The Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District was established in 1988 by the Local Government(Establishment) Legislative Instrument (L.I) 1387 under the then Local Government Law, 1988 PNDCL 207 now replaced by the Local Government Act, 1993, Act 462.
The vision of the Assembly is to be an efficient and effective district with continuous enhancement of the living standards of its people.
‘The District Assembly exists to facilitate the overall development of the district by effectively formulating and implementing plans and programmes of the Assembly, Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations in order to improve the quality of lives of the people in the district.
The District is richly endowed with human and numerous natural resources particularly natural tourist attraction sites ranging from a large number of labour, rich soil, minerals (Gold, Bauxite) good climatic condition, tropical rainforest with variety of timber species, cash and food crops to livestock and all that is required to improve the life of the people.
However, the full benefit of the resource potentials to the development of the district is yet to be realized as the District lacks the basic socio-economic facilities like good feeder roads, tertiary institutions to train the manpower, good health facilities, good drinking water, high technology, agro- processing industries, poorly developed tourist attraction sites.
Bibiani- Anhwiaso-Bekwai District is located between latitude 6° N, 3° N and longitude 2° W, 3° W. The district is bounded on the North by the Atwima Mponua District in the Ashanti Region, South by the Wassa Amenfi in the Western Region, West by the Sefwi Wiawso District in the Western Region and East by the Denkyira North and Amansie East in the in the Central Region and Ashanti region respectively. The total land area of the district is 873 km square.
The lowest and the highest points in the district are 350m above sea level and 660m above sea level respectively. This highest point is also the highest in the Western Region at Attanyamekrom (Adiembra), near Sefwi Bekwai. A gently rolling landscape is found over lower Birimian rocks. Over the Tarkwaian rocks, the topography is rugged and hilly rather than smooth and flat or gently undulating.
The major river in the district is river Ankobra. Other forming tributaries are Awa, Krodua, Atronsu, Subriso, Kroseini, Suraw, Chira and Akataso. These flow roughly north south, the Ankobra into the sea and receive heavy rains; hence they have regular flow of water. It must be stressed that the rivers are close to the forest and large enough and can be taped as resources for future establishment of irrigation schemes and production of potable water for the people in the district.
The district is located in the equatorial climate with the annual rainfall average between 1200mm and 1500mm.The pattern is bimodal, falling between March – August and September- October. The dry season is noticeable between November- January and the peak periods are June and October. The average temperature throughout the year is about 26°c.There is a high relative humidity averaging between 75% in the afternoon and 95% in the night and early morning.
The implication here is that the climate of the area is suitable and can facilitate the growing of most traditional and non- traditional crops for exports.
Some of the traditional crops are cocoa, palm nut trees, cassava, yam and plantain. The non-traditional crops also include pineapple and cashew.
The district falls within the Equatorial Rain Forest Zone. The natural vegetation is moist-deciduous forest, with the Celtic- Triplochiton Association dominating. In this area the tree species, examples Odum, Mahogany and Sapele form the basis of the flourishing Ghana Timber Industry. Hence, the district is a suitable location for the establishment of timber firms.
iii. Forest Reserves
There are six forest reserves in the district with the total area of about 264 sq.km as indicated on table. The forest reserves serve as tourist attractions in the district.
|LOCATION||AREA (sq.km)||% OF TOTAL LAND SIZE|
|Tano Suraw Extension||75||8.6|
Source: Forestry Commission, BABDA
The Oxysols soils are rich in mineral deposits making mining the most important and lucrative economic activity in the district. The most noted minerals are gold and bauxite. The companies dealing in mining include; Noble Gold Limited at Bibiani; Chirano Goldfield Limited at Chirano and Bossai Minerals Limited at Awaso.
Geology and Soil
The geology for the district is dominated by the Precambrian Metamorphic rocks of the Birrimian and Tarkwain formation. The district is endowed with rich forest ochrosols and forest oxysols. This is conducive for the cultivation of both food and industrial crops. Implications that can be deduced include:
- The soil type is suitable for cocoa, coffee, oil palm and citrus and sugar cane and food crops like maize, rice, cassava, cocoyam and vegetables.
- Some of the Boulders/ chippings can be used for construction purposes, example roads.
The rainfall pattern in the district has resulted in erosion in some of the communities; examples include Awaso, Asempaneye, and Aboduabo. The depletion of the forest stock because of excessive lumbering, destructive agricultural practices, mining and bush burning have all led to the deterioration of the land exposing the bare land surface leading to erosion.
- Use of energy sources
Air pollution is one of the environmental problems cause by the use of the energy sources in the district. This pollution comes from the mining activities as well as fuse from vehicles.
- Impact of human activities.
- Illegal chain saw operations.
- Air pollution: fuse from vehicles, mining firms.
- Loss of soil fertility due to farming on the same piece of land continuously.
Another environmental pollution is waste disposal. Most of the settlements lack waste disposal facilities and dump refuse indiscriminately.
The District Chief Executive is the Political Head of the District. He is appointed by the President and approved by not less than two-thirds of the Assembly Members present and voting. Through the appointment Mechanism (Section 20(i) of the Local Government Act 462), the District Chief Executive owes dual allegiance to both the Presidency and the Assembly.
The District Coordinating Director is the Administrative Head of the District bureaucracy and Chief advisor to the District Chief Executive (DCE). He is also the Secretary to the Assembly and ensures the effective implementation of the policies and decisions of the District Assembly.
Politically, the District has one constituency with an Assembly of fifty-four (54) members which includes the Honourable Member of Parliament for the District and the DCE.
The Executive Committee is responsible for the performance of the Executive and Administrative function of the Assembly. It is made up of eighteen members and the District Chief Executive as the Chairman. There are also five statutory sub-committees under the executive committee, namely, the development planning, works, finance and administration, social services and justice and security.
In addition, Area/Town Councils/Unit Committees assist in the performance of key roles. There is also effective traditional leadership and vibrant Youth Development Associations to facilitate efficient and effective mobilization of local resources. The District is further subdivided into Eight (8) Area Councils and One (1) Town Council.
Figure 1.1: District Map
Source: Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai District Assembly
Social and Cultural
The district has Three (3) Traditional Councils, each headed by a Paramount Chief. These include the Anhwiaso Traditional Area, Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Area and Chirano Traditional Area. The Traditional Councils are the decentralized units of administration by traditional rulers and are used to mobilize the people at the local and community levels for development.
The people are predominantly Sefwis but there are pockets of other tribes such as, Ewes, Brongs and a host of other ethnic groups particularly from the Northern part of the country who for economic reasons are scattered all over the District.
The main traditional festival celebrated is the Allue (yam) Festival, which is celebrated every year. It is celebrated by the people to offer thanks to God through the ancestors for his blessing for a bumper harvest and the abundance of food.
The economy of the district is essentially agricultural. The agricultural sector is dominated by crop cultivation and employs 76% of the population. Out of 62% (54240ha) of the total arable land area available, only 45.5% (39829ha) is currently under cultivation. Agricultural activities undertaken in the district include crop, livestock production and agro-processing.
There are two important marketing outlets in the district, namely, Bibiani and Bekwai. Fridays and Wednesdays are the marketing days for Bibiani and Bekwai respectively. Crops in the rural areas are convened to these markets on the market days for sale. Traders from all over Ghana patronize these markets. These markets create avenues for sale of agricultural produce and hence encouraged farmers to cultivate more food since there are market places to sell. Despite these ready market places for sale of agriculture produce, much of the produce goes bad due to lack of access roads and ready markets for the various food items, especially those perishable ones.
Besides, services such as petty trading, hairdressing, barbering, tailoring and transport services dominate in towns such as Bibiani, Sefwi Bekwai and Sefwi Anhwiaso. The District Assembly generates a lot of revenue through market tolls.
The District has three Mining Companies in operation. They are Noble Gold Mines Limited, Chirano Gold Mines Limited and the Awaso Bauxite Company. These Mining Companies offer employment to some of the youth in the district and also provide revenue in the form of property rates to the District Assembly. To a greater extent the Mining Companies have played a major role in the economic life of the district through the provision of health and educational facilities to the communities within the catchment area. As part of their social responsibility, they have also initiated malaria control programmes and the training of the youth in alternative livelihood programmes.
The District has a number of financial institutions which serve diverse needs of customers from all backgrounds. Notable among them are the SG-SSB, Merchant Bank, Sefwiman Rural Bank and the Amanano Rural Bank.
- Cultural festivals: The main traditional festival is the Allue Festival, which is celebrated every year.
- Mountains scenery at Bekwai
- Mud fish pond at Bekwai
- Mining sites: the gold mines at Bibiani and Chirano and the Bauxite mine at Awaso are also tourist attraction sites.
- The source of the Ankobra River (salt)
- Manmade lake at Bibiani
The festivals bring both the indigenes and aliens together to contribute to development projects. The hotels in the district can be a boost to the tourism sector as tourists will be assured of hotel accommodations.