THE ASSEMBLY

BACKGROUND

The sefwi akontombra district assembly (SADA) was created in december 2007 by l.i. 1884 and inaugurated in february 2008. It was carved out of the then sefwi wiawso district, now sefwi wiawso municipal. The district capital is sefwi akontombra.

The sefwi akontombra district is one of the nine (9) districts in the western north region of ghana.  The sefwi wiawso municipal bounds it to the north -east and bodi district to the north- west, suaman to the west and aowin district to the south-west. The district capital is 69.0 km away from sefwi wiawso, the regional capital.

The district has a projected population of 96,000 with 53% females and 47% males. There a lot of scattered settlements which hinder the provision of services. Most part of the district lies between 152. 4m and 610m above sea level and cut through the east by the tano and bia river basin.

­­There are gold deposits at akontombra enclave and nsawora/nkwadum areas.  Few isolated diamonds are found to the north of akontombra near bopa.

The district falls within the tropical rainforest climate zone with high temperatures throughout the year between 250 c – 300 c and moderate to heavy rainfall between 1524 mm – 1780mm per annum with a double maximum characteristic in june – july and september – october as peaks.

The forest ochrosols and oxysols are rich soils, which support the cultivation of cash and food crops, such as cocoa, palm tree, cashew, plantain, cocoyam, cassava and maize. The district has three (3) forest reserves namely tanoehuro, santomang and sui river. Common species found are onyina, odum, wawa, mahogany, sapele, emire, asamfina, red cedar, among others.

Agriculture employs about 85.3% of the economically active population, followed by services 11% and industry 3.7%. The main revenue generating centres are nsawora, essase and akontombra.

The district has a total length of 129.5 km of gravel-surfaced highways.  These are the akontombra-

Wiawso (69.0km) highways of which 10km is currently under construction, akontombra-dadieso highways (28km) and akontombra –bodi (29km) of which 15km is also under construction. Sometimes the poor conditions of the roads delay the transportation of farm produce to the marketing centers, especially during the rainy seasons. This increases post-harvest loss and reduces profitability.

The sefwi akontombra district is under the sefwi wiawso traditional council, which is headed by the paramount chief of the traditional area (omanhene), with the title “bumangama”. The chief and people of the district celebrate the yam or aluelue festival. Christianity is the largest religion constituting 76.7% of the population.

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Location and Size

The sefwi akontombra district lies in north-eastern part of the western region between latitudes 60 n and 60 30’ n and longitudes 20 45’ w and 20 15’ w. It is bounded on the east by sefwi wiawso district and juabeso district to the north, aowin suaman to the south-east and wassa amenfi to the south-west. The district covers an area of 1,120 sq.km, representing three percent of the land area of western region. The district capital, akontombra is almost at the extreme western perimeter. The district capital is 69.0 km away from sefwi wiawso. It is linked by a second class (gravel dressed) road. Akontombra is also 306 kilometers away from sekondi/ takoradi, the regional capital. 

Physical Features

Most parts of the district are generally undulating and it lies between 152.4 meters (m) and 610 meters above sea level. It is cut through in the east by the tano and bia river basin, this is mostly below 152.4m above sea level. The highlands, which rise above 305m, lie in a northern direction of the district capital. The main drainage system is the tano river and its tributaries. The tano river cuts roughly in a southern direction and enters the sea in la cote d’ lvoire. The major tributaries include the suhien, kunuma, sui and the yoyo.

Geology and Mineral Deposits

The main geological formations that cover the district are the lower and upper birimain types with the lower birimain formation to the extreme eastern and north-eastern parts. These are volcanic rocks, which have been solidified from molten materials (lava). These are often steep and strongly dissected. There are gold deposits at akontombra and nsawora/nkwadum areas. Few isolated diamonds are found to the north of akontombra near bopa.

Climate

The district falls within the tropical rainforest climate zone with high temperatures from 250 c to 300 c throughout the year. It has moderate to heavy rainfall between 1,524 mm and 1,780mm per annum with a double maxima characteristics in june-july and september-october as peaks. Humidity is high, about 90 percent at night falling to 75 percent during the day. The rainfall distribution pattern as indicated above is favorable for agricultural activities. The dry season is marked by relatively low humidity and hazy conditions occur from december to february. Because humidity is relatively high during the dry season, the district experiences fewer bush fire outbreaks.

Soils

There are three main soil types found in the district namely: forest (ochrosols, oxylols and ochrosols-oxysols intergrades). The most widespread is the forest ochrosols, which cover most of the northern and western parts of the district. The forest ochrosols and oxysols are rich soils which support the cultivation of cash and food crops, such as cocoa, palm tree, cola, coffee, cashew, plantains, cocoyam, cassava and maize.

Vegetation and Forest Reserve Cover

The sefwi akontombra district falls within the moist semi-decidus forest zone of ghana, which covers most of ashanti, western, brong-ahafo and eastern regions. The forest type consists of the celtic triplochiton association. Common species found are onyina, odum, wawa, mahogany, sapele, emire, asamfina, red cedar, among others.

There is a high degree of depletion of the original forest. Large sections of the forest are now secondary due to improper farming practices and logging. Because of this, a large section of the forest totaling 362.39 km2 has been put under reserves. The district has three (3) forest reserves namely tano ehuro, santomang and sui river.

Political Administration

The district assembly is the highest political, administrative and planning authority, representing the central government in the district. The legislative instrument li 1884 establishing the sefwi akontombra district assembly was made and inaugurated on 28th february, 2008 by local government act 463, 1993. The assembly has a membership of 22 comprised 15 elected members and 7 government appointees representing the traditional authority and organized economic groupings in the district, member of parliament and the district chief executive who is the political head of the district. The presiding member chairs sittings of the assembly. The district assembly consists of 2 area councils with 15 unit committees (ucs). Each committee is made up of 5 members. The district assembly is also made up of 15 electoral areas with 5 under akontombra area council and the remaining 10 of the electoral areas under nsawora-edumafua area council.

Cultural and Social Structure

Traditional Set Up And Culture

The sefwi akontombra district has its traditional council under the sefwi wiawso traditional council, which is headed by the paramount chief of the traditional area (omanhene), with the title “bumagama”. The inheritance system is matrilineal. The culture of the people is not different from the akan speaking communities or districts in the country.

The chief and people of the district celebrate the yam festival or aluelue. It is celebrated in december in the district capital. Other towns celebrate the festival on convenient dates between december and february.

Education

The district has a total of 90 public schools, of which 59 are primary schools. There are 30 junior high schools and one secondary school in the district. The number of private schools in the district is eighteen (18). (Source: ges, sad-annual school census 2012/2013).

Health

The district is striving to provide excellent health services   although it does not have adequate health facilities and personnel. The district is zoned into 3 health sub-districts for effective and efficient service delivery. These are nsawora, akontombra and kramokrom. There are two health centres, 3 maternity homes and 18 rural chips compound.

Ethnicity

The district is dominated mainly by akan/sefwi who form about 61.2 percent of the population. Other minority groups are mole-dagbani, ga-dangme, ewe, and guan.

Religious Composition

Christianity is the dominant religion (76.7%) in the district. Islam is the second religion after christianity, constituting 16.6percent, and traditionalists and others (6.7%).

Economy

Agriculture

The sefwi akontombra district (sad) is a predominantly rural economy, with agriculture and its ancillary activities being the mainstay of the people. Agriculture employs about 85.3percent of the economically active population. The district produces many food crops, palm tree and the main cash crop, cocoa. These crops are inter-planted with cocoa seedlings from the first year until the third year when the cocoa trees start bearing fruit.

Industry

The district is one of the largest producers of timber in the western north region. The major species found in the district are wawa, odum, sapele, mahogany, emire and red cedar. The logging and lumbering industry involves private timber firms such as suhuma timber company, bibiani logging and lumber company, a. G. Timbers, buadac company ltd., g. A. P. Company, and western veneer and lumber company.

These are given large tracts of the primary and forest reserves as concessions by the forestry services division of the forestry commission. Salvage permits are also given to the timber operators and other small-scale sawmills that operate outside the concession areas.

Financial Institutions

Sefwi Akontombra district has enormous economic potentials.  If harnessed, the district will become one of the richest in the country. The district is the third largest producer of cocoa in the western north region. It produces nearly 6,000 metric tons of cocoa annually and has the potential for expansion. The strategic importance of the district to the cocoa industry has attracted the services of a commercial bank (republic bank), rural bank (upper amenfi rural bank) and four credit unions. (sada, 2010).