This sector is divided into three main sub-sectors; namely: crop, livestock and fisheries. There are vast stretches of arable land with suitable vegetation and climate for optimum crop production. The soil types support variety of crops. The Municipal has comparative advantage in the production of yam, cassava, and cereal. The introduction of mechanized agriculture for the production of cassava and cereals will stimulate increased income and eventual reduction in poverty.
Subsistence farming - cultivating very small acreages, is predominant in the district, averaging two acres of land per farmer. Hoes and cutlasses are the main farm implements. Credit facilities are not easily available to farmers. Farmers depend mostly on traditional methods of storage resulting in significant post-harvest losses especially during the rainy season due to the poor road network within the Municipality. Agro-processing is largely limited to gari processing using cassava; therefore about 95% of agricultural produce are sold in their law state.
There is the potential to increase the production of cattle, goats, sheep, and pig by introducing new breeds, improving husbandry practices and establishing fodder banks as well as improved pastures especially at Kabiti where there are large expanse of land and water. Fishing is carried out on the Oti arm of the Volta Lake in the district at Kabiti.
Road is the only mode of transport in the district. There are about 316 communities which are predominantly rural with untarred road network resulting in difficulty in vehicular mobility especially in the rainy season and dusty in the long dry season. Sometimes most parts of the district are cut-off from the capital during the rainy seasons. This implies that, the overall improvement of the road network, maintenance and rehabilitation will facilitate and lower transportation cost and integrates the Municipal’s rural economy with the urban economy to reduce poverty.
The Assembly provides education to the entire district through the Municipal Education Directorate whilst the Municipal Coordinating Directorate provides the infrastructural needs of public schools in the Municipality. There are 69 pre-schools of which 61 are public and 8 privately owned; 87 primary schools consisting of 80 public and 7 private and 37 Junior High Schools - 36 public and one private. There are four Senior High Schools located at Nkwanta and Brewaniase.
The Municipal has a challenge with trained teacher retention. Nearly, half of all the teachers in the Municipal are untrained whilst a number of schools have woefully inadequate teaching staff. These have serious implications for teaching and learning. The Assembly will continue to sponsor teacher trainees so they can come back and serve in the Municipality.
Educational facilities such as libraries, furniture, and textbooks are inadequate even though there has been lots of improvement in the last three years. There are still schools under sheds. The Assembly is working hard to replace all schools under sheds by 2019.
Nearly 41 percent of the population has never attended school. Over 80 percent of all those with some education in the Municipal did not go beyond Basic Education. The situation is more pronounced on the female side as the figures keep dropping drastically. (Source: 2010 PHC). Serious and concerted efforts are needed to curb illiteracy at all levels especially amongst female. The Non-Formal Education Division and other NGOs are being encouraged to take up the challenge of bringing down these unacceptably high figures.
There are no vocational or technical institutes in the Municipality for skill training for the youth. There are, however, a number of mechanic shops, carpentry workshops, dressmaking, and hairdressing saloons where the youth acquire skills through apprenticeship. To support the youth acquire skills for gainful employment, the Assembly in collaboration with the Rural Enterprises Project and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) will explore the possibility of establishing community based capacity building schemes to train young people who drop out of school or are unable to attend school. The Assembly is also working with NGOs to develop sports in the district.
The Municipal health delivery system is managed by the Municipal Health Management Team (MHMT) which is headed by the Municipal Director of Health Services. Among the services provided by the MHMT are Health Administration, Health Promotion and Curative Services, Maternal and Child Health/Family Planning Services and Disease Control and Preventive Services. The Team is also responsible for the co-ordination of the activities of the various divisions in collaboration with other health related sectors for the promotion of health development and disease prevention.
There are nineteen health facilities in the Municipality. One Municipal hospital, one mission hospital both at Nkwanta and one health centre at Tutukpene. The rest are 4 clinics – two publicly managed – at Brewaniase and Kecheibi and two privately managed – at Pusupu and Obanda and twelve CHPS compounds.
The top five causes of hospital admissions and death in the Municipality are malaria, anaemia, hypertension pregnancy related complications and snake bite. The Municipal is involved in a number of Malaria control programmes including Roll Back Malaria Programme and measures such as environmental cleanliness, netting of doors and windows and the use of impregnated bed nets. But malaria still accounts for over 40% of all OPD attendance.
Many children in the Municipality suffer from malnutrition because they do not receive adequate amounts of nutritious foods. The obvious reasons are that many parents do not pay much attention to their children’s dietary requirements because they are either ignorant, poverty stricken, adhere to traditional beliefs, or have large families that they cannot cater for adequately.
Potable water coverage in the Municipality is just about 75% meaning that about 25% of people living in the district do not have access to safe drinking water. Majority of households use river/stream water as their main source of drinking water, while about 50 percent use bore-hole/pump/tube well.
The Municipal’s Mutual Health Insurance Scheme took off smoothly in the Municipality in February 2006. As at the end of December 2009, over 24,678 had registered. But currently, the total number of clients stands at 102,000. The scheme faces a number of challenges including inadequate logistics making it difficult to reach out to the hard-to-reach communities for education, registration, and photo-taking; inadequate office accommodation resulting in the creation of ‘offices under tree’ for some of the workers; delays in renewal and abuse of healthcare services by clients.
Nkwanta South Municipal is characterized by a tropical climate with dry and humid weather conditions. The rainfall regime experienced in the Municipal is the double maxima type; that is from April to July and September to October. The average number of rain days is 86 with extreme annual rainfalls ranging between 922mm to 1,874 mm. The dry season is from November to March.
The annual mean maximum temperatures range between 24oC and 39oC (76oF and 103oF) and the annual mean minimum temperatures are between 11oC and 26oC (52oF and 79oF). January - April are the hottest months while August records the lowest temperatures.
The Municipal is covered by three vegetation zones. These are;
- Semi-deciduous forest zone, found mainly on the eastern border of the district. This accounts for about 30% of the vegetative cover.
- The second zone is the savanna woodland, which extends from the north-eastern part of the district southwards to the zone of the semi-deciduous forest. This accounts for about 50% of the vegetative cover.
- The third zone is the savanna grassland extending eastwards from the Volta Lake and its Oti arm. It takes about 20% of the vegetative cover of the district.
The common timber species include Odum, Wawa, and Kyenkyen. Due to logging, farming, cutting of fuel wood and charcoal production, the original vegetative cover has been reduced to secondary forests. It is also worth noting that bush burning is rampant during the long dry season.
The Municipal is home to the Kyabobo Range National Park, the newest in the country. This park is situated in Ghana’s highest mountain range and covers an area of 340 sq. km. It links-up with the extensive Fazao-Malfacassa National Park in Togo giving it an international attraction. It has a unique mixture of both forest and savanna species with different kinds of animals including buffalos, bushbucks, waterbucks, black and white colobus monkeys, potas monkeys, mona monkeys and birds of diverse varieties.
The district is witnessing uncontrolled degradation of its physical and natural resource base through a number of factors such as bush fires; inappropriate farming practices and deforestation. Climate change is eminent in the whole region in terms of change in rainfall pattern and weather conditions.
Even though tourism has become one of the main sources of income and employment generation sectors in the country, the Assembly is yet to tap the existing potentials. There are a number of tourist sites that have the potential of rivaling some of the well-known tourist sites in the country. Though largely undeveloped, these sites hold the key to the area’s development if steps are taken to explore the large potential they present. Nkwanta South District possesses a wide range of naturally attractive features. These attractions include the Kyabobo Range National Park, Mountains, Waterfalls, Wildlife, and other natural features.
The Kyabobo Range National Park is particularly noted for foot safaris. The two “breast-mountains” viewed from the Nkwanta Township is a welcome signal to the park. On top of these mountains, a panoramic view of the underlying plains, villages and the Volta Lake offer the climbers a unique impression of the natural beauty of the park and other parts of Ghana. There are also in the park, camping sites to suit the taste of lovers of nature and eco-tourism.
The Laboun Waterfall situated in the Kyabobo Park is about 30 metres high. There is the upper fall and the lower fall and the accompanying singing of birds, shrills of monkeys and cries of animals and the forest canopy give tourists a wonderful sense of satisfaction.
The “Hanging Village” situated a few kilometers east of Nkwanta and so called because of its architectural design. The houses are built in a sort of layers into the mountain making them look as though they are hanging.
The presence of Vodafone, TiGO and MTN telecommunication networks promotes economic activities within the district. The district can also boast of an FM station (Beyond FM 90.7) located at the district capital, Nkwanta. The FM station undertakes activities such as sensitization, education, and promotion of economic activities through advertisement to transform the lives of people within its catchments areas of operation.
The district has five (5) major marketing centers that attract sellers and buyers from all parts of Ghana and the Republic of Togo. These are located in Nkwanta, Breweniase, Kue, Bonakye, Kabiti, Keri, Tutukpene and Ofosu and held mostly on weekly basis. Trading activities in the district, particularly in the periodic markets constitute one of the major sources of revenue to the Assembly. The investment and improvement of market infrastructure prominently has the potential of boosting the district’s revenue generation. Currently, economic activities in the district are supported by three financial Institutions namely: Ghana Commercial Bank Ltd, Agricultural Development Bank, and North Volta Rural Bank Ltd.
Cocoa production is a major activity especially in Kecheibi and its surrounding areas. Cashew development is also picking up. Potential exists for large-scale cultivation of these cash crops – cocoa and cashew. There is also the potential for cassava chips production and gari processing for export. Honey production is gaining currency in the district for export.