Road Network and General Condition
Roads are very important determinant of the accessibility of people to services and facilities. For this reason, it is necessary to analyze the road network and conditions in the district. They are therefore constructed to promote effective inter and intra district communication and transportations and to facilitate socio-economic activities in the district
The district road system can be classified into three (3) categories, namely, first, second and third class roads. The first class asphalt road with the length of 29km originates from Aframso and ends at Kasei. This is the main road that links Ejura to Kumasi and Atebubu districts. The second class road extends from Aframso to Sekyedumase, a distance of 25km. The rest are the Sekyedumase – Anyinasu, Anyinasu – Beme, Sekyedumase – Drobon, Juaho, Ahyiaem, Ejura-Samale Nkwanta, Dromankuma-Mbanaa, Ejura- etc which link other villages to each other and to Ejura.
During the rainy season, most of the third class roads become unmotorable and their use is restricted mostly to tractors in transporting farm produce to the marketing centers. Communities in the northern section of the district and in the Afram Plains are the most inaccessible. The Aframso – Kasei road is the only all-weather asphalt road in the district. In the small farming communities, footpaths and tracks are the only links between the villages and their farms. The total length of roads in the district is about 449km made up of 29km trunk roads, 98km feeder roads and 324 km constituting tracks and paths.
Based on the road conditions identified, three road hierarchical orders were identified based on the road surface type. Good, fair and bad classifications were used to categorize the road network in the district. All road surfaces with asphalt and had good surfaces without potholes with standard width were classified as good whiles those with laterite surfaces were considered fair however most of the laterite surfaces linking the minor communities as well as tracks and paths were classified as bad. About 6.5% of the roads are good, 7.5% are fair and about 72.1% are bad whiles 14% are under construction.
The major road network, surface type, their lengths and the road condition in the district are shown in the table below in pdf file.
Transportation and Post Telecommunication
Facilities for post and telecommunications are limited in the district. The district has a post office and telephone exchange at Ejura which links the district to other parts of the country. There are two postal agencies at Sekyedumase and Anyinasu and 205 letter boxes which serve the neighbouring communities. In addition to all these, there are about thirteen (13) privately owned communication centers in Ejura and three (3) at Sekyedumase. There are also Ghana Telecom telephone booths facilities in both Ejura, Sekyedumase,Anyinasu, Afrante, Nkrampo and Drobon. Ghana spacefon (areeba) space-to-space is randomly found in both Ejura and Sekyedumase which serve the people. About seven individual households also have telephone facilities in their home.
The major vehicles found in the district are lorries, motor-bicycle, tractors and bicycles. Few lorries use the village road because of their poor condition. On Mondays, traffic volume on the main and village roads is high because of the weekly market at Ejura. Most of the vehicles that use the village roads are old and often hardly roadworthy. Some of the problems found in this sector were;
• The on-street parking due to the absence of parking spaces along the roads
• Absence of road signs – this makes driving difficult in the district which consequently leads to accidents on the roads.
• The development of pot-holes gullies etc on the roads. This makes driving uncomfortable for both drivers and passengers; this problem has rendered most of the vehicles which ply on the road old and weak.
The survey made or conducted in the district and the district assembly priorities in this sector has been:
• To improve road network condition in the district
• To promote efficient spatial interaction in terms of convenience, efficiency and economy and
• To provide road signs for efficient and safe driving
Utilities (Energy Supply)
The main sources of energy used in the district are electricity, fossil fuels and biomass (i.e., firewood and charcoal). The residential sector accounts for most of the energy consumption in the district. The total amount of energy that is consumed per household is influenced by the size of the family and the number of times cooking is done.
As regards the provision of electricity for domestic use in the rural communities, the progress is not satisfactory because the district lacks adequate electricity supply. Only twelve communities, namely, Ejura, Sekyedumase, Anyinasu, Bonyon, Nkwanta, Kasei, Hiawoanwu , Dromankuma, Ebuom, Miminaso No. 1, Miminaso No. 2 and Babaso have been connected to the national electricity grid. All the other communities depend on kerosene for lighting. On the whole, the use of electricity for domestic and industrial activities is very low because of increasing cost of electricity.
There are two petrol filling stations (Mobil, Goil) at Ejura and eight surface tank dealers at Dromankuma/Bonyon (1), Ejura (4), Aframso (1) and Sekyedumase (2). The use of petroleum products in agriculture is very significant because of the high level of mechanization in the district.
Firewood and charcoal are the major sources of energy for cooking in the communities, which lack electricity as well as those that have electricity. About 90% of the people in the communities who enjoy electricity still depend on fuel wood (firewood and charcoal), while in the communities which are not linked to the national grid, all the households depend entirely on fuel wood to meet their cooking energy requirements. Solar energy is also used in drying crops. It is generally the women’s job to collect fuel wood for cooking. It often takes several hours to walk to and from supply sources, which add considerably to women’s workload.
Women in the district have little alternative forms of energy such as gas or photovoltaic in the local market and even where they are available, insufficient household funds prevent them from purchasing them. The consumption of fuel wood contributes to deforestation with accompanying ecological damage and increased prices, frequency of gathering thereby imposing heavy burdens on women.
The residential status of the people in the District showed that majority are owner occupants, forming about 48.2%, whiles 35.4% are free occupants and 16.4% are tenants. This demonstrates that more family relations dominate in the district. This would lead to low micro-economic spending on rent which could be channeled into other productive ventures to help increase production and productivity.
Type of Dwelling and Housing Characteristics
This tries to classify the buildings into detached, semi-detached and compound houses. As regard the type of dwelling in the District, majority of the people dwell in compound house. This constitutes about 49.6%. Those who dwell in detached houses form 35.1%. Only 14.3% live in semi-detached houses. This further shows that houses are provided to meet the housing needs of relatives. Since majority of the people patronizes the compound house help and assistance could easily be provided in times of need. Also the large number of compound houses gives more rooms to accommodate people and this has resulted in an average 4 households per house. Again, the average household size in the district is 4 which can be considered favorable when compared to the national average of 5.1.
Since the major housing type in the district is compound house. It was found out that majority of the houses have large number of rooms in them. This gives an average number of rooms per house of 6 and average number of habitable rooms of 5. This means that in every house there is an average of one inhabitable room in it. This together with the average household size of 4 gives a room occupancy rate of 1:3 which is favourable as compared to the national standard of 1:3 and the UN standard of 1:2.5. This means that there is no congestion as far as housing is concerned and this will reduce the number of communicable diseases caused by congestion in homes.
Type of Building Materials Used and Condition of Buildings
The type of building material determines the condition and lifespan of buildings in any geographical setting. This therefore calls for a careful consideration when it comes to the determination of the human resource in the district. 64.3% mud-bricks built houses are in bad condition while 70.7% of cement/concrete blocks-built houses are currently in good condition. Also, 80% of palm/raffia-built houses are in bad condition. In all, 51.2% of houses are in good condition whiles 48.8% are in bad condition. This means that there is high a correlation (0.81 spearman correlation coefficient) between the types of building material used and the current condition of buildings. In addition, majority of houses built with cement /concrete blocks are in good condition and will last longer than other materials built with palm/raffia majority of which are in bad conditions currently. This implies that that houses built with cement /concrete blocks are generally in good condition and this building material could be recommended for future constructional purposes to maximize returns on building material
Type of Roofing Materials Used and Conditions of Roofs
The table below shows the proportion of the respondents who use the various roofing materials for their buildings. It is seen from Table 1.84 that 45.2% of houses roofed with aluminum are in good (roofs without leakages) condition whilst the remaining 54.8% are in bad (roofs with leakages) condition. Also, 64.7% of those roofed with roofing tiles are in good condition compared to 35.3% bad condition. 25.9% of bamboo roofed houses are in good condition whereas 74.1% of them are in bad condition. Similarly, 11.4% of raffia grass roofed houses are currently in good shape whilst majority (88.6%) is in bad shape. In all, 36.9% of houses currently have good roof whereas 63.1% are with bad roof.
This implies that majority of houses now have bad roof which cause a problem during raining season and high spending on roof maintenance both now and in the longer term. This also indicates the level of poverty in the district. It was observed that about 69.1% of the people in the district use aluminum as roofing materials. Raffia grasses with 23.5% follow this. Roofing tiles and bamboo constitute 2.9% and 4.5% respectively.
Housing Facilities and their Location
The survey conducted showed that respondents have access to certain available basic facilities, such as, bathrooms, toilet, kitchen, as well as potable water. The table below summarizes the proportions of respondents who use the aforementioned facilities.
87% of respondents obtain their water outside the home (externally) whilst 13% have theirs internally. 93.6% of households have their electricity within their homes. 24.8% of houses have toilet facilities within their homes whereas the rest 75.2% use public ones. It can be seen also that most of the available facilities are located within homes. This implies that accessibility to most of the facility will not be a problem in the district as a reasonable number of the facilities are located inside the homes.
Major Housing Maintenance Activities
In terms of maintenance activities that go into housing maintenance, the major maintenance activities into housing include; replacement of bad roofing materials (30.7%), painting (34.0%), and plastering (30.9%).
Environmental Conditions Observed Around Houses
It was observed that the major environmental conditions in the district are stagnant water and erosion with erosion accounting for 62.5% followed by stagnant waters (24.7%) in the surroundings. Exposed buildings’ foundations poses a threat to human habitation as buildings could collapse and cause loss of precious lives. The gullies created by the soil erosion collect stagnant waters which serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes and other disease causing organisms giving rise to a high risk and prevalence of malaria and other diseases.
Some of the housing problems identified from the survey include congestion (36.3%) in some homes, inadequate facilities (51.8%) and high rent (5.5%) among those who are tenants. This means that facilities such as water, toilet, refuse dump sites etc are either sometimes lacking totally or inadequate for the population it is serving. This delineates the poverty situation in the people.
Accessibility to Service
The major infrastructure in the District is Education, Health, Water, and Sanitation, Electricity, Postal and Telecommunications Services, Financial Services, Markets, Roads etc.
The District has one hundred and eleven (111) Primary Schools, sixty (60) Junior Secondary Schools, four (4) Senior Secondary Schools and one (1) Vocational School. There are also two (2) Teacher-Training Colleges, one (1) Midwifery Training School and one (1) University Campus. Over 80% of the post J.S.S. Educational institutions are all located in Mampong. Despite the numerous educational facilities in the district, the standard of education is not encouraging. Due to financial constraints about 39% of pupils of school going age are not attending school.
The Sekyere West district has a number of health facilities including one (1) Hospital, seven (7) Health Centres, three (3) Maternity Homes, five (5) MCH/FP Points, six (6) Private Clinics and one (1) Midwifery Training Institution. All but two of the health facilities are located in the southern portion of the District. This therefore, means that people in the Afram plains do not have access to most of the health facilities.
Water and Sanitation
The District capital Mampong and a few surrounding towns have access to pipe borne water. The rest of the District is served by boreholes, and wells, constructed with assistance from World Vision International and Community Water and Sanitation Programme
Electricity, Postal, Telephone, Financial, and Market Services
Most of the settlements do not have electricity. It is estimated that only 27% of the population enjoy electricity. The towns which enjoy electricity include, Mampong, Nsuta, Beposo, Kwamang, Kyebi, Kyekyewere, Yonso, Apaah, Adidwan, Mprim, Kofiase, Benim, Asaam Krobo, Kyiremfaso, and Ninting.
Mampong and Nsuta have Post Offices while Kwamang, Kofiase, Adidwan, Kyebi, Atonsu, Beposo, Asaam, have postal agencies.
Telephone (fixed Lines) services are available at Mampong, Nsuta, and Beposo with almost the entire district covered by mobile phone networks.
The District boasts of a Commercial Bank (Ghana Commercial Bank) and a host of Rural Banks namely Otuasekan Rural Bank at Kofiase with agency at Mampong, Kwamanman Rural Bank at Kwamang with agencies at Mampong, Nsuta, and Beposo and Nsutaman Rural Bank at Nsuta. Insurance services are also available within the District. The Insurance Companies operating in the District are, Metropolitan Insurance Company, Star Assurance Company, State Insurance Company, and Quality Insurance Company. All the four companies are located at Mampong but they serve the entire District.
The District enjoys both weekly and daily markets. The weekly markets are at Mampong on Wednesday, Kofiase on Friday, Nsuta on Thursday, and Jeduako in the Afram plains on Tuesdays. Daily markets are found in almost all the smaller towns.
The major means of physical access into and within the District is by road. There are three basic categories of road network in the District. These are the first class road stretching form Ninting to Aframso, which is 47.3km and forms part of the Kumasi – Yeji highway. There are 3318.2 kilometres of second-class road linking most of the settlements in the District. The District has 144.8 kilometres of third class roads or feeder roads, which link the interior parts of the District, especially the Afram plains.
Physical Accessibility to Health
According to the physical accessibility to health map all the major health facilities are located at Mampong, Nsuta, Kwamang, Kofiase, Dome, Birem and Oku in the Sekyere West District. According to the physical accessibility to health map prepared, people who are able to access health facilities in 30 minutes are assumed to have access to health facilities. These are people who stay 30km from health facility on the Mampong – Kumasi main road and 9km from the facility for those who stay on the minor road. A study of the map indicates that areas at Aframso nos. 2 and 3 are not accessible to health facilities.
There are other parts like Adidwan nos. 1, 2 and 3 areas, which are also not accessible to health facilities. It is envisaged that with the completion of the Aframso no. 3 health facility, health services will improve in the area.
Physical Accessibility to Banks
There are both commercial and rural banks in the district, but banking facilities are not accessible to all people in the district. Banking facilities are located at Mampong, Nsuta, Kofiase, Kwamang, Beposo and Atonsu. According to the accessibility to banking maps drawn, people who are able to access banking facilities in 30 minutes are assumed to have access to bank and people who stay 30km from the facility on the main road have access to banking facilities while those who stay 9km from the facility on the minor road have access to banking facilities. Banking facilities are therefore accessible to people in the catchment area of Mampong, Kwamang and Kofiase.
Banking facilities are not accessible to many areas in the Afram plains. To improve banking facilities in the area, there is the need to establish a rural bank at either Birem or Oku in the Afram plains.
Physical Accessibility to Senior Secondary School
There are only four Senior Secondary Schools in the District. They are at Mampong, Nsuta and Kofiase. Second cycle education is accessible to people on the main trunk road who travel in 30 minutes to access the facility. People on the main trunk road who stay 30 km from the facility have access to SSS education whilst those who stay 9km on the minor road also have access to secondary education. The location of these senior secondary schools indicates that they are accessible to only people in the catchment area of Mampong. Senior Secondary school education is not accessible to people in the Afram plains.
Physical Accessibility to Markets
Weekly markets are held at Mampong, Kofiase, Nsuta, Kwamang, Jeduako and Birem in the district. Marketing facilities are accessible when people can travel to the market within 60 minutes. People who stay at a distance of 60km from a marketing facility are assumed to have access to market whilst people who live on a minor road at a distance of 18km are assumed to have access to markets. Portions of the Afram plains are not accessible to marketing facilities but the situation will improve considerably with the completion of the Birem market.
Physical Accessibility to Agricultural Extension Services
It is an undeniable fact that agriculture is the most important economic activity in the District. Agriculture Extension Services are quite predominant in the district. There is one agriculture extension station in the district at Mampong. The study indicates that people who travel within 30 minutes to access agricultural extension services have access to that facility. People who also stay 30km on the main road from agricultural extension services are assumed to have access to the facility. People who travel on the minor road to access extension services at a distance of 9km are assumed to have access to the facility. There are areas to the north and eastern part of the district, which are not accessible to agric. Extension services. These areas are at Oku, Adidwan Nos. 2 and 3, Dogo, Prebi etc.
Optimum Accessibility Map
Optimum accessibility areas are areas, which are accessible to all the facilities. Areas, which have access to all the facilities, are areas in the Mampong catchment area. These are areas which the 30km on the main Kumasi – Mampong road and 9km on the other minor roads. These areas are well endowed with all the aforementioned services. A greater portion of the district in the Afram plains is relatively less endowed and not accessible to many facilities.
Aggregate accessibility areas, are areas which have access to at least one facility. The facilities under study are discussed above. Many areas have access to the services, as services are fairly distributed in the district. However, there are pockets of areas in the District that do not have access to any facility at all. Thus these areas are deprived and do not enjoy any facility. Areas that are not accessible to any facility are found in the middle part of the District. But unfortunately, there are pockets of areas in the district, which don’t have access to any facility at all. Thus these areas are deprived and do not enjoy any facility.
Areas, which are not accessible to any facility, are found in the middle part of the district and in the northern part of the district. Upgrading of a settlement in the Afram plains is likely to address the imbalances in the level of services between the Mampong catchment area and the Afram Plains portion of the District.
Summary of outcome of Mapping
Health facilities are accessible to people within the catchment area of Mampong and its environs. It is accessible to people who stay at a distance of 30km on the major Kumasi – Mampong road and those who stay at a distance of 9km on the Mampong – Kofiase and Mampong Nsuta roads. Health facilities are therefore not accessible to people who live beyond these areas, especially in the Afram Plains portion of the District.
Banking facilities are located at Mampong, Kofiase, Nsuta, Atonsu, Beposo and Kwamang. They are therefore accessible to people who live at a distance of 30km from Mampong road and people who live at a distance of 9km on the minor roads. Banking or credit facilities are therefore not accessible to people who live in the Afram Plains portion of the District as they stay beyond the afore-mentioned areas.
Commercial or Marketing facilities are carried out on a weekly basis at Mampong, Kofiase, Nsuta, and Jeduako. Marketing facilities are accessible to people who stay 60km from Mampong on the main Kumasi – Mampong road and 18km on the minor roads. Commercial activities, which are hampered by the poor road network, are therefore not accessible to many people in the District.
In view of the fact that Agriculture is the mainstay of the District Economy, agricultural extension services are accessible to many people in the District. All the same there are areas within the central portion of the District and the northern part of the Afram Plains, which are not accessible to agricultural extension services.Senior Secondary and Tertiary education are found in towns like Mampong and Nsuta. These facilities are accessible to people who stay 30km on the main Kumasi-Mampong road and 9km to those who stay on the minor roads. Other areas in the Afram Plains, which are beyond these areas, do not have access to Secondary school education.
Towns like Mampong. Nsuta, Kofiase, Kwamang are well-endowed with services like water, electricity, health and banking facilities but the other part of the District in the Afram Plains is less endowed.
Having identified the level and variety of services and facilities in the district (using the scalogram analysis) a further analysis was made to determine the accessibility of these services and facilities in the district to the people. Accessibility defines the ease with which an individual can move from an origin to a destination to enjoy a service and return.
The concept is based on time spent in getting to enjoy a service. This time is a function of the distance to be covered to reach the location of service and the means of transport. All things being equal, the further the location of the service centers, the less accessible that service is to the people. Where there are improved means of transport, people can cover distances easily and enjoy services with a reasonable time limit. The basic assumption underlying the accessibility analysis is that travelling to enjoy a service is affected by the conditions of communications channels used, time taken and distance covered.
In Ejura-Sekyedumase district, roads (first, second and third class) and footpaths, the main modes of transport, were considered. In all, five services were considered having in mind their relative importance in providing basic services to the people in the district. These are health services, banking, senior secondary school, and weekly market and police services. Apart from the health facility, the other four services considered were found in Ejura and Sekyedumase.
Assumptions Underlying Accessibility Analysis
Based on the observed speed on the various modes of transport and waiting time, a number of assumptions were made. It could be seen that for one to be within a high access zone for health, he needs not to spend more than 35 minutes. If one spends up to 50 minutes, he would be within a medium access zone. All these are based on assumptions in table above. Based on assumptions a series of mathematical calculations were made and the results are used to carve out the various zones; high access, medium access, low access and least access zones. These zones have been carved out on the maps depicted
Aggregate and Optimum Accessibility
Aggregate accessibility is explained as the surface accessibility of any one of the services considered. The optimum accessibility is however a composite of all the services considered. The optimum accessibility therefore defines the ideal zone where one has access to all the services considered. Figures 1.15 and 1.16 show the aggregate and optimum accessibility respectively.
From the map, it could be seen that some areas in the district have less access to all the major services considered. The settlements in the north-south western part of the district (Agyata Akura, Papakyiaye etc) as shown in aggregate accessibility map have less access. This means that measures need to be put in place to address this situation of spatial imbalance in service distribution. The optimum accessibility however covers a less proportion of a district total land area of (16.2%). This further gives a clearer indication of the over concentration of the few existing facilities in one particular settlement. Only Ejura and its immediate surroundings have fallen within this zone.
It could be seen that over 90% of the populace have high access to services like banking, market, police station and secondary school which covers a relative proportion of about 73% of the total land size. However, for health service a high access zone of relatively smaller land size absorbs a huge proportion of the population. This implies that a large proportion of people in the high access zone will exert pressure on the land zone (size) where these health services are available. Also, there will be congestion and traffic due to the overwhelming numbers. Although the large proportion indicates an improved provision for the district, it also indicates pressure on the existing health facilities. Long queues, self medication, improper medical attendance emergency cases could arise as a result of this.
The large proportion of the districts within the high access zone (73.2%) for the other four services indicates less pressure land and the existing facilities. Increased savings, increased commercial activities, high security and high education patronage are the outcomes of this. To improve accessibility, there is also the need to improve upon the road surface conditions, improve supply of modes of transport thereby reducing travel and waiting time to enjoy services.
The Functional Region
A functional region defines the geographical area with intensive interaction of socio-economic activities, functional coherence and interdependence. It represents the area where economic initial investments could be concentrated due to the presence of basic facilities and intensive interaction. In mapping out the functional region, the following were considered:
• Optimum surface accessibility zone where one has access to all the basic services considered based on time distance indicators and
• The frequency and intensity of commodity flows.
Based upon these it was found out that only Ejura, Sekyedumase and its surrounding communities act as major functional areas of the district in the eastern and western parts respectively. The functional region covers about 40% of the entire surface area of the district. It also absorbs a population proportion of 84.1%. The small size of the functional region is an indication of the fact that, the greater part of the district lack access to the major market centers and service centers. This is attributed to the poor accessibility in terms of bad roads and inadequate vehicles in the area. This has been depicted on the map below.
Market surveys were undertaken to determine the extent of natural interaction between the market centers and their surrounding areas. It was also done to determine the trading position of the district that is the nature of exchange between the district and the rest of the country. A survey involving sellers and buyers were conducted in the major market centers; Ejura.
The goods traded in were classified under agricultural and manufactured goods and their monetary values computed for the analysis. It was realized that these markets functioned as retailing of agricultural produce mainly plantain, cocoyam, yam, and cassava among others which are mainly produced within the district and manufactured goods clothing, hardware cosmetics which come in mainly from outside the district. The analysis was taken in two parts namely exogenous flows and endogenous flows.
Exogenous flows refer to the exchange of goods between the district and the rest of the country. That is goods moving beyond the borders of the district. Goods entering the district from other parts of the country are considered (imports), exogenous inflows and those leaving the district to outside destinations were considered exogenous outflows (exports). The main trading partners are Kumasi, Accra, Nkoranza, Atebubu, Bolgatanga etc.
This refers to the internal exchange of goods between settlements in the district. These were also analyzed under agricultural goods and manufactured goods. The analysis is to help determine the areas of intensive interaction in the district which will serve as input in the derivation of the functional region.A total net flow of ¢79,445,000 was recorded for agricultural good flow. This indicates that the district is a net exporter of agricultural goods. It is however a net importer of manufactured goods as indicated by a net flow of ¢-2,085,000. The overall trade balance was computed and as shown below:
Total agricultural net flows = 79,445,000
Total manufactured net flow = -2,085,000
Overall trade balance = 77,360,000
The overall trade balance of ¢77,360,000 indicates that the district generally is the net exporter of agricultural goods and net importer of manufactured goods. This was because of the huge surplus incurred in the agricultural trade balance. To correct the deficit in the manufactured goods flows in the district, measures should seek, among others, to encourage the development of agro and forest based industrial activities to add more value to the district’s agricultural and forestry products.
From the analysis, the rural areas supply mainly agricultural products to the market centers and buy manufactured goods / products mainly fish/meat, clothes, kerosene and cosmetics among others. This interaction is however hampered by poor surface condition of roads. The exogenous and endogenous flows can be shown in Figures 1.18 and 1.19 below:
Date Created : 11/18/2017 7:07:56 AM