Location /Distribution of Services and Infrastructure
A study of spatial location and distribution of services and their inter-linkages in the municipality was carried out with the aid of the scalogram analysis. The scalogram, which is a matrix showing selected settlements and the respective functions they perform, provides an in-depth knowledge about the adequacy and variety of functions performed by each of the selected settlements. It also helps in the determination of hierarchy of settlements and the nature of spatial integration they exhibit in the municipality.
For the analysis, eighteen (18) settlements (representing communities with population 300 and above people were used. Thirty-seven (37) services and facilities, under education, health, water; energy, post and telecommunication, finance, agriculture and other sectors were identified and considered
Based on the variety and level of the aforementioned services in the scalogram, settlements were ranked in a hierarchy. Offinso (the municipal capital) has the highest number of services in the municipality, totaling 34 out of the 37 facilities considered. A centrality score was calculated from the scalogram for all the 18 settlements, and Offinso has the highest centrality score of 3,124.4. The next settlement, (Abofour) had a centrality score of only 814.4.
The analyses indicate that the facilities and services considered for the scalogram are skewed mostly in favour of Offinso. The municipality must make efforts to provide services and facilities in areas where they are not currently available. For instance there is the need increase facility and service level at Abofour to adequately service the northern part of the municipality.
Roads are very important determinant of the accessibility of people to services and facilities. Trunk roads within the municipality are the 40 km stretch of Kumasi – Techiman road and the 4.6 kilometers stretch of Offinso – Barekese road. In all, the municipality has 44.6 kilometres of bitumen surfaced trunk roads. The remaining road network of 175.5 km is graveled. These roads provide surface access to services in the municipality and also link the municipality to other parts of Ashanti Region and Ghana. All the major towns and some rural settlements in the municipality are linked by bitumen surfaced roads, thereby providing easy movement of people and goods to and from these communities.
Accessibility in remote Cocoa and food crop growing communities of Brekum, Kyebi, Kwapanin. Asoboi, Bonsua, Wawase, Gambia, Gambia Nkwata, Amaning etc. is poor. Some of the roads linking these communities become almost impassable during the rainy season. The people living in these areas travel on deplorable roads to access basic services like healthcare, markets and so on. In addition, some of the communities lack electricity and extension services. School pupils (especially at the KG level) still learn under dilapidated structures, qualified teachers refuse posting to these areas, people resort to self-medication/quack doctors for health care and the farmers sell their farm produce at very low prices.
Measures such as provision of health facilities, construction of feeder roads, provision of electricity, school infrastructure and extension services are required to improve the health status of the people, increase their production and incomes levels and also to create conducive learning environment for kids.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure and usage in the municipality is still generally low. There are only 6 internet cafes in the municipality and there are no internet signals in any of the Municipal Assembly’s office. All the key decentralized departments have no access to internet and the huge information available on the World Wide Web.
There are about 29 computers available for use by about 90 skilled staff of the Municipal Assembly and its Departments. The current situation of about 1 computer to more than 3 skilled staff has serious implication on efficiency and general performance. Similarly, there are only thirty-three public basic schools in the municipality which have access to computers. Some of these computers are not in use because of lack of electricity and qualified instructors.
There is an urgent need for increased ICT infrastructure (Computers, Internet connectivity, electricity, etc.) in the municipality to facilitate information processing, storage, dissemination and knowledge acquisition, and also to prepare the current and future generation for the information age.
There is only one (1) post office in the municipality. It is located at Offinso New Town
Offinso is the only town in the municipality with direct telephones lines. However Vodafone, Tigo, Expresso, Airtel and MTN mobile services are available in most parts of the municipality.
The municipality has no FM radio station; however, signals of all the FM stations located in Kumasi are received in most parts of the municipality. Signals from UTV, GHONE, Crystal TV, GTV, TV3, TV Africa and Metro TV are also available in most parts of the municipality. Six (6) internet cafes are in the municipality, most of which are located at Offinso.
These facilities provide important means through which information and feedbacks can be obtained for effective development of the municipality. The municipality must utilize the information technology to promote the development of agriculture and other sectors of the local economy. Efforts must therefore be made to ensure that the communication service providers improve and sustain the quality of services they provide.
The 2010 Population and Housing Census indicate that the municipality has about 9,000 houses. Estimated number of houses in the municipality in 2013 was about 9,500. Most houses in the rural part of the municipality are of poor quality. Some of the houses (even in urban centres) have their foundations exposed thereby exposing the inhabitants to the risk of losing their houses and their lives. There is still a general lack of maintenance culture among rural and some urban/peri-urban inhabitance. Other challenges in the housing industry include the following:
· Most houses do not have toilets, refuse disposal and waste water disposal facilities
· High number of low skilled personnel in the design, supervision and construction of building structures. This has serious
implication on human safety and cost of maintenance
· Construction of structures without regards to physical planning rules and regulation.
· High cost of land and building materials
Measures such as the use of local building materials, increased involvement of qualified personnel in the building construction industry, increased adherence to physical development and regulations, increased maintenance culture etc. are required to improve the quality of houses in the municipality and to reduce the risk many inhabitants are exposed to.
Youth and Sports
Sporting activities in the municipality are mainly football and athletics. These are carried out mostly in schools. Inter schools games and athletic competitions are usually organized every year in the municipality. Out of school football, volleyball, tennis ball and athletics competitions are not common.
Sports provides economic and health benefits. Unfortunately infrastructure for sports, both at the school and community level are not up to the standard required to attract people into sports. Most schools and communities still do not have playing pitches and where they exist they are either small or have deteriorated and therefore cannot be used for any meaningful sporting activity. A parcel of land has been earmarked for the development of a standard spots stadium at Offinso. The land is still lying fallow and exposed to encroachers.
The absence of proper infrastructure has contributed to a generally low level of sporting activities in the municipality. There is therefore the need to provide standard sports infrastructure to enable the youth who constitute about 46% of the total population of the municipality to actively engage in sporting activities for livelihoods and improved health.
Key Economic Infrastructure in the Municipality
Electricity, Oil and Gas
Most settlements in the municipality have access to electricity. Thirty-three (33) settlements with population, 500 and above people have been hooked onto the National Power Grid as shown in the table 19, below. However, frequent power outages make it difficult for inhabitants to derive the full economic and social benefits of electricity supply.
Eight (8) communities with population 500 and above people have no electricity. Some of these are Agogo, Brekum, Gambia Nkwanta, and Apotosu. In addition, newly developed parts of some urban/peri-urban towns in the municipality are yet to be connected to the national grid.
There is the need for Electricity Company of Ghana, Municipal Assembly and other relevant stakeholders to work together to improve the quality and coverage of electricity supply in the municipality, and to provide opportunities for electricity-based socio- economic development.
The discovery and exploitation of oil and gas in commercial quantities in Ghana has provided opportunities for increased oil and gas related investments across the country. There are nine (9) oil refilling stations in the municipality.
Several investments in the operation of fuel refilling station are ongoing in the municipality, especially along the Kumasi-Techiman road. Investments in fuel stations provide job opportunities for inhabitants of the municipality. However, most of these facilities are indiscriminately done without recourse to spatial planning and development rules and regulations. Some of them are located close to residential areas.
There are two (2) gas refilling stations, all located at offinso. Gas utilization is low in the municipality. It is currently used by some urban households and taxis. Most households especially in the peri-urban and rural areas still rely on charcoal and fuel wood for energy.
Generally, there is very low knowledge on the wider benefits of the oil and gas industry. There is therefore the need to increase knowledge on the wider benefits of oil and gas, promote household utilization of gas, promote agriculture production (Offinso pawpaw) for the oil and gas market and regulate the siting of oil and gas refilling stations in the municipality.
The municipality has a total road network of 220 kilometres. Out of these, 44.6 kilometers (represents 20.27% of total road surface) are bitumen surfaced. A total of 44.6.kms of road is in good condition. Motor vehicle remains an indispensable means of transport for most people in the municipality; the generally low level of good roads in the municipality makes movement within the municipality difficult. Similarly, only 1 km out of the total of 35.8 km of town roads in the municipality is in good condition. The drainage system is also not in good state.
The Municipal Assembly and the Road Agencies should work to improve the condition of roads in the municipality, especially the town roads and those in the remote Cocoa and food crop growing communities at Bonsua, Abofour and Samproso Zonal Councils, so as to improve accessibility towards increased food production, access to market and reduce poverty. Table 20 and 21 provide the summary and detailed road network in the municipality and their condition.
Date Created : 11/27/2017 3:08:28 AM
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