3.1 Location and Size:
The Kassena-Nankana West District is one of the thirteen districts in the Upper East Region of Ghana. It was carved out of the Kassena-Nankana Municipal in 2007 and initiated on Friday, 28th February 2008. The Local Government Instrument which established the region is Legislative Instrument (L.I) 1855. The paramount idea of creating this Assembly was to bring the business of governance to the doorsteps of the ordinally Ghanaians. It is located approximately between latitude 10.97” North and longitude 01.10” West. The district has a total land area of approximately 1,004 sq. km. The Kassena-Nankana West District shares boundaries with Burkina Faso to the north, Bongo District to the north-east, Bolgatanga Municipal to east, Kassena-Nankana Municipal to the south, Bulsa District south-west and Sissala East District to the west (Ghana Statistical Service, 2014.).
Fig 2.1: Geographical guide of the KNWD.
3.2 Vegetation Characteristics
The vegetation is mainly of Sahel Savannah type consisting of open savannah with fire swept grassland separating deciduous trees among which might be seen a couple of wide leafed and fire-leached tree species. Some the most densely vegetated parts of this district can be found along river basins and forest reserves. Examples are the Sissili and Asibelika basins. The majority of these trees in the forested areas shed their leaves during the dry season. The human activities over the years have likewise influenced the original vegetation considerably. Basic trees which are also of economic importance include: Dawadawa, Sheanut, Baobab, Nim and Mango. The low vegetation cover of the area hampers adequate precipitation consequently decreasing underground water supply (Ghana Statistical Service, 2014. ).
3.3 Relief and Drainage
The district is underlain mainly by Birrimian and Granitic rock formation. The relief of the district is generally low lying and undulating with isolated hills ascending to 300m above sea level in the western piece of the district. Prominently among these hills are Fie (9280m above sea level), Busono 350m, and Zambao 360m. The district is mainly drained by the Sissili River and its tributaries. There are however some few dug-outs and ponds which are used for domesticated animals rearing, crop production and domestic purposes (Ghana Statistical Service, 2014. ).
The Kassena-Nankana West District falls within the interior continental climatic zone of the country characterized by pronounced dry and wet seasons. The two seasons are impacted by two air masses. To start with is the warm, dusty and dry harmattan air mass which blows in the north-easterly course over the entire area from the Sahara desert.
During its period of influence (late November ‘ early March) rainfall is complete absent, vapor pressure is very low (less than 10mb) and relative humidity rarely exceeds 20.0% during the day but may rise to 60.0% during the nights and early mornings.
Temperatures are usually modest at this time of the year by tropical standards (26”C ‘ 28”C). May to October is the wet season. During this period, the entire of West African sub-area including Kassena-Nankana West District is affected by a deep tropical maritime air mass. This air mass together with rising convention current provides the district with rains. The total rainfall averages 950 mm per annum. The above phenomenon negatively affects the water table and reduces underground water. Water harvesting is most likely a practical alternative in the district (Ghana Statistical Service, 2014. ).
3.5 Demographic Characteristics
The 2010 Population and Housing Census (PHC) with reference date 26th September, 2010, was a “true” count of the considerable number of people present in Ghana and especially in this setting the Kassena-Nankana West District (KNWD). The number of inhabitants in Kassena-Nankana West District, as indicated by the Ghana Statistical Service-2010 Population and Housing Census (PHC), is 70,667 representing 6.8% of the region’s total population. Males constitute 50.8% and females representing 49.2%. 79% of the population is rural. The region has a sex proportion of 96.7. The population of the district is youthful (47.9%) depicting a wide base population pyramid which decreases with few elderly people (7.3%). The total age dependency proportion for the District is 83.4, the age dependency proportion for males is higher (87.7) than that of females (78.5) (Ghana Statistical Service, 2014. ).
3.6 Economic Characteristics
The development of any nation depends on the production of goods and services. Basic to the generation procedure is the human capital of the nation. Although all people irrespective of age and sex consumed goods and services produced, only the working population often referred to as the “employed” produce them. Different things being equal, the larger the employed population, the more riches is created the general well-being of the population. This part analysis the economic characteristics of the population aged 15 years and more years in the district including the economic activities status, occupation, industry, employment status, and work sector. Of the economically active population, 97.6% are employed and 2.4% are unemployed. Of the individuals who are employed, 97.6% worked for 60 minutes in the 7days preceding the census night; 2.0% do not work but rather have jobs to go back to; and 0.5% does voluntary work without pay. For the individuals who are unemployed, 44.4% are either worked before or are looking for work and are available for work and 55.6% are looking for work for first time and available for work. Of the total population of males aged 15 years and older in KNWD, 75.4% are economically active while the proportion of economically active females is 72.7% (Ghana Statistical Service, 2014. )
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