Settlement systems and linkages
The settlement system and spatial linkages were analysed by using scalogram analysis. The services considered include both social and economic facilities in 25 settlements at a population cut off point of 461 persons. The Scalogram analysis revealed that the major service centres are New Offinso, Akomadan, Afrancho, Nkenkaasu and Abofour. A further revelation is that these settlements are along the Kumasi-Techiman trunk road.
The rest also have one or more facilities, thus providing different levels of services i.e. spatial distribution of services. This means that for balanced developments to be realised in the Municipality a critical look must be taken of the location of future services. See figure for scalogram analysis.
Functional Hierarchy Of Settlements And Its Implications
From the Analysis, Offinso New Town, with a population of 36,158 is found to be the only ‘LEVEL ONE’ settlement with respect to services it possesses. It possesses 31 out of the 33 services considered. Akomadan, Abofour and Nkenkaasu are found to be the second level settlements with 21, 19 and 18 services respectively. The third level of settlements with facilities numbering between 8 and 6 include Kobreso, Darso and Samproso. The fourth level of settlement with facilities numbering between 5 and 3 include Brehoma, Mantukwa, and Aburokyire etc.
Surface Accessiblity to Services
Studies undertaken on the surface accessibility to the following services, Health, Banking, Education (SSS), Extension Services are based on the following assumptions.
Observed vehicular speeds on the various types of roads in the Municipality e.g. First class road, second class road and third class road.
The accessibility analysis revealed that about 80% of the habitable area of the district is within considerable aggregate accessibility. This implies that about 20% of the habitable surface area of the Municipality is not within easy reach of any one of the mentioned facilities studied. The relative proportion of optimum accessibility area to the habitable surface area was about 40%. This also means that quite a substantial proportion of the district cannot enjoy all the services considered.
About 90% of the communities enjoy at least one chosen facility within the acceptable time e.g. agricultural extension services. Transportation to those facilities needs to be improved while the threshold population could be improved to merit higher level of services.
This applies to communities that have access to all facilities considered. These communities are Offinso New Town, Abofour, Nkenkaasu, Akomadan and Afrancho. They form about 10% of the total population of the district. The situation needs to be improved.
From the outcome of the exercise under the above, Poverty Pocket 1 is well endowed while 2, 3, 4 are less endowed and 5 is more deprived. This implies that any immediate intervention should be targeted at the least developed pocket areas.
Varieties of commodities or products in the Municipality are produced for sale within and outside. The major marketing centres in the Municipality are Abofour, Anyinasusu, New Offinso, Nkenkaasu and Akomadan. Most of the traders in the district are retailers. Industrial goods that are mostly traded in the areas are: used clothing, provisions, farm implements, footwear, textiles and utensils. Agricultural produce that are prominent in the Municipality are maize, plantain, cocoyam, yams, garden eggs, tomatoes and cassava. Market survey and analysis indicates that Assembly is a net importer of industrial goods and a net exporter of agricultural goods.
Nature of Physical Development
Out of 126 settlements in the Municipality, only 2 settlements have approved planning schemes. Lack of these schemes has led to haphazard development in most settlements
Haphazard development in settlements calls for the preparation of proper settlement schemes and the enforcement of their strict compliance.
Poverty Profiling, Mapping and Pro-Poor Programming
Every Assembly has peculiar socio-cultural characteristics which distinguish it from others. The characteristics, among other things, reflect in the poverty status in the Assembly, understanding of the people, dimensions and its manifestations.
Municipal poverty Profiling required diverse interactive activities and roles involving different stakeholders and institutions, therefore the need to engage in dialogue with all stakeholders.
Dialogue with Municipal level stakeholders
The dialogue with the Municipal level stakeholders involved interactive activities with institutions like the Traditional Authorities, Communities, NGOs, CSOs, the central Administration and sub-District institutions of the Assembly.
It must also be emphasized that, sector departments especially MOFA, GES, Ghana Health Services, Community Development and Social Welfare were engaged in the dialogue.
The perceptions and manifestations of poverty were then translated into maps to show visually the spatial depiction of different dimensions of poverty in the Municipality.
Tentatives Poverty Pockets
Based on agreed perception of poverty, its manifestation and physical accessibility to some basic facilities and services and guided by their local knowledge of the Assembly the participants came out with a demarcated composite poverty pockets for Offinso South Municipal Assembly.
In the end five poverty pockets were identified and ranked based on the severity of poverty as it is shown on the map. (FIG 1A Page.
It is significant to that all the communities that are poor and most deprived are located at the periphery of the Municipality. Secondly, all those communities are far from the main Kumasi-Techiman Highway and are themselves less accessible.
The people in these communities are basically subsistence farmers. These communities have little population that cannot support most basic facilities. The few basic facilities e.g. primary school and water are there on the principle of equity and not efficiency.
This means that these communities by nature of their locations have no easy access to most of the facilities which are located in the centre. To reverse the situation, those communities at the periphery should be made access by the provision of good roads.
Based on the Poverty Profiling and Mapping exercises, key poverty issues and problems were identified under the GPRSI. Programmes/projects were suggested to be undertaken to address the issues.
Implications For Development :-
It is significant to know that, few communities have monopoly over all the facilities present in the Assembly. There communities eventually provide higher level services. The rest also have one or more facilities, thus providing different levels of services ie. Spatial distribution of facilities. It is found that, the communities that are poor and most deprived are located at the periphery of the district and are less accessible.
It also implies that, communities by nature of their locations have no access to most of the facilities which are located in the centre. To ensure equity, those communities at the periphery should be made access by the provision of good roads.
Refer to the tables below in pdf file