Physical and Natural Environment

Geographic Size and Location

Kassena Nankana Municipality is one of the fifteen (15) districts in the Upper East Region of Ghana. It is 30.5km and 30 minutes’ drive from the regional capital (Bolgatanga) and also 799.5km and 12 hours 5 minutes’ drive from the national capital (Accra). It lies between latitude 10.8940°N and between longitude 1.0921°W.

Land Area

The Municipality has a total land area of 767 square kilometers. It is divided into six (6) Zonal Councils namely Navrongo, Doba, Manyoro, Pungu, Kologo and Naaga.

Boundaries

The Municipality is bounded by seven (7) districts and one country; on the North by Kassena Nankana West District and Burkina Faso, on the East by Kassena Nankana West District, Bolgatanga Municipality, Talensi District and Bongo District, on the West by the Builsa South and Builsa North Districts and on the South by West Mamprusi District (in the Northern Region).

Climatic Conditions

The Municipal has a tropical climate. The Municipality experiences dry and wet seasons which are influenced mainly by two (2) air masses [i.e. the North-East Trade winds (Harmattan air mass) and the South-Westerlies (Tropical Maritime)]. On average, temperatures are always high in the Municipality. The average temperature is 28.1 °C. The lowest average temperatures in the year occur in August, when it is around 25.8 °C. The warmest month of the year is March or April, with an average temperature of 31.4 °C.

Most rainfall (rainy season) is seen in June, July, August and September. The average rainfall per annum for the Municipality is 940mm per annum. The greatest amount of precipitation occurs in August, with an average of 259mm. On average, the driest month is January with 1mm of rainfall and the coolest and wettest month is August. The Municipality has dry periods in January, February, March, November and December.

The climatic conditions highlights the importance of designing sustainable buildings to avoid reinforcing the climate change, as well as making a design that can withstand already on going climate changes. Climatic conditions affects the Municipality through impacts on a number of different social, cultural and natural resources. It also affects human health, infrastructure, transportation systems, energy, food and water supplies.

Relief

The Municipality is generally low-lying with an undulating landscape and isolated hills rising up to about 300 metres in the western parts. These hills are Fie (280 metres), Busono (350 metres) and Zambao (360 metres). The generally low-lying relief of the Municipality provides an opportunity for low cost of installing/building of infrastructure such as roads and power lines. It also means putting up buildings is relatively cheaper due to low landscaping costs as compared to Municipalities that have steep slopes and unstable soils.

Drainage

The drainage system of the Municipality is constituted mainly around the tributaries of the Sissili River –Asibelika, Afumbeli, Bukpegi and Beeyi. A tributary of the Asibelika River (Tono River) has been dammed for irrigation, which is of great economic importance to the entire Municipality.

Soil

Two main types of soil are present within the Municipality namely the Savannah ochrosols and groundwater laterite. The Northern and Eastern parts of the Municipality are covered by the Savannah ochrosols, while the rest of the Municipality is covered with groundwater laterite.

The groundwater laterites are developed mainly over shale and granite and covers approximately 60% of the Municipality’s land area. The Savannah ochrosols are porous, well drained, loamy and mildly acidic and interspersed with patches of black or dark-grey clayey soils. This soil type is suitable for cultivation and hence accounts for the arable land areas including most parts of the Tono Irrigation Project site where both wet and dry season farming activities are concentrated.

Vegetation

The Municipality lies within the Guinea Savannah woodlands. It is covered mainly by the Sahel and Sudan-Savannah types of vegetation comprising mainly of the savannah grassland with short trees and thumps. Common trees found are Dawadawa, Baobab, Sheanut and Mango.

The vegetation type is conducive for animal rearing especially small ruminants and poultry. However, the activities of man over the years have affected the original (virgin) vegetation cover. Vegetation is important because it affects soil development over time, generally contributing to a more productive soil; provides wildlife habitat, food, direct and indirect socioeconomic products and services for humans and gives spiritual and cultural experiences to some people.

Biodiversity

The Municipality has five (5) forests reserves with an area of 164.09km2 and a perimeter of 95.6km2. The forests serve as water catchments areas, habitats for birds, bees and animals, provide timber, fuel, wood herbal medicine and fodder for livestock. The dominant wildlife species found in the reserves are monkeys, reptiles, birds and amphibians. The dominant plant species are Mahogany, Dalbergia, Nim, Teak (exotic), Daniella (potential but has not been fully harnessed), Eucalyptus, Albizea, Kapok and Cassia.

The Municipality will continue to protect its forest reserves because the effects of climate change have a significant impact on food production and related natural resource sectors leading to food insecurity. Also, the Department of Natural Resource Conservation will continue to implement interventions that seek to improve livelihoods and human well-being, ensures that habitats are secured and endangered species are protected and also strengthen accountability and democratization at the community level.

Climate change

The Municipality is currently experiencing some of the effects of climate change namely unreliable, erratic and inadequate rainfall, some forms of drought, food insecurity and high and increasing temperatures. All these effects of climate change have aggravated incidences and levels of poverty in the Municipality. Climatic vulnerability further reduces the capacity of land to support existing and emerging livelihoods thus further aggravating environmental degradation. This is evidenced by increased reduction in pasture and vegetation cover, soil erosion, food insecurity, increased conflicts and insecurity – all contributing to increased poverty.

The Municipality should adopt measures and strategies geared towards addressing climate change. These are the promotion of reforestation and afforestation through establishment of tree nurseries for indigenous and exotic tree species; use of drought resistant seed varieties for both food, fodder crops, and trees; formulation of activities and programmes geared towards climate change mitigation; environmental conservation, education and awareness programmes; sensitization and enforcement of environmental law; harmonization of environmental conservation laws; promotion of renewable energy and energy saving devices and use of modern charcoal burning technology.

Disaster (Hazards, Natural and Man-Made Disasters)

Natural and human induced hazards pose a threat to human life, property and environment since the disasters occur when the natural hazards interact with vulnerable people, property and livelihoods causing varying damage depending on the level of vulnerability of the individual, group, property or livelihoods. Disasters have a tendency to retard and erode gains made in building meaningful livelihood and economic development. The Kassena Nankana Municipality is very vulnerable to various hazards, with far-reaching implications on its development. The major hazards include the following:

Floods:The Municipality has been experiencing flash flooding which have devastating impacts on communities, who are often caught off-guard. Some parts of the Municipality namely Kologo, Naaga etc. are low lying and thus exposed to flash flooding during heavy rains. This results in impassable roads, outbreaks of diseases, loss of human life and livestock, destruction of property and soil erosion.

Drought:The Municipality is prone to droughts. As a result, crop failure and lack of pastures for livestock threaten food security efforts. The drought is caused by poor management of water catchment areas, inappropriate soil conservation measures, deforestation and general land degradation. Land degradation worsens due to poor cropping patterns, overgrazing, lack of vegetative cover and increased pressure.

Bush/Wild Fires: Outbreaks of bush/wild fires are often as a result of human-related and natural factors which include uncontrolled charcoal burning, bush and farm clearing by burning done unattended by farmers and extremely dry weather and vegetation conditions. The effect of wildfires is compounded by the problem of destruction of indigenous forests, loss of water catchments areas and serious soil erosion in deforested areas. Once a bush/wild fire has started, many factors contribute to its spread and intensity including fuel, weather conditions especially wind, and topography of the landscape.

Apart from the above main hazards, others are water pollution, pest infestation, livestock disease epidemics causing death, conflicts, land degradation, road traffic accidents and soil erosion leading to poor crop production and uncontrolled sand harvesting leading to low water catchment along the main rivers. The Municipality must reduce socio-economic vulnerabilities to disaster as well as dealing with the environmental and other hazards that trigger them.

Natural Resource Utilization

Natural resources are resources that exist without actions of mankind. As human civilization has progressed, man’s dependence on natural resources has grown tremendously. There are five (5) forest reserves in the Municipality. These reserves provides timber and medicine for humans, food and shelter for the flora and funa. The Municipality has so many water bodies, animals, abundant sunlight and arable land.

The Municipality exist to protect the quality of life and promote a sustainable future by managing and conserving its natural resources. As a Municipality, we are committed to making our citizens to earn a living or livelihood in the arena of natural resources. In the utilization of natural resources, the Municipality aims at maintaining and enhancing the productivity and attractiveness of nature as well as regulating the economic exploitation of natural resources. There is need to increase forest cover through introduction of drought resistant tree seedlings and protection of indigenous vegetation or trees.

FOREST RESERVE AREA (KM²) PERIMETER (KM²)
Dedoro 31.0 11.0
Saboro 37.0 2.4
Aseblika 38.85 15.8
Kologo- Naaga 45.33 33.1
Tankwidah West 11.91 33.3
Total 164.09 95.6