Location and Size
The Upper Denkyira East Municipality is one of the twenty Administrative Districts of the Central Region. The Municipality was established in 2007 by Legislative Instrument (LI 1877) from the then Upper Denkyira District. It was inaugurated in February 2008. The Administrative Capital is Dunkwa-On-Offin.It lies within Latitudes 5º. 30’ and 6º 02’ North of the Equator and Longitudes 1º W and 2º West of the Greenwich Meridian. It shares common boundaries with Adansi South in the North, Assin North Municipal in the East and Twiffo Atti-Morkwa District in the West and Upper Denkyira West District in the North-West. The Upper Denkyira East Municipality covers a total land area of 1,020 square kilometers, which is about 10% of the total land area of the Central Region.
The Municipality falls within the semi equatorial zone with its characteristics.The mean annual temperatures are 29 º C in the hottest months and about 24ºC in the coolest months.There are two rainfall regimes with total annual mean rainfall between 120mm and 200mm.The first rainy season is from May to June with the heaviest in June, while the second rainy season is from September to Mid-November. The main dry season is from late November to February.
The Upper Denkyira East Municipality falls within the semi-deciduous forest zone. It consists of three layers which do not differ much from the rain forest. The trees in this forest zone do not shed all their leaves at the same time nor are they of the same species. Trees of the lower layer and some of the topmost layers stay evergreen throughout the year. This is due to the generally moist condition of the area. Due to increasing cocoa and mining activities in the area, especially in the northern part of the Municipality, very little of the original forest remains, and most of what is left are secondary forests. The forest contains various valuable timber species such as Mahogany and Wawa.
Conditions of the Natural Environment
Forestry is one of the important sectors of the municipality. The Assembly has three major forest reserves which are all rich in wildlife and lumber. They include the Benso-Benn, Oppong Manse and Minta Forest Reserves. They consist of different species of tropical hardwood of high economic value trees like Odum, Mahogany, Edinam and Wawa. Lumbering has therefore been an important economic activity. However, this has been creating environmental problems, as there is no proper management of the forest reserves. The reserves have been encroached upon by illegal chainsaw operators whose activities, if not checked, will deprive the Municipality of the needed forest resources for development.
Frequent outbreak of bushfires has also contributed to the depletion of forests and other forms of environmental degradation in the Municipality. Most of the known wildlife such as the deer and monkeys, which were mostly found in the forests, now face extinction. It is, however, important that the Forestry Service Commission and the Municipal Assembly initiate a more intensive afforestation programme to preserve some of the important economic tree species to ensure ecological balance in the municipality. Sustainable harnessing of existing forest resources is also to be encouraged
Conditions of the Built Environment
Human activities do not only impact on the natural environment as have been portrayed vividly under natural environment discussed above; the impact manifests itself perhaps more prominently in areas where humanity lives. Most activities of man in settlements he creates as permanent abode more often impacts negatively on the environment. This aspect of the report highlights on the way of life of the people in terms of their shelter, and living conditions and practices that have direct bearing on the environment.
Relief and Drainage
The area falls under a forest-dissected plateau, rising to about 250m above sea level. There are pockets of steep sided hills alternating with flat-bottomed valleys. Dunkwa, the Municipal Capital, has a series of high lands circling it. The major river in the area is the River Offin. A number of streams which are tributaries of either the Rivers Offin or Pra flow through the municipality. Prominent among them are the Subin Ninta, Aponapon and Tuatian in the south, Afiefi and Subin in the north.
The principal soil found in the area is forest ochrosols. The colour of these soils range between brown and orange. The soil is not highly leached as oxysol. Due to the reduction in the amount of rainfall, the soils contain greater quantities of soil nutrients and are generally alkaline. From the view point of crop production, they are the best soils in the country.Tree crops such as cocoa and oil palm thrive in the area. Cocoa covers about 50% of the Municipality entire arable land. Other crops like cassava, plantain and maize also do well.
Impact of Human Activities
Many of the areas hit by the illegal mining activities have been degraded. There are abandoned mined-out pits, heaps of gravel dotted all over and in some instances streams have been silted. Conflicts resulting from payment of compensation are also common in most of the areas in addition to reclamation blues. The use of mercury in the gold extraction process also negatively affects the environment and the communities, if not properly handled. Juvenile delinquency is also raising its ugly head in the mining communities in addition to overstretched social amenities.
Ownership of land in the Municipality like all other customary areas lies with the stool. However, families, clans and individual ownership can also be found. The Municipality does not have a well-structured land management system even with the presence of few institutions such as Town and Country planning and the Office of the Administrator of Stool lands as a result, land management activities have to be taken to the regional level before the process is completed.The customary land management has assumed the major system of managing lands in the municipality. The head of the stool is regarded as the custodian of the lands while Territorial chiefs are also empowered to manage lands in their territories. These chiefs are responsible for the allocation of lands for development.There is established the customary land secretariat in charge of the management of stool lands.
Geology and Mineral
The rocks in the Municipality are predominantly of Birimian and Tarkwaian formation.The Birimian formation consists of metamorphosed sediments as phyllites, schist and lava. This accounts for the Municipality’s rich mineral deposits particularly alluvial gold deposit along the valleys of River Offin and its tributaries and gold deposits inland