Urban growth and health in the Wa municipality

Bachelor Thesis, 2015
70 Pages, Grade: A





List of Tables

List of Acronyms

Chapter One
1.0 Background of Study
1.1 Problem Statement
1.2 Research Questions
1.2.1 Main Research Question
1.2.2 Specific Research Questions
1.3 Research Objectives
1.3.1 General Objective
1.3.2 Specific Objectives
1.4 Significance of the Study
1.5 Methodology
1.5.1 Research approach
1.5.2 Methods of data collection
1.5.3 Sampling Sample size Sampling techniques
1.6 Scope of the study
1.7 Organisation of the Study

Chapter Two
2.0 Introduction
2.1 Geo-physical characteristics
2.1.1 Location and size
2.1.2 Relief, drainage and topography
2.1.3 Climate and vegetation
2.2 Demographic characteristics
2.2.1 Population
2.3 Socio-cultural characteristics
2.3.1 Ethnicity
2.3.2 Literacy Rate
2.4 Socio-economic characteristics
2.4.1 The Agriculture Sector
2.4.2 Trade/commerce
2.4.3 Industry
2.4.4 Services

Chapter Three
3.0 Literature review
3.1 Urbanization
3.2 Health
3.3 Urbanization and Health

Chapter Four
4.0 Introductions
4.1 Demographic characteristics of respondents
4.1.1 Age of respondents
4.1.2 Sex of respondents
4.1.3 Level of education
4.1.4 Marital status of respondents
4.1.5 Religion of respondents
4.2 Urban growth situation
4.2.1 Causes of urban growth in Wa municipal
4.2.2 Early marriage and population
4.2.3 Polygamy marriage and population growth
4.2.4 Traditional control and urban growth
4.2.5 Opinion on measures to curb urban growth
4.3 Relationship between urban growth and sanitation services and water quality services
4.3.1 Opinion on urban growth and health
4.3.2 Houses with toilet facilities
4.3.3 Disposal of solid waste
4.3.4 Rate at which one falls sick
4.3.5 Common diseases experienced
4.3.6 Drainage system
4.3.7 Source of water
4.3.8 Cleaning of surrounding
4.4 Management of poor sanitation and water quality services
4.4.1 Improving sanitation and water quality services
4.4.2 Recycling of waste material

Chapter Five
5.0 Introduction
5.1 Summary (of major findings)
5.1.1 Demographic characteristics of respondents
5.1.2 Urban growth situation in Wa municipal
5.1.3 Relationship between urban growth and sanitation services and water quality services
5.1.4 Management of poor sanitation and water quality services
5.2 conclusion
5.2.1 Demographic characteristics of respondents
5.2.2 Urban growth situation in Wa municipal
5.2.3 Relationship between urban growth, sanitation services and water quality services
5.2.4 Management of poor sanitation and water quality services
5.3 Recommendations
5.3.1 Demographic characteristics of respondents
5.3.2 Urban growth situation
5.3.3 Relationship between urban growth, sanitation services and water quality services
5.3.4 Management of poor sanitation and water quality services


APPENDIX: Questionnaire on urban growth and health


The study sought to establish the underlining factors affecting urban growth and health in the Wa municipality. The study employed a case study research design in gathering data through structured questionnaire and interview guide from 156 respondents. Cluster sampling, accidental and purposive sampling techniques were used in selecting respondents for the study. The field data was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively

Tertiary education, economic activities, health care, regional capital, early marriage, polygamy, lack of routine collection of solid waste, lack of toilet facilities and poor drainage system were the results of the study. The study concluded that this findings leads to urban growth and health risk

The study recommends that management should try and convey the skips (containers) on time. The Wa municipal Assembly should construct enough drainage systems


We wish to express our profound gratitude to Mr. Beyuo Alfred Naamwintome, our supervisor for the pains he took in guiding US in this work and providing useful suggestions. His momentous annotations, inputs and serenity at all stages of this study contributed immeasurably to the outcome of this research.

Our profound thanks go to our entire family, colleagues and compatriots for painstakingly providing US with the needed data for this report.



1. Age ranges of respondents

2. Sex of respondents

3. Level of education

4. Marital status of respondents

5. Religion of respondents

6. Causes of Urban growth

7. Early marriage and population growth

8. Polygamy marriage and population growth

9. Traditional control and urban growth

10. Opinion on urban growth and health

11. Houses with toilet facilities

12. Disposal of solid waste

13. Rate at which one falls sick

14. Common diseases experienced

15. Drainage system

16. Source of water

17. Cleaning of surrounding

18. Improving sanitation and water quality services 41

19. Recycling of waste material 42


Abbildung in dieser leseprobe nicht enthalten


1.0 Background of the study

In today’s increasingly global and interconnected world, over half of the world’s population (54 %) lives in urban areas although there is still substantial variability in the levels of urbanization across countries. The coining decades will bring further profound changes to the size and spatial distribution of the global population. The continuing urbanization and overall growth of the world’s population is projected to add 2.5 billion people to the urban population by 2050, with nearly 90% of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa. At the same time, the proportion of the world’s population living in urban areas is expected to increase; reaching 66 % by 2050 (United Nations, 2014).

There is great diversity in the characteristics of the world’s urban environs: close to half of urban dwellers reside in relatively small settlements of less than 500,000 inhabitants, while nearly one in eight live in the 28 mega-cities of 10 million inhabitants or more (United Nations, 2014). The number of mega­cities has nearly tripled since 1990; and by 2030, 41 urban agglomerations are projected to house at least 10 million inhabitants each (United Nations, 2014).

Ghana’s population is becoming increasingly urbanized. The statistical definition of an urban center in Ghana is any settlement with a population of 5000 or more persons. Today more than four out of every ten Ghanaians live in a city or town of more than 5,000 people, If current trends continue, by the year 2020 more than half of all Ghanaians will live in urban areas” (Nabila, 1988:1).

The final results of 2010 population and housing census showed that the total population of Ghana as at 26th September, 2010 was 24,658,823. The results indicate that Ghana’s population increased by 30.4% over 2000 population figure of 18,912,079. The results revealed that there were 12,633,978 females and 12,024,845 males. The year 2010, it was recorded as 702,110 people in the Upper west region. The year 2000, it was recorded as 98,675 people for the Wa municipality and in 2010, it was recorded as 107,214 people in the Wa municipality (Ghana Statistical Service, 2010)

The growth rate if от 2000 to 2010 was 1.7% which shows that the growth rates between these years has been significant which is as a result of a rapid urbanization trends recorded in the municipality. Urban growth has been qualified variously as “galloping” and “wild“ to express not only its uncontrolled nature , but also the ecological and sanitary consequences often associated with the growth and the implications on human health and well-being. Health and well­being concerns of inhabitants of developing societies like Wa are associated with the unplanned urban centers (Sietchiping, 2003). In Wa, urbanization continues to figure as a puzzling issue in the sense that urban growth and the socio-sanitary

consequences often associated are key elements of difficulties and health concerns the town currently faces (Ngncndo, 2010).

The failure of local government authorities to provide the population with adequate waste management facilities has led to high cases of sanitation related diseases like cholera, diarrhea and malaria in the Wa municipality (Smith-Asante, 2012). The facilities which are either absent or inappropriate in some areas of Wa municipal include toilet facilities, dumping sites for domestic waste and drainage systems. The absence of these facilities has led to massive accumulation of domestic waste, human and animal excreta and chocked gutters exposing the inhabitants to various fonus of health risks predominantly cholera, malaria and diarrhea. The focus is on the health risks related to urban growth with particular reference to Wa municipality. Urban growth and associated health risks are key concepts in this study.

1.1 Problem Statement

Urban growth in developing countries especially on the continents of Africa is observed to be rapid as compared to developed countries (United Nations, 1991). The process, if well managed, offers important opportunities for economic and social development but this is never the case with respect to the study area. As asserted by Cohen (2006), urban growths have always been focal points for economic growth, innovation, and employment. With nearly all cities experiencing growth in most developing countries like Ghana, risk with respect to health is becoming a major feature of these spatial areas.

Ohmn (2003:1) noted that “useful as they may be, as demographic absorbers, metropolitan regions by their sheer size, create complex and multifaceted problems on scales never experienced before”. The effects of this urban growth in African cities, especially in Ghana, are the leading cause of changing trends in employment, food security, water supply, shelter and sanitation. Nonetheless, increasing economic and social developments in urban centers has resulted in rapid population growth and this is further instigating problems such as growth of infonnal settlement and slums, poor sanitation, unemployment, traffic and human congestion, environmental degradation and poverty. In the Wa municipality, the major problem posed by urbanization is poor sanitation. Urban sanitation is a fonn of sanitation which focuses on maintaining sanitary conditions in urban environments. The major purpose of urban sanitation is to reduce risk to human health by managing factors in the environment which can contribute to health problems. One of such factors is the management of water supplies which concerns it’s self with supply of safe and clean water for citizens, securing a safe network pipes that deliver water to residents and preventing the contamination of water bodies in urban centers. Another factor has to deal with the collection, treatment, disposal and if possible recycling of solid, liquid and human waste. This include provision of public toilet and bath facilities, provision of garbage cans in strategic points for public disposal and provision of waste treatment and recycle plant for treatment of all fonns of waste (WHO, 2007).

Poor sanitation conditions do not only impact negatively on the national economy of the African continent but contributes to more than half of sickness and injuries in Africa (WHO, 2008).

1.2 Research Questions

This aspect is divided into two sections namely, Main and specific questions.

1.2.1 Main Research Question

How does urban growth lead to poor sanitation services and water quality in Wa municipality?

1.2.2 Specific Research Questions

1. What is the urban growth situation in Wa municipality?
2. Why are the sanitation services and water quality poor in Wa municipality?
3. How can poor sanitation and water quality services be managed?

1.3 Research objectives

This aspect is also divided into two sections namely; general objective and specific objectives

1.3.1 General Objective

- To find out how urban growth lead to poor sanitation services and water quality in Wa municipality.

1.3.2 Specific Objectives

- To assess the urban growth situation in Wa municipality.
- To investigate why sanitation services and water quality are poor in Wa municipality.
- To identify how poor sanitation and water quality services be managed.

1.4 Significance of the study

Urban growth promotes and ensures socio-economic development, innovation and employment. Nevertheless, across the world, growth in most urban centers is triggering problems to many governments of the day. The frequent disasters occurring in urban areas need to be tackled on time in order to avoid the creation of new humanitarian disaster. To achieve this, the study reviews urban growth process and the problem it possess to the health of the people. It will also help create awareness on health problems caused by improper sanitation and also create awareness to policy implementers to adequately prepare, mitigate and if possible prevent the accumulation of health risks associated with urban growth.

1.5 Methodology

This section will focus on the research approach, data sources, sampling among others.

1.5.1 Research Approach

Qualitative method of data analysis was used for descriptive analysis while quantitative methods of analyzing data was also used to analyze figures through the use of charts, graphs and table.

1.5.2 Methods of data collection

Data collection tools such as questionnaires and interview guide was used to generate data for the study. Structured questionnaire was made available for household survey in the study area while in-depth interviews was conducted for government agencies and stake holders in charge of the urban growth and development, sanitation and health service provides. Secondary data was collected from Wa municipal assembly. Existing literature was also used as secondary data.

1.5.3 Sampling

Sampling is the process of getting some specific number from the population where greater of the research work will be emphasized on from the

beginning to the end of one research work. As results non-probability and probability was used. Sample Size

The sample size will be taken according to Slovin’s (1960) statistical formula, n=N/ (1+N * e2 ). Where n= number of sample size.

N= total population = 107,214 e=error margin = 8%

n= 107,214/ (1+107,214*0.0064). n=156.02 n=156 approximately.

Therefore, the sample size is 156 Sampling techniques

Purposive sampling: Purposive sampling was also used to collect data from people with an in-depth knowledge of the study. This was used specifically to collect infonnation from agencies such as the Wa municipal assembly, the regional hospital and sanitation agencies.

Cluster Sampling: this is used when it is not possible to obtain a sample frame, because the population is either very large or scattered over a large geographical area.

Accidental sampling: this technique involves selection of cases of units of observation as they become available to the researcher. For example, whoever the researcher meets at the house or on the streets is interviewed.

1.6 Scope of the Study

Wa Municipal shares administrative boundaries with the Nadowli District Assembly to the North, the Wa East District Assembly to the East and South and the Wa West District Assembly to the West and South. It lays within latitudes 1°40"N to 2°45"N and longitudes 9°32" to 10°20"W. Due to the position of the region-sharing borders with two countries, there is a strong socio-cultural relationship among the border communities and an extensive inter-boundary mobility of people. This has health implications in tenns of diseases, epidemiology health service utilization and management. The poor sanitation condition in the Municipal cannot be separated from its poor health state. Public toilets, water closet, KVIP, are inadequate, while people throw rubbish about anywhere.

1.7 Organization of the Study

The study will comprise of five (5) chapters.

- Chapter one (1) comprises the introduction which is made up of background of the study, statement of the problem, research questions and

objectives, significance of the research, research methodology and scope and organization expected of the study.

- Chapter two (2) entails the profile of the study area. This includes the physical resource base, socio-demographic characteristics, socio-cultural and socio-economic characteristics, etc.

- Chapter three (3) examines the literature review.

- Chapter four (4) comprises presentation of data from the collected data analysis.

- Chapter five (5) comprises of summary, conclusion, and recommendations



2.0 Introduction

This chapter describes what constitutes the study area. Emphases are made on issues such as: the Geo-physical characteristics of the area, the demographic characteristics, socio - cultural and socio - economic characteristics among others.

2.1 Geo-physical characteristics

Geo-physical characteristics constitute location and size, relief, drainage and topography, climate and vegetation.

2.1.1 Location and size

The Wa Municipality is one of the nine administrative areas (District Assemblies) that make up the Upper West Region (UWR) of Ghana. It shares administrative boundaries with the Nadowli District Assembly to the North, the Wa East District Assembly to the East and South and the Wa West District Assembly to the West and South. It lies within latitudes 1°40"N to 2°45"N and longitudes 9°32" to 10°20"W.

2.1.2 Relief, drainage and topography

The municipality lies in the savarm a high plain which is gently undulating with an average height between 160m and 300m above sea level.

The municipality has two main drainage systems which are the Sin-Bakpong and its tributaries to the south and Billi and its tributaries to the North. These streams dry up during the dry season which affects agricultural activities.

Wa is predominantly covered with granite and metamorphic rocks which have seen lesser weathering due to low rainfall, high évapotranspiration and less vegetation cover.

2.1.3 Climate and vegetation

The vegetation is of the guinea savanna grassland. It is made up of short trees and shrubs of varying heights with grass covers in the wet season. Common tree in the area include Shea tree, Dawadawa, Baobab, Cashew and Mango. There are two seasons in the area which is the dry season which occurs from October to April and the wet or rainy season which falls between May to September.

2.2 Demographic characteristics

Demographic characteristics constitute population.

2.2.1 Population

According to the 2010 population census, the municipality had a total population of 107,214 which is made up of 54,218 females and 52,996 male and this translates into fifty one (51%) and forty nine (49%) respectively (Ghana Statistical Service, 2010).

While about 49% of the population is aged between 0-14 years, the economically active population also constitutes 47% with the remaining 4% being the aged.

2.3 Socio-cultural characteristics

Socio-cultural characteristics constitutes ethnicity and literacy rate.

2.3.1 Ethnicity

Over 95% of the people in the municipality belong to the Mole-Dagbani group of which the Walas belong to but the Dagaabas appear to be the most populous. Other ethnic groups found in the municipality include minority Fraffa, Akans, Sissalas, and the Moshies.

2.3.2 Literacy Rate

Literacy rate in the Municipality is generally lower than the national average. There are more literate among men than women. The reason is not only socio-cultural but also biological because females tend to drop out of school due

to pregnancy and / early marriages. Wa town has a larger literate population compared to other rural places in the region. Whilst about 7 out of every 10 males can be said to be literate only about 4 out of every 10 females are literates.

2.4 Socio-economic characteristics

The economy of the municipality is dominated by agriculture (about 70%), followed by commerce (about 9%) and industry (about 3%). Other key sectors of the economy are transport, tourism, communication and energy.

2.4.1 The Agriculture Sector

Notwithstanding the fact that the Municipality is the commercial hub of the region, agriculture is the main economic activity. It remains the largest single contributor to the local economy and employs about 70% of the active population. The main staple crops grown include millet, sorghum, maize, rice, cowpea, and groundnut cultivated on subsistence basis. However, Soya beans, groundnuts, Bambara beans are produced as cash crops. Economic trees within the Municipality include Shea nuts, Dawadawa, Mango, Baobab, and Teak among others.

2.4.2 Trade/commerce

The trade/commerce/service sector is second to agriculture in tenns of employment. The main activities are retailing, transport, finance, public service.

The Wa Municipality is currently the regional commercial/service centre with average trading/office facilities (infrastructure). The market facilities (shops), however do not meet the volume of trade. Shopping facilities lack space and selling on the street is comm ou. Shopping malls and one-stop shopping centres are absent. Modem shopping facilities are therefore required to facilitate commerce.

2.4.3 Industry

The industries in the Municipality are small scale and are categorized into agro processing, wood, textile, metal glass, leather & hide, clay/sand/stone, art and craft. Majority of the enterprises in the Municipality are owned and operated by sole proprietors. This limits the scope and ability of enterprises to secure the necessary funds for growth and expansion. Co-operatives, and SME clustering and networking is to be encouraged to ensure that industry sector take its roles in the creation of jobs and generating income.

2.4.4 Services

There are about 15 financial institutions (Banking and Non-banking) in the Municipality. However due to poor financial records keeping and lack of collateral it is not easy for businesses to secure loans from the banks.


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Urban growth and health in the Wa municipality
University for Development studies
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Mansuru Ali (Author), 2015, Urban growth and health in the Wa municipality, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/441842


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