Lower Manya Krobo Municipal forms part of the twenty six (26) Municipalities and Districts in the Eastern Region of Ghana. It lies between latitude 6.05S and 6.30N and longitude 0o08E and 0.20W. The Administrative Capital of the District is Odumase. The District covers an area of 1,476 km, constituting about 8.1% of the total land area within the Region (18,310 km). The district was established by Legislative Instrument (L.I) 2046 .
The major towns in the district include Odumase township (which incorporates Atua, Agormanya and Nuaso), Akuse and Kpong in the Lower Manya area. The District shares Boundaries with Upper Manya Krobo District to the north, to the south with DangmeWest and Yilo Krobo respectively, to the west with Yilo Krobo Municipal and to the east with Asuogyaman District.
The population of the municipality according to 2010 population and housing census stands at 89,246 with 41,470 males and 47,776 females.
The environmental situation of the District consists of the condition of the natural environment and of the built environment, as well as sites of aesthetic and historic importance. These impacts are greatly on the welfare of the people. The environment gives a physical manifestation of the current level of poverty and well being of the people. The environment gives a physical manifestation of the current level of poverty and well being of the people.
Conditions of the Natural Environment
Manya Krobo District is relatively flat to the southeast with isolated hills to the northwest. Landscape is generally undulating with several streams, most of which drain into the Volta Lake. Much of the northeastern boundaries of the District constitute the shores of the Volta Lake.
There are four forest reserves in the District. These are the Volta River Block I, Yongwa, Sapawa and the Aboden forest reserves. They occupy about 60 square km of land. Within the Yongwa forest, there is rare species of tree by the name of Talbotiella that attract scientistst to the area.
The relatively hilly nature of the upper part of the District, coupled with the intensive farming activities using traditional practices has led to severe erosion and deforestation. This in turn has become a threat to the District’s vegetation. The lower part of the District, which is relatively flat, suffers from flooding during the intensive rain.
Land degradation resulting from frequent bush fires is a common phenomenon in the District. Bush fires occur mostly during the dry season in the rural areas, whereas the District’s only fire station is located at Kpong in the South Eastern part of the District. Fire fighting programmes have to be community based to deal with the menace. Indiscriminate cutting of trees for charcoal burning, fuel wood and other purposes also degrade the forest,
Conditions of the Built Environment
Almost all the settlements in the District exhibit linear of nucleated settlement patterns. The major factors for this can be attributed to the “huza” system being practiced by the Krobos and the topography of the District. In the older parts of the comparatively urbanized settlement such as Odumase, Kpong, Asesewa and Akuse, conditions within the build environment are generally poor.
Traditional building materials such as stabilized earth, concrete, wattle and the daub, iron roofing sheets as well as glass were predominantly used. Drainage and garbage disposal are visible problems throughout the major towns. The rate of population growth and the rate of housing development have increased the urban sprawl and development control has virtually broken down.
In the more rural areas, particularly the upper parts of the District, settlements are dispersed within the landscape. The collection and disposal of refuse is a serious problem in the lower part of the District especially in the urban areas. Refuse is managed on site with disposal being done by raking and burning.
Most of the time, the rate of dumping exceeds the rate of disposal leading to huge mounds of refuse at the refuse sites. In the villages, the refuse is managed on a house-to-house basis. A similar problem also pertains to the management of human waste disposal. The unplanned nature of the areas, worsened by the lack of maintenance, has resulted in over crowding and decay.
The high growth in the urban areas is contributing to unplanned and haphazard development as the population migrates to the towns from the villages and more rural areas. However, in the new settlement areas such as VRA Township in Akuse where proper planning and zoning has been done, there are pleasant environmental conditions.
Erosion has been a major problem in the build environment. This can be attributed to the absence of an effective drainage system in the communities. Most of the houses or buildings have exposed foundations. Haphazard developments where structures have been put up without regard to a structural plan for the area have adversely affected the built environment.
There are many houses without access roads. Provisions of facilities like water and electricity have become a problem due to the unplanned development pattern of some areas. The District also is severely hampered in its development by the inadequate availability of telephones throughout the area, resulting as a reliance on inadequate telecommunication facilities.
Sites of Historic and Aesthetic Importance
Waterfalls with rich scenery are found at Akumersu (Aku Falls), Tsledom and Otrokper, which run mostly all year round. There are also the Plekumasi Ancient caves, which can be developed as tourist sites.
An eyebrow-raising cliff at Sutapong serves as a specimen of nature’s beauty and also provides a natural canopy for people to rest under. The Krobo Mountain, which is the ancestral home for Krobos is an important landmark that needs to be developed. The proposed old inland port at Amedika by GHA also needs to be encouraged.
Growth and development cannot occur in any part of the world without good education. It is therefore, inappropriate to prepare a poverty reduction strategic plan for any district without assessing the current situation with regards to education Table 1.1c7 below shows the existing number of schools and their enrolment, as well as the number of teachers in Manya Krobo District.
While the numbers have not been properly assessed, there are a large number of children who do not attend school at all or who quickly drop out after Primary School that can be inferred by the large drop in enrolment numbers from Primary to Secondary schools.
In addition, many of the students who are enrolled do not attend full time, but are absent when their work is needed at home or on the farm. Another reason for low school participation rate is poor access to schools, especially in the rural areas. These problems are reflected in a District overall low school participation rate in the school age population.
It can be seen from Table 1.1c7 that as pupils move from Primary to SSS; the drop-out rate increases. Most pupils are unable to continue due to poverty. The number also reduces drastically from JSS to SSS contributing to a significant high school drop out rate. Also, some students, especially the brilliant ones, prefer to attend well-endowed schools in Accra, Cape Coast, Koforidua or other places.
It can also be inferred from Table 1.1c7 that at every level of education, the enrolment of girls is always less than boys. This confirms the low attention given to girl-child education and reflects a problem with low girl child enrolment.
The qualification of teachers who manage the school also contributes to the development of education in the country. It is realized from Table 1.1c7 that at the Nursery school level, the District only 48% of the 145 teachers trained. Untrained teachers handle most of the children. This affects the quality of their education foundation that the students deserve to build on. Table 19 shows the percentage of enrolment at each level of education.
The pupil teacher ratio as seen in Table 1.1c7 is favourable as compared to the national standard of 1:40 and 1:35 for Primary and JSS respectively. However, that alone is not a guarantee for good performance. Other factors, such as the availability of teaching and learning instructions, also contribute to the general performance.
The survey of those who had any sort of education revealed that as many as 54% had Middle / JSS education. However, only 10.3% have had any secondary or senior level education. The tertiary level rate is very low (1.2%) This may be due to the high cost involved with this level of education.
As many as 8.1% of the adults with education surveyed stated that they benefited from the government adult literacy program. Meanwhile, there are a considerable number of people in the District who for one reason or another could not have access to any kind of education.
Key Development Problems in Education
The following are some of the key development issues in educational sector:
- Office Accommodation for the District Directorate of Education
- Residential accommodation for the |District Director of Education
- Youth Advisory centre
- Training of Health Committees
- Teachers Accommodation for deprived school
- Support for teachers in deprived areas
- Construction of 86NO. 2-Unit Pre-school Classroom with furniture
- Furniture for Care Givers at the Pr-School level
- In and Out door Playing facility for the Children
Basic and Secondary Education Needs
- 51 NO.3-Unit Classroom Blocks, Offices and Store including the furnishing of the classrooms
- 14nNO. 3-Unit Classroom Block Offices and Furniture
- 3NO. Administration Blocks
- Computer Laboratories and equipping them with computers for ICT Education
- 4NO. Assembly Halls
- 4NO. Dinning Halls
- eachers Bungalows
- Science Laboratories
- Home Economics Workshops
- Visual Arts Workshops
Skill and Enterprenurial Development for the Youth
The District has two vocational institutions. These are the Kpong Community Women Training Institute and Saint Anne’s Vocational Institute. The Department of Social Welfare manages the former institute, whilst the Catholic Church runs the latter. The main courses offered include catering dressmaking, tie and dye, batik making and home management practices. The problems associated with these schools are inadequate infrastructures and inadequate number of qualified teachers.
The Department of Social Welfare together with the Department of Community Development, are involved in providing vocational training to school drop outs and housewives in selected communities. For instance, with the last 3 years, about 35 young women have been given training in dressmaking, tie and die and batik making.
There are individual goldsmiths and bead makers who produce jewelry, ornaments and beads. Some of the youth in the District are engaged in apprenticeship programs in thee and other vocations such as carpentry, fitting and hairdressing. Through group discussions with some of the youth in the District, it came out clearly that there are three categories of youth that require support in vocational training.
These include those who are barely literate due to early dropout or inability to attend school, those who have completed a stage of formal education but are unemployed due to reasons of quality / relevance of education, and those who have acquired some skills, but need retraining, especially in good management practices, demanded in the labour market.
There will therefore be the need to target the appropriate categories of youth in designing skill development programmes in the District. At the moment, the departments of Social Welfare and Community Development are advancing in efforts in this direction as it is recognized that there is currently an inadequate level of support for the development of youth skills.
Yongwa Forest Reserve
Location and Extent
The Yongwa Forest Reserve falls within FMU 48, lies in the Manya Krobo Administrative District and managed by the Somanya Forest District. It covers an area of 7.77 km2 with a perimeter of 23.88 km.
The Yongwa Forest Reserve lies between latitudes 6° 10″N and longitudes 0° 03’ West. The reserve forms part of the 34 designated Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas (GSBAs) and covers the entire reserve.
The Yongwa Forest was reserved in 1957 as a protection area and put under protection as high priority for large-grained protection in 1995 (Hawthorne and Abu-Juam, 1995). In 1999 the reserve was designated as a GSBA because of a good stand of Talbotiella gcntii. Talbutiella gentii is found mainly between boundary pillars 10 and 15 with an area of approximately 134 ha.
Annual bushfires which date back to more than a decade have caused considerable damage to the forest cover and continues to be one of the major factors affecting the potential of the reserve. There are two taungya series of 160 ha of Cassia on the opposite part of the reserve. Not withstanding, the condition oi” the forest is fair to good without extensive fire damage (Hawthorne and Abu-Juam, 1995).
Property and Communal Right
The reserve is owned by two alienation holders of the Manya Krobo farming companies, namely Akuma Teye and Co. and Tetteh Gbameh Amade and Co. with each covering 345.80 and 391.68 ha respectively.
The ownership of the Yongwa Forest Reserve is vested in the President of the Republic of Ghana in trust for the alienation holders, however, the communities are granted the following community rights;
a) Communal rights — shooting, hunting, collecting snails or firewood, cane, raffia and rattan cutting.
b) Farming Land Rights: Demarcated areas for individuals or groups of individuals.
There are five admitted farms totalling 6.52
The Yongwa Forest Reserve is within the jurisdiction of the Manya Krobo District Assembly which is headed by a District Chief Executive, a government appointee who mans the District Assembly together with members of the District Assembly, Unit Committee members who are all elected from the various towns, villages and communities within the district. There are various committees within the District Assembly that see to various thematic areas. One such
1981).The most remarkable of these gregarious species is Talhotiella gentii. Other species found in this forest type include Cynometra megalophylla, Dialium guineense Dennetia tripetala, Drypetes parvifolia, Drypetes floribimda, Diospyros abyssinica, Ceiba and Campyloslemon angolense…
There has not been a technical survey of the fauna of the reserve but consultation with the local people and a social survey (Amissah, 2003) conducted in two fringe communities indicated that animals found in the reserve include antelopes, ground and tree squirrels, bush bucks, Monkeys, Porcupines, Duikers, grasscutters (in abundance) and bush fowls.
Socio-cultural and Economic Importance
Culturally the people living around the reserve are strongly linked with the reserve due to the belief in the presence of gods (dwarfs) within the reserve. These gods are known to protect the indigenes, provide rains and also help them to give good harvests. Normally during periods when there are no rains for a long period they poor libation to the gods for rain.
Consultation with the local people also revealed that the forest has been protested traditionally through taboos. For instance, animals such as rats and snails are taboo foods for the people in the fringe communities because these foods are taboos for the gods. The worship of these gods is presently not done by the majority of the local people due to Christianity.
A minority group continues to worship the gods and pours libation periodically. The forest is also a rich source of game (Bush bucks. Porcupines, Antelopes, Duikers, Monkeys, Grasscutters, squirrels, francolins), firewood, pestles, rafters, medicinal plants and tye-tye. The local people reported that apart from the subsistence use of the forest resources, they also have commercial use of the resources (rats, snails and tye-tye).
There are also caves of varying sizes, and artifacts believed to be made by the gods (dwarfs) in the forest as well as beautiful rock formations. The local people are also aware of certain environmental services provided by the forest namely provision of quality air, rainfall and reduction in the extent of heat (Amissah, 2005).
In recognition of the cultural and ecological significance the local people in the surrounding communities were almost unanimous in their support for the continuous existence of the forest and any activities to maintain the ecological integrity of the reserve. As a result they are interested in collaborating with staff of Forest Services Division in management of the reserve in areas such as rehabilitation of the degraded sites, enactment and enforcement of by-laws such as prohibition of cutting of Talhotiella gentii and plantation establishment (Amissah, 2005).
In recent years conservation and effective management of protected areas have been modelled to include the participation of all stakeholders. Accordingly stakeholders were consulted on their interest in managing and developing the potential of the Atewa Range Forest Reserve and how benefits from the use of biological resources could reach the local people and society at large.
Manya Krobo District is saturated with outstanding tourist attractions which are a delight for visiting tourists and at the same time represent unique opportunities for investors interested in developing them for profit.The Kpong Dam, for instance, is most suitable for unforgettable pleasure cruises and so tours can be organised to the facility. At Kpong itself, horse riding is available for all at Kpong Farms.
There are the attractions of the ancient caves at Plekumasi and waterfalls, which run all the year round, at Akumersu, Tsledom and Otrokper.The intriguing cliff at Sutapong provides not only a site for the appreciation of nature’s fascinating beauty, but also has a special cap at a section which provides a most interesting natural canopy. Krobo Mountain, the ancestral home of the Krobo people, used as a fortress against the British in pre-colonial times, is another great spot for tourists.
The Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo District Assemblies are considering jointly establishing a memorial museum on the mountain top. Hiking to the mountain top is a great pleasure for tourists. Tourists can purchase rare artifacts, produced in Manya Krobo District such as Aggrey Beads, traditional pots, state umbrellas (Akataban) and traditional baskets.There are also a variety of rites and festivals to choose from.
The Dipo puberty rites, held between March and April at Odumase Krobo, is one of these.The Okumo Shrine, which is the nerve centre of the Dipo Festival, is a store of information and this has served anthropologists from all over the world for many years.Odumase-Krobo also hosts the Ngmayemi Festival in October and November, as well as the Nadu Festival in June.Akuse hosts the Volo Festival in January.
Manya Krobo District stands out as the nearest district to the main Tema Harbour and its host municipality, which is Ghana’s gateway to the rest of the world by sea.Endowed with beautiful landscapes, which are adaptable to vibrant economic activity, the district has great potential for tourism, trade and commerce, and agro-based industry.
This, coupled with largely untapped natural mineral resources, makes Manya Krobo District a prime automatic choice for private sector and bilateral or multilateral institutional investments.