Location and Size
The Denkyembour District is located at the South Western corner of the Eastern Region. It has a land area of about 520 km2. It shares boundaries with Kwaebibirem and Akyemansa Districts to the North, West Akim district to the south and Birim Central Municipal to the South- West. It falls between Latitude 70.30 W and 70.30 E and Longitude 1.300 N and 1.300 S. Figure below shows the map for both Kwaebibirem and Denkyembour Districts.
Relief and Rainfall
The major mountain range, the ATIWA RANGE, is found in the North-East of the District around Dwenase and Apinamang. Apart from this area, the general climb in the District is less than 500 meters. In between heights are extensive marshlands.
The district is mostly undulating and hilly with the general climb less than 500 metres which is liable to flooding during rainy season. The district is drained by the Birim River and its tributaries such as Mmo, Abansa, Akroma, Yaw Akore, Aprape etc which when harnessed could serve as a source of pipe-borne water supply to most near-by communities. It also has potentials for rice farming and water transport system at certain parts of the district. The river is, however, not being put into the maximum use. Efforts should be made to ensure its maximum use.
The major environmental problem confronting the district is river pollution. All the major rivers in the district have been polluted by illegal gold and diamond winners. The River Brim which traverses the district is heavily polluted by these miners to the extent that the river cannot be used for any domestic activities.
The District lies within the wet semi-equatorial climatic zone with a double maxima rainfall regime. These seasons have an annual rainfall between 150cm and 200cm reaching its maximum during the two peak periods of May-June and September-October. According to CSIR-Kusi, the rain fall pattern in the district recorded in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 was 1721.8, 2024, 1582.4 and 1104.1 respectively. This promotes farming activities within these two periods i.e. May-June and September-October.
Relative humidity is about 56% (dry season) and 70% of (rainy season) with the Temperature ranges between a minimum of 26.50C and a maximum of 270C. This creates a relatively good atmosphere for socio-economic activities such as trading and farming during both dry and rainy season.
It is sad to note, however, that there is occasional flooding in some communities during the two peak periods of the rainy seasons. This calls for awareness creation on the National Building Regulation and enforcement and control of physical development and reduce flooding.
The District falls within the semi-deciduous rain forest region leading to high degree of rainfall for crop cultivation and human use. The vegetation is mainly characterized by tall trees with evergreen undergrowth, which abounds in economic trees. Most of the larger trees among others such as Triplochition scleroxylon (Wawa), Antaris Africana (Kyenkyen), Clorophora Excelsa (Odum) and Ceiba Pentandra (Onyina) are now few occurring as scattered emergent. These species serve as sources of raw materials to the small scale timber industries in the district which generate a lot of employment and income for the people in the district. The District has two (2) forest reserves to the east-Ayaola Forest and the West Atiwa Reserves.
Human activities such as poor farming practices, lumbering (especially chain saw and firewood operations), mining, construction works have had negative impact on the vegetation over the years resulting in scattered parcels of secondary forest.
Stakeholders should be sensitized and equipped to reverse the fast deforestation and degradation of the environment.
The district is underlain by granite, phyllites, schist, greywackier, metavo, calnic, and quartnites. These rocks have high potentials for ground water extraction (Boreholes and Hand dug wells), accounting for the large mineral prospecting and exploitation by a number of firms and small scale gold, Bauxite and diamond (Galamsey) mining operations at Akwatia, Wenchi, Dwenase, Apinamang and Takrowase.
These human activities have to some extent degraded the natural environment of the district. Efforts should therefore be made to check those activities in the district.
Population Size and Growth
There are about 54 communities (Source: DPCU, 2017), most of them being rural. According to Population and Housing Census 2010, the district population is 78,841 with a growth rate of below 2.4% annually. Male and female population was 38,814 (49.2%) and 40,027 (50.8%) respectively. The projected population stands at 80,339 with female population 51.06% and male 48.9%. The table below shows the District and Regional population since 1984.
Spatial Distribution of the Population
The population is concentrated in about eight (8) settlements. Only one out of 54 settlements is urban. The District also exhibits a disproportionate city size which does not promote spatial integration and makes the distribution, especially the location of social services very difficult since most of the settlements do not have the threshold population for most services such as water, electricity, postal and telephone, health and educational facilities.
The Population and Housing Census 2010 presents the sector of employment for persons 15 years and older in the District. 89.8% female were more than male of 82.7% in the private informal sector. The public sector accounts for 9.7% and 5.9 % for male and female respectively for all employed persons 15 years and older while the private formal employs 7.1% for male and 5.9% female.
It is observed that the formal sector of employment in the District is male dominated of 9.7% with female only 5.9%. The male dominance is even more pronounced in the private formal sector of 7.1% while female dominates in the informal sector 89.8% in the District
In the whole of the District less than one percent of the workforce are in the NGOs (Local and International,) Semi- and the Public/Parastatal sectors
Traditional Set up
The people are predominantly of the Akyem origin and this reflects in their culture. The area falls under the Akyem Abuakwa jurisdiction with the Okyehene as its traditional head. In terms of division, the area is under the Oseawuo, with the Oseawuohene as the divisional head. The next in command to the Oseawuo are the Osabarimas who are residence in the district capital, Akwatia. Following the Osabarimas are the Barimas who are chiefs of the various towns and villages in the area. The last in rank are the Adikoros in charge of smaller settlements who have been nominated to take charge of other settlements. They may not be necessary of Akyem extraction.
The major festivals of the Akyem Abuakwa people are Ohum kan and Ohum kyire which are celebrated between June/July and September respectively every year. However, the people of Akwatia have of late created their own festivals known as Denkyembour festival. The festival meant to unify the people and raise funds to support development projects in the town. However, minor Chieftaincy disputes in Kusi and Dwenase affect development of the areas.
On public sanitation facilities, a total number of functional 25 public toilets and 2 broken down ones. The Assembly has also acquired a refuse truck, a tractor and 11 refuse containers in collaboration with Zoomlion Ghana Ltd. These facilities have gone a long way to ease the solid management problems in the district.
Agricultural and its related activities is the major economic activity in Denkyembour District. Agriculture in the district is on subsistence level and very few farmers are engaged in plantation farming. Farmers in the district have farm size above one acre. The average farm in the District is above 5 acres. It is dominated by food crop production (maize, cassava, plantain, rice, okra, garden eggs, pepper and cocoyam). This is followed by cash crop production (cocoa, oil palm, Para rubber and citrus).
Agriculture employs 33.4% of the working population in the district. Nevertheless, a number of problems hinder the socio-economic development of the district, especially in agriculture. Any significant improvement in the standard of living of the people should therefore give priority to improvement in agriculture, and micro to small-scale industries and household industries. The district needs to develop and increase capacity so as to ensure sustainability of development interventions.
Other income generating activities like bee keeping, snail and grasscutter rearing and mushroom farming should be encouraged to augment income of the people.
There is little application of modern agricultural technology and there is over dependence on the weather as a result, agricultural production is generally low.
The major industrial activities in the district include micro and small scale manufacturing ranging from agro-processing, furniture works, construction, soap making and crafts. The high number of small scale industries (averaging about 300) could promote economic of scale and improve efficiency. However, there is no existence of National Board for Small Scale Industries and Business Advisory Centre to provide tailor-made entrepreneurial, managerial and technical programmes for small scale businesses.
Most industries in Denkyembour District can be classified under small-scale industries, i.e. Industries that have a total workforce of up to 30 persons each.
The industrial activities in this district are diversified, ranging from sawmill where high technology equipment are used to handicrafts and other craftworks which are produced using simple tools. Statistics on the exact number of these Industries are sketchy, but can be grouped into the following:
- Micro/Small-Scale Industries
- Small/Medium Scale Manufacturing
- Small-Scale Mining
- Large Scale Processing