The Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality is one of the 14 administrative MMDAs in the Western Region of Ghana. It is located between Latitude 400’N and 504’N and Longitude 1045’W and 201’W. It shares boundaries with Prestea Huni-Valley District to the north, Nzema East District to the West, Ahanta West District to the South and Mpohor District to the East. The Municipality has a total land area of 978.26 sq. Km.
The Municipality in terms of trade, is strategically located since it is able to transact business with all the four other districts it shares boundaries with. Its location makes transportation of goods and services to and from the Municipality easy, encouraging inter district trade, thus boosting economic activities.
The Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly just like all the MMDAs in Ghana derives its mandate and functions from the Local Governance Act, 2016 Act 936 section 12 sub section (1) to (9).
Tarkwa – Nsuaem in National Context
Tarkwa – Nsuaem in Regional Context
The Municipality lies within the South-Western Equatorial Zone. It therefore has fairly uniform temperature, ranging between 260C in August and 300C in March. Sunshine duration for most part of the year averages seven hours per day. Relative humidity is generally high throughout the year between 70 to 80 percent in the dry season and 75 to 80 percent in the wet season.
Relief and Drainage
The Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality experiences one of the highest rainfall patterns in Ghana. It has a mean annual rainfall of 187.83mm with a double maximum rainfall starting from March to September as the main rainfall season and October to February as the dry season. The Bonsa and its tributaries including Buri, Anoni, Sumin and Ayiasu depict a dendritic pattern. Figure 1.5 shows the drainage of the Municipality. The relief and drainage of the area can support the easy construction of dams, boreholes, pipe borne water and other water sources. This has an important effect on the environment in creating watersheds, large expanses of stagnant water bodies, deep trenches and gullies as well as leaching of soil nutrient. There is however, lots of ground water for borehole construction.
The high precipitation experienced in the Municipality supports plant growth without irrigation. Rainwater becomes the main water source for agricultural activities which continues all throughout the year. The Municipality has a high potential to increase output from the agricultural sector if the other factors of production such as capital were made available. Materials like iron in the area pollute underground water.
Drainage of Tarkwa – Nsuaem
The Municipality falls within the rainfall belt thus giving it the “green” physical outlook. The Municipality can boast of about 440.15 km2 Forest Reserves comprising the Bonsa Reserve (209.79km2), Ekumfi Reserve (72.52km2) and Neung Reserve (157.84Km2) as well as other off-reserves with the height of trees ranging between 15 and 40 meters high with wide crowns. The forest is full of climbers and lianas, which are able to reach into the upper tree layer. Economic trees in the Municipality’s forest include Mahogany, Wawa, Odum and Sapele. In recent years, most part of the rich forest has been reduced to secondary forest through increased human activities such as excessive open cast mining, farming and indiscriminate lumbering. The rapid increase in these human activities is gradually depleting the economic value of the vegetation, which is affecting the sustainability of the green vegetation and contributing to climate change.
Land Uses in Tarkwa – Nsuaem Municipality
Soil, Geology and Minerals
The relief of the Municipality falls within the forest disserted plateaus physiographic region. Pre-cambrain rocks of Birimian and Tarkwaian formations underlie the forest-disserted plateau. The land rises from about 240 meters to about 300 meters above sea level. The area is generally undulating with few scarps ranging between 150 meters and 300 meters above sea level.
The soil type is mainly Oxisols containing at all depths not less than 10 percent weathered minerals. Soils are mostly deep, open and acidic in nature due to the heavy leaching of base from the above soil layers caused by high rainfall, humidity and temperature. The acidic nature reduces availability of soil phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, but generally, levels are acceptable for good plant growth, hence the extensive cultivation of cassava, maize, plantain, rubber, cocoa and oil palm among others.
The geological formations in the Municipality are mostly the Birimian and Tarkwaian rocks. Economically, the Birimian rocks are regarded as the most important formations due to its mineral potentials. Due to the geological formation of the Municipality, there is the existence of mineral components. These minerals include Gold and Manganese. For this reason, many mining activities have sprung up in the Municipality creating employment for several people and reducing the economic hardships of the people in the Municipality. On the other hand, the increasing number of mining activities in the Municipality is gradually degrading the forest and polluting water bodies, which pose threats on the environment.
Soils in Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality
Land Tenure Systems
Traditional authorities predominantly own lands in the Municipality. There are pockets of state lands. Forms of holdings within the Municipality include common grazing rights, private residential, agricultural holdings, and state ownership of forests reserves. The right to sell and lease land for developmental activities is in the hands of the chiefs and people. The Abunu and Abusa tenancy systems are also in existence when it comes to farming.
According to the 2000 Population and Housing Census, the total population of the then Wassa-West District was 232,699, which comprise 49.2 percent female and 50.8 percent male. Wassa-West district was later split into two namely Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality and Prestea- Huni-Valley District. The population of Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality in 2000 was 105,608. Using the growth rate of 3.0 percent, it was estimated to be 145,410 in 2010, 155,981 in 2013, 160,731 in 2014, 165,626 in 2015, 170,670 in 2016 and 175,868 in 2017. Using the same growth rate of 3.0 and based on the 2017 projected figure, the population of the Municipality is expected to be 181224 people in 2018, 186743 people in 2019, 192430 people in 2020 and 198290 people in 2021.
However, the 2010 population census presented the Municipality’s population as 90,477, a figure believed to be far less than that of the bio-metric voter population of 98,879 which covers residents 18 years and above in 2012. The Municipality therefore finds the projected figure more reliable for planning purposes. The sex ratio is 106.5 percent while the population density stands at 159.9 persons /square km. Table 1.2 presents the different projected population figures which will arise from the two censuses.
Projected population figures based on the 2000 and 2010 PHC
|PROJECTIONS BASED ON 2000 PHC||175,868||181,224||186,743||192,430||198,290|
|PROJECTIONS BASED ON 2010 PHC||111,619||115,018||118,521||122,130||125,850|
The Municipality has a very good proportion of the working age group that is 15-64years. The dependency ratio is about 83.1 percent meaning less pressure on the workforce. The Economically active population is 68 percent with 63 percent employed and 5 percent unemployed. The remaining 32 percent who are economically inactive are homemakers, students, too old or young to work, feast pensioners or disabled.