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1.0 Location

The Upper West region is situated in the north-western part of Ghana. It lies between longitude 1o 25’’ W and 2o 45’’ and latitudes 9o 30’’ N and 11oN. It is bordered to the south by the Northern region, to the north and West by Burkina Faso, to the east by the Upper East region (UER).
There is strong socio-cultural relationship among the border communities and an extensive inter-boundary mobility of people.

1.2 Administrative districts, their capitals and projected populations

The Region is divided into nine (9) administrative districts. The latest being the Lambussie district. The various districts are further demarcated into health sub- districts. In all there are 65 sub-districts. Nadowli has the highest number of sub-districts (13) and Sissala West has the least (4). The region also has 1,145 communities.

The projected population of the region for 2010 based on the year 2000 Population and Housing Census using a growth rate of 1.7% is 682,451. The most populated districts include Wa Municipality (118,205) representing 17.3%, Lawra 103,596 (15.2%) Nadowli (97,904) 15.2%. The least populated districts are Lambussie (49,984) and Sissala West (47,573)

1.3 Size

The region covers a geographical area of 18,476km2, which constitute 12.7 percent of the total land area of Ghana. The population density ranges from 13 per square kilometre in the Sissala district to 86 per square kilometre in the Lawra district with a regional average of 33 per square kilometre.

1.4 Topography & Drainage

The landscape is generally flat and below 300m above sea level with a central plateau ranging between 1,000 and 1,150 ft. The Black Volta and its tributaries drain the area-Kulpawn to the west and Sissili in the east.

1.5 Vegetation


This is generally semi-savannah with light undergrowth and scattered shrubs. The major economic trees found are Mango (Mangifera indica), Dawadawa (Parkia filicondia) and sheanut (Buterospermium parkii)

1.6 Climate


The climate is tropical with an average minimum temperature of 22.6 oC and maximum of 40.0oC. There is one rainy season from May- October with an intensity of 100-115 cm/annum with humidity ranging between 70 - 90% but falling to 20% in the dry season. During this time from November to March, the cold dry and dusty wind, the (harmattan), blows from the Northeast across the region. Since the predominant activity is farming the long dry season means that many people are idle for so many months each year.

1.7 Socio-Cultural Characteristics

Christianity, Islam and Traditional beliefs are the predominant religions. Traditional life and beliefs, like elsewhere in the country, are more prominent in the rural areas.

The notable festivals are the “Dumba” festival in Wa “ Jembenti” of the Dagaabas and “Kobina” in Lawra, and “Kakube” in Nandom.
There are three major ethnic groups comprising of Dagaabas, the Sissalas and the Walas. The Lobis and other minority tribes also live in the region.

Chieftaincy is a respected institution especially among the Walas and is a major medium for community mobilisation. In Sissala land, the title Kuoro (e.g. Tumu Kuro) is used whilst Naa (e.g. Wa Naa) is used in the other districts. There are 21 paramountcies (Jirapa/Lambussie 2, Lawra 3, Nadowli 7, Sissala 5 and Wa 4 ).

1.8 Economic Characteristics

Farming is the main economic activity of the region. Food production is poor with resultant seasonal food insecurity. Crops grown are maize, yam, guinea corn, millet, rice, groundnuts and beans. The region is a leading producer of cotton and shea nuts which are two main cash crops. Livestock rearing is buoyant with cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry dominating.
Local craft typical of the northern sector of the country, especially smocks, leather bags and straw hats is an important industry
The hippopotamus sanctuary of Wechiau in Wa district, the foot print of the legendary slave trader Samori in Ullo and the mushroom shaped stones at Wullen in the Jirapa and Lambussie districts provide some tourism opportunities in the region.

1.9 Transport and communication


The region has the smallest number of kilometres of tarred roads. Only two of the district capitals are linked to each other and to the regional capitals by tarred road. The roads linking the region to other regions are untarred and during the rainy season travelling out of the region by road sometimes becomes a nightmarish experience. There is a small airstrip in the regional capital but this is rarely used, as there are no commercial flights. The predominant means of transport is by road using Lorries, motorcycles or bicycles.
The region boasts of four FM radio stations that broadcast in English and in two local languages (Dagaare and Sissala). Telephone and fax facilities exist in all the districts

1.10 Health Facilities

The Region has a total of 174 health facilities comprising of a Regional hospital five (5) district hospitals and the others are clinics, health centres, CHPS and some private health facilities. A sod cutting ceremony has taken place for the commencement of a 150 bed ultra-modern Regional Hospital.

Health Facilities – Upper West Region



District

Hospitals

Health Centres

Clinics

RCH Centre

CHPs

Private Mat. Hom.

Private Clinics

Private Hospitals

Total

Jirapa

1

7

0

0

8

0

0

0

16

Lambussie

0

6

0

0

9

 

 

0

15

Lawra

2

8

0

2

10

0

0

0

22

Nadowli

1

12

0

0

14

0

0

1

28

Sissala East

1

5

2

0

6

 

0

0

14

Sissala West

0

4

0

0

7

0

0

0

11

Wa East

0

6

1

0

12

0

0

0

19

Wa Mun.

1

6

3

0

13

1

3

2

29

Wa West

0

6

0

0

12

2

0

0

20

Reg Total

6

60

6

2

91

3

3

3

174


 

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