Published on 0000-00-00
Location and size
The Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira District is located on the north-weste part of the Central Region of Ghana. It is bounded to the North by the Twifo Atti Morkwa District; to the South by the Abura-Asebu-Kwaman-Kese, Cape Coast Metropolis; to the West by the Wassa Mpohor District and to the East by the Assin North Municipality and Assin South Districts. The new district consists of two (2) paramountcies, namely: Hemang and Denkyira and it is coterminous with the Hemang - Lower Denkyira constituency with about 96 communities and covers an area of 674km2 making it one of the largest districts in the Central Region.
Topography and Drainage
The general altitude is between 60-200 meters above sea level. The highest point in the District is Bepotsin (212 meters), west of Mfuom. The Pra River and its tributaries including Obuo, Bimpong and Ongwa drain the area. The Kakum River also takes its source from the Kakum Forest Reserve. The District has generally an undulating landscape making it suitable large scale agricultural activities to create more job opportunities for the district’s population.
Climatically, the District lies within the semi-equatorial zone marked by double maximal rainfall with peak in June and October, with the mean annual rainfall being 175cm. It has fairly high uniform temperatures ranging between 26°C (in August) and 30°C (in March). Relative humidity is generally high throughout the year, ranging between 70-80 per cent in the dry season and 75-80 percent in the wet season. This coupled with the topography and drainage types support agriculture which is the largest employer of the district’s population.
The District’s vegetation consists basically of two forest types that is, tropical rainforest to the south and the moist semi deciduous forest to the north. The vegetation has been largely disturbed by human activities through farming and logging among others. There are, however, large areas of forest reserve notably the Pra –Suhyien Block II which houses the Kakum National Park under the Jukwaim (Jukwa) stool. The forest is of the Celtis-Triplochiton association and it is moist ever green type located between Jukwa and Ankaako stretching from Jukwa Krobo through Frami, Bremang, Abrafo Odumase covering an area of 29.71 km2. The forest reserve is home for numerous notable plant species together with 82 species of mammals, reptiles and bird.
Currently, there is no exploitation taking place in the reserve and no encroachment has been detected. However, illegal hunting has been the norm for the forest fringe communities even though there is communal right to hunt without permit for hunting expeditions. Again, few chainsaw operations have been detected due to the high demand of wood product from the neighbouring districts.
The District is a densely forested area. The extensive forest has given rise to a large-scale timber extraction and illegal chainsaw operations in District. Apart from lumbering, the other major economic activities include crop/livestock farming and small-scale mining. The slash and bu method of farming coupled with these activities, among others, have caused some form of environmental degradation.
The extraction of timber has immensely depleted some economic trees, deteriorated some roads and caused some sort of destruction to cash and food crops. Farming practices have also affected the environment adversely by reducing the forest from primary to secondary state. Small-scale mining activities have equally caused extensive destruction to the vegetation and degraded large tracts of land. In effect, these have affected the ecosystem negatively.
Geology and Minerals Deposits
The land area is underlined by Birimian and Tarkwaian rocks which are very rich in mineral deposits. The minerals found in the district include; Gold at Mfuom, River Botro and Afiafiso, whilst diamond deposits can be found at Afiafiso. A feasibility study on these potentials needs to be carried to establish their economic viability and possible exploitation. This creates an opportunity for small scale mining activities. However, a comprehensive regulatory procedure should be instituted to avoid the negative consequences of mining on the otherwise serene natural environment with huge tourism potentials.
Structure of the Local Economy
The structure of the local economy can be described in terms of the number of people engaged in the sectors namely agriculture (including forestry and fishery), manufacturing and service. Agriculture is the largest employer of the active labour force in the district, employing 65.8% of all employed persons, making it the largest industry. Agriculture is followed by service and craft (and related trade workers) employing 11.2% and 10.6% respectively. The remaining active labour force including managers, professionals, technicians and others constitute 12.6%. This therefore confirms the economic status of the district as agrarian. Wholesaling and retailing together with motor repairs employs about 9% whilst the manufacturing industry employs 8.9% of the labour force. All other industries employ less than one fifth of the district’s active population. Thus, indicating a weak industrial base of the local economy in agricultural raw materials including maize, legumes, plantain, cassava and vegetables. The district also produces cash crops such as cocoa, oil palm and citrus.
This indicates a huge potential exist in the local economy for the expansion of the small scale cottage industry for the processing of oil palm, palm keel and cassava in the district. Moreover, the availability of natural water bodies in the low lying areas in the district presents potential for food production especially during the minor season through irrigation. Other natural resources that can be tapped to generate jobs and increase income generation include forest bamboo.
According to the 2010 PHC, 72.3% of the population of the district are self-employed. The district has 72.2% of its population to be economically active whilst 2.2 percent are unemployed of which there are more women than men. There are more females (51.5%) than males (48.5%) in the employed population. The working population of the district constitutes 54.3% of the total population of which 15.4 % are in the urban areas whilst 38.8% are the rural areas. The sex distribution in the economically active population however shows a slightly higher proportion of males (72.6%) than female (71.9%). The private sector is the largest employer in the district, employing 95% of the employed population, a figure higher than the regional average of 93.1%. The private informal sector is the largest employer in the district, employing 91.7% of the population followed by the public sector with 4.6 percent. However, a larger proportion of females (94.8%) operate in the private informal as compared to males who constitute 88.4%.
It is important to note that, a relatively higher proportion of females (28.1%) are economically not active as compared to males (27.4%). The age group 20-24 have very high unemployment rate of 36.4%. The youth constitutes a greater proportion of the unemployed in the district. Hence, the private sector should be supported by the creation of an enabling environment through capacity building and other initiatives, to engender the growth and expansion of the private sector to offer employment opportunities for the youth.
A number of economic and financial services and facilities exist in the district, albeit not highly developed. These include periodic and daily markets, guest houses at Jukwa and Hemang offering descent accommodation to travelers and tourists, fuel stations and cocoa sheds which serve as purchasing and storage centers for the marketing of cocoa at Jukwa, Hemang, Wamaso, Wawase, Bukruso, Frami and Ampenkro.
A vibrant banking system and services serve as a sound and enabling environment for fruitful investment and wide range of business transactions in the local economy in terms of savings and credit mobilization. These include GN Bank, Kakum Rural Bank Ltd at Jukwa with other savings and credit institutions at Hemang.
The banking sector is faced with numerous challenges and setbacks that have seriously affected the level of savings and credit mobilization for investment in the district. The concentration of almost all the banking and non banking institutions in only the two major towns i.e. Hemang and Jukwa significantly makes it a challenge to access their services. This has invariably contributed to the low level of banking and seemingly lack of knowledge of banking culture and practice among the majority of the populace. Hence, tendency to hold cash instead of savings with bank is very high among the greater proportion of the population.
The insurance industry also plays very crucial role in risk reduction, thus, securing life and property, thus, facilitating sound business environment. Nonetheless, the industry is least developed in the district. Not surprisingly, none of the insurance companies is located in the district, although the presence of its agents is visible. The State Insurance Company (SIC) the Dunwel Insurance Company ltd, Metropolitan Insurance Company Ltd, Gemini Life Insurance Company (GLICO) and Star Assurance remain operational in the district.
The insurance industry is also faced with the challenge of high unemployment, non-vibrant industrial sector and commercial trading in the district. More so, there is a high incidence of people’s ignorance of the operations and greater misconception about insurance in general.
The new district is one of the most endowed districts in terms of tourism potential in the country. In the central region, it is the most patronized tourist destination and boasts of one of the unique tourist sites in Kakum National Park. Besides the under listed major tourist sites, there are others that are yet to be developed. The major sites are indicated table ……..
Table……Tourist sites in the district
|SR.||POTENTIAL TOURIST ATTRACTION||LOCATION|
|1.||Canopy Shaped RockThis is a mysterious rock formation which can provide shade for about 40 people. It is located in a small forest reserve and conserved as a sacred place and could be appropriate for camping and sightseeing.||Jukwa Bremang|
|2.||Mbem Waterfall The waterfall is found on River Surowi (Sweet River). It gives showers and covers a radius of 100m. This site has the potential to attract activities like picnicking and research.||Mbem|
|3.||Spring Water The site has a spring water that has been trapped with the help of standing pipes for more than three hundred (300) years and serves as source of potable water for the town. The development of the site will encourage educational tours.||Mfuom|
|4.||Buraso archeological site This archeological site is believed to be the location where the people of Akwamu lived around the 13th and 14th Centuries. Archeological works revealed domestic tools used at the time. The site is a potential for sightseeing and educational tours.||Baakondidi, near Twifo Hemang|
|6.||Akwantufo Bodan (Travellers Rock House)This is a mighty rock with cave that can provide shelter for many people. The site attracts activities like caving, rock climbing and camping.||Jukwa Frami|
|7.||Birds sanctuary This site is located at the entrance of Kakum National Park in a bamboo growing area. It provides home to many bird species which have made different kinds of nests. It is a potential site for bird watching, listening to the sound of different species of birds.||Abrafo|
|8.||Odum Kwaku Sacred shrine This is a mighty Odum Tree situated in a small forest reserve. This tree is believed to have produced gold for the use of the people in the village. This site depicts a picture of virgin forest and degraded forest predicated by human activities.||Jukwa Nyameani|
|9.||Emipom Ancestral Sacred GroveThis is a Cave (Sacred Grove) with different apartments which is located at the summit of a mountain set in the “Bepotenten” Forest Reserve. It covers an area of about 15 hectares. The Grove is rich in both tree and wildlife species. It is endowed with beautiful layers of rock which houses large African pythons. The grove is considered abode for the gods of the Twifo Hemang Traditional Area. The gods are said to provide the people with rains during drought and also protect the people against diseases and other natural disasters. The grove is found to have a huge tourism potential that could be packaged and haessed into tourist product to generate revenue for the district as well as create jobs for the youth in the area. As a way of protecting the site against exploitation the Traditional Authority has set aside Tuesdays (Akwasidae) as prohibiting days for entering the grove. Again, hunting and felling of tree are strictly not allowed in the grove.||Twifo Ampenkro|
|Cocoa Museum This is a cocoa museum being constructed at Abrafo, with permanent- and thematic exhibitions in-doors and an educational cocoa-farm attached.||Abrafo|
|11||Banaso Sacred GroveThe grove is located in Jukwa, near the Jukwa Senior High Sec. Sch. On the Twifo Praso – Cape Coast Rd. It covers an area of 10 hectares and has been in existence about 1830. It is rich in different forest tree species and a lot of fishes in the ‘Sweet River’ passing through the grove. It is considered as an abode for the gods who provide protection for the people against misery and other natural disasters.The grove plays cultural and traditional significant roles in the local area. It holds a great potential for tourist attraction as there exists a wide variety of forest tree species, wildlife (special frog species, monkeys, mud fish rivers) and a shrine.||Jukwa|
|12.||Private Zoo A Dutch couple has established a private zoo near Kakum National Park. The purposes are assist tourist to see some of the animals they may not be able to see in the Park and to assist in the conservation of these animals. Potential investors can contact the couple and explore further avenues of expanding the zoo, establishment of Restaurant or guest house.||Abrafo|
|13||Kakum National ParkThe Kakum National Park has been established in 1932 and used for the last fifty years for the extraction of timber. Located in Central Region of Ghana, about 20 kilometres north of Cape Coast and covers 360 square kilometres of Ghana's rapidly dwindling rainforest. Counted in the park are seven primate species including the Diana monkey, more than 500 species of butterflies and about 250 species of birds including five ho bill species, the Frazer-eagle owl, and the African grey and Senegal parrots.It has a Canopy Walkway (only 2 of its type in Africa. It is up to 30 m above the forest floor and within sight of the tallest tree of the forest where elephants can sometimes be seen scrounging for fallen fruit.||Abrafo Odumase|