Physical and Natural Environment
The Abuakwa North Municipal Assembly was carved out of the erstwhile East Akim Municipal Assembly and established by L.I 2305 of 2017 with Kukurantumi as its capital. The Assembly was inaugurated on 1st June, 2018. The Municipality is bounded by Fanteakwa North District to the north, New Juaben North Municipality to the south-east, Yilo Krobo Municipality to the east and Abuakwa South Municipality to the west a situation which promotes inter-district trade if well harnessed.
The centrality of its location and closeness of the Municipality to Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital present a great potential in terms of the spill-over of commercial activities as well as demand for residential accommodation within the enclave. Prospective investors who venture into real estates, commerce and trading will no doubt gain maximum returns. Figures 1.4, 1.5 and 1.6 show the Municipal Map as well as East Akim in National and Regional context respectively.
The municipality is mainly drained by the river Bompong. Several other seasonal streams are found in the municipality. The pattern is largely dendritic flowing in the north-south direction.
The municipality lies in the west semi-equatorial zone characterized by double rainfall maxima occurring in June and October; the first rainy season from May to June and the second from September to October. The mean annual rainfall is between 125mm and 175mm. The dry seasons are really distinct with the main season commencing in November and ending in late February. The favourable rainfall patern promotes agricultural activities even though it negatively affects constructional works causing cost and time overruns on contracts.
Temperature is found to be fairly uniform ranging between 26oC in August and 30oC in March. Relative humidity is generally high throughout the year, ranging between 70% - 80% in the dry season and 75% - 80% in the wet season.
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Green Economy and Environment
Natural environment is of crucial importance for social and economic life. It provides food, shelter, energy and recreation. In this respect the diversity of nature not only offers man a vast power of choice for his current needs and desires, it also enhances the role of nature as a source of solutions for the future needs and challenges of mankind. Everything that humans do has some impact on the environment. The Municipality has not been spared the drudgery of human activities such as land and water pollution through lumbering and mining activities.
The Abuakwa North is endowed with rich and varied biodiversity. The forests, some of which are mountainous are home to several flora and fauna species. The forest is an upland wet evergreen forest with wet and cloudy conditions the year round. Some flora species found include Triplochiton scelorxylon, Antiaris Africana, Alstonia boni and Melicia excelis. Some variety of fauna include butterflies, freshwater fish and amphibians. Others include birds bats large mammals and primates all of which constitute rich ecotourism attraction.
At the local level, the fringe communities depend on the upland forests in a variety of ways. This ranges from water supply, food, medicines, firewood, household equipment and building materials, to raw materials for processing enterprises as well as being home to a large diversity of flora and fauna.
The various communities are engaged in farming mainly cocoa, oil palm and other staples. In recent times, the upsurge in sand winning activiites in the municipality represents a clear danger to the forest cover.
Climate change is seen as one of the major environmental threats with international and national significance. Changes in the average weather conditions over a long period of time have its major ramifications on the socio-economic life of the citizens. Records available show that forest loss and fragmentation, which generate various negative environmental and ecological consequences, have become widespread phenomena across the municipality mainly due to negative human activities. At the local level, unregulated sand winning activities pose several varied threat to the ecosystem. (a paraphrase from Agyare, 2016).
The frequently occurring threats include:
• Illegal sand winning especially within the surrounding landscape
• Illegal chain saw logging
• Bush meat hunting (including poaching)
• Overharvesting of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs)
• Pollution from chemicals used in agriculture
Impact of climate change and mitigation measures
The incidence of climate change in the country manifests in sudden changes in weather pattern, erratic rainfall among others with their adverse effect give cause for concern and measures should be put in place to mitigate the harmful effects. The haphazard construction of houses especially on water ways and wetlands/flood prone areas, deforestation, improper layouts, excessive emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, illegal mining activities that has polluted many rivers like the Birim and Densu are among the numerous factors that have worsened the situation.
Due to all these the Municipal Assembly has outlined the following measures to address the situation including strict compliance with building regulations, undertake environmental impact assessment on all major human and development activities before embarking on them, land reclamation, tree planting and regular desilting of drains.
Other climate change mitigation interventions that the Assembly intends to adopt include making the construction of rain harvesting mandatory in both public and private building plans, engagement of the youth in land reclamation activities at quarrying sites and planting of ornamental plants along major roads and in schools. The Education directorate shall be supported to institute annual awards for environmentally responsible schools while encouraging the formation of environmental clubs at both basic and second cycle schools as well as enforcing the bye-laws on animal rearing.
The municipality lies within the moist semi-deciduous forest (figure 1.8) which is refreshed by the high volumes of rainwater making the land fertile for agricultural activities. The main forest reserve is the sacred forest, Noboa po, literary meaning the ancestral forest, which has cultural and historical significance and a great tourism potential. Some commercial species of trees contained in the forest are Odum, Wawa, Ofram, Mahogany, Kyenkyen among others. However owing to its sacret nature the forest is banned from both entry and other activities such as farming, timber logging, hunting and mineral prospecting.
Soils and their Suitability for Agriculture
The major soils in the municipality are the Asikuma-Atiwa-Ansum/Oda Compound Association (figure 1.10). Dominating this soil group is the Atiwa series which are mainly red, well drained, deep gravel-free silty loams and silty- clay loams. The Peki series are brown to reddish yellow, moderately well drained, very shallow and rocky. The valley bottoms are occupied by the Oda series which are poorly drained alluvial silty clays.
The soils are suitable for the cultivation of both food crops (cassava, plantain, yam, cocoyam, maize) and cash crops (cocoa, coffee, oil palm, citrus, cola) which are grown in the municipality. The land in this area is susceptible to very severe soil erosion if laid bare of vegetation.
The natural resources that abound in the municipality are mainly mineral and forest products as well as water bodies. Mineral resources include deposits of gold, diamond, and sand for construction. The gold and diamond deposits are found around Abremponso.
The rivers and streams are potential resource base for fishing and small scale irrigation schemes. The municipality is also rich in ground water resources as a result of light rainfall and underlying rock formation in the region. This is a potential source for bore-hole water.
Other natural attractions in the municipality include the monumental remains in the Kukurantumi forest.
Unlike other places, mining has not become an environmental issue. However sand wining activities are fast becoming a huge environmental degradation challenge for the municipality.
In exploiting the natural resource potentials of the municipality, there is the need to place environmental concerns on a high footing. Steps should therefore be put in place to regulate sand wining activities to prevent environmental degradation.
Date Created : 3/22/2019 6:20:03 AM