware, cosmetics and provision) coming from Accra and Lome. It was observed from the study that in terms of both agriculture inflows and outflows Mandela market emerged the most important market centre.
The exogenous Flows refer to the exchange of goods between the district and the rest of districts within the country. In other words it is the goods moving beyond the boundaries of the district. These ’flows can be goods from external sources (exogenous Inflows or imports) and leaving the district to outside destination (exogenous outflows or exports)
Endogenous Flows refer to internal exchange of goods between the communities in the district, irrespective of where they are produced. The analysis of these flows helps to determine areas of intensive interaction in the district and also functional region.
Criteria for the Selection of the Centers for the Scalogram
The categorization of the above communities was based strictly on the accessibility to the basic needs in the district as well as the population of the communities. To be precise the cut off point for the selection of these communities was a threshold population of over 400 with a minimum presence of at least 5 facilities. The handy cap of the matrix only shows the presence of the facilities in the communities but not the number of the facilities in the community which is the best. As a country that is embarking on poverty reduction one of the strategies to enable accelerated development is to spread in an equitable manner the national social and economic benefit that accrues to the nation.
This can be done though the focus on growth within selected development centers in the district or spatial entity in our case being the grade 4 settlements. Currently there is a weak link between the existing network of settlements in the district even though they are all well linked and easily accessible to easy other. Hence it is the notion that if there is a balanced consideration for the development of these mid level settlements the rural communities can benefit from this well equipped semi urban centers.
Hence if these settlements are well developed they can provide sufficient markets, service and storage facilities as well as labour intensive industries for the processing of local materials as being proposed by the Government under the Rural Enterprise Development Programme. Given the high capital outlay needed for the establishment of these satellite towns it is proposed that two of them developed in the interim (Otsenkorang and Akwaakwaa) because of their locations. They are right in the heart of the hard core poverty pockets one in the east and the other in the west.
Date Created : 11/13/2017 5:46:55 AM