The Tamale City
Tamale is the Metropolitan Capital as well as the Regional capital of the Northern Region. The Tamale Metropolis is one of the 26 MMDA’s in the Northern Region. It is located in the central part of the Region and shares boundaries with the Sagnarigu Municipality to the North-West, Mion District to the East, East Gonja to the South and Central Gonja to the South West.
Tamale is strategically located in the Northern Region and by this strategic location, the Metropolis has a market potential for local goods from the agricultural and commercial sectors from the other districts in the region and the southern part of Ghana. By its location, the Metropolis stands to gain in trade from some neighbouring West African countries such as Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Togo. The Metropolis has a total estimated land size of 646.9sqkm (2010 PHC Report). Geographically, the Metropolis lies between latitude 9º16 and 9º 34 North and longitudes 0º 36 and 0º 57 west.
There are a total of 116 communities in the Metropolis of which 41 (35%) are urban, 15 (13%) being peri-urban and 60 (52%) of them being rural in nature. The rural parts of Tamale are the areas where land for agricultural activities is available and serve as the food basket for the Metropolis. However these communities have inadequate basic social and economic infrastructure such as good roads, school blocks, hospitals, markets and recreational centers.
TOPOGRAPHY AND DRAINAGE
The Metropolis is generally flat with gentle undulating low relief. The altitude ranges from 400 to 800 ft. above sea level.The Metropolis is poorly endowed with water bodies. The only natural water systems are a few seasonal streams which have water during the rainy season and dry up during the dry season.
All these streams have their headwaters from Tamale which is situated on a higher ground. Aside this, some artificial dams and dug-outs have been constructed either by communities or Non-Governmental Organisations in the Metropolis. Two of such dams are the Datoyili and water works dams. These dams and dug-outs serve as watering sources for animals as well as for domestic purposes. Despite this poor drainage situation, the Metropolis still has the potential for irrigation schemes. For instance the Pagazaa stream has a potential that could be irrigated for agricultural purposes.
CLIMATE AND RAINFALL PATTERN
The Metropolis experiences two main seasons during the year – the dry and the raining seasons. The dry season starts from late October to early May. Farming activities noted for this period are: harvesting of rice, cassava, Yam, drying of foodstuffs, preparation of farmlands and raising of yam mounds. This season is also noted for hunting and burning of bushes for game. Most fire disasters occur during this period. The temperature is also good for solar and wind energy. Dry harmattan winds from the Sahara are experienced during the months of November to February. The coldest nights in the year are experienced in the months of December, January and February, while the hottest nights are experienced in the months of March, April and May.The second season which is, the raining season, span from late May to early October. The annual average rainfall is 1200mm. It is characterized by inaccessibility of some parts of the Metropolis due to bad roads. This period is also associated with lean or food insecurity period (June to early August). Cultivation and sowing is done during this period. Late August begins harvesting of early groundnuts, yam and maize.
The Metropolis enjoys frequent water supply from the Dalun and the Nawuni Water Treatment Plants. The main water system in the Metropolis is pipe borne water which is rationed and managed by the Ghana Water Company Limited in urban Tamale. Urban communities that have difficulty with water supply may have a problem with old pipe lines structure or those located on high land areas. The Ghana Water Company Limited supplies over 45,000 cubic meters daily. Sachet water firms have therefore taken advantage of this opportunity to establish plants to utilize this resource in the area which is also creating employment opportunities for the youth. Others water facilities are town water systems, mechanized bore holes and wells.
The Metropolis lies within the Savannah Woodland Region in the country. The trees in this part of the country are short scattered wood lots. Major tree types are the Dawadawa, Nim, Acacia, Mahogany, and Baobab among others. There are naturally grown tall grasses during the rainy season that are used to make the “Zanamat”, (a type of local mat for roofing and also for fencing) in the Metropolis. The making of the Zanamat by some farmers during the dry season reduces the rural migration levels of the youth from the rural areas to urban centers. The only important economic tree is the Shea tree which has gained international recognition. The picking, processing and marketing of the Sheanuts and shea butter has engaged thousands of households in the Metropolis. This activity has also contributed in employing the youthful population in the Metropolis thereby increasing household incomes and reducing poverty levels of the people. Cashew is also grown in the Metropolis.
There are two main forest reserves in the central part of the Metropolis namely the Nyohini and Agric Forest Reserves; however, these are being encroached upon by private developers (restaurants, petty traders and other businesses). The Forestry Services Commission which has the oversight responsibility to ensure effective management of these reserves is saddled with the problem of personnel and financial resources to manage these areas. While these forest reserves are encroached upon and are being used for commercial activities, majority of the population use these areas as an open place for defecation thereby increasing basic sanitation hazards in the Metropolis. This phenomena calls for effective forest reserves management and the need for private investors to acquire these areas and ensure that economic activities are being implemented such as picnics and holiday inns in these areas.
The main soil types in the Metropolis are sandstone, gravel, mudstone and shale that have weathered into different soil grades. Due to seasonal erosion, soil types emanating from this phenomenon are sand, clay and laterite ochrosols. The availability of these soil types have contributed to rapid real estate development in the area where estate developers have resorted to the use of local building materials such as sea sand, gravel and clay. The clay can used for bricks and tiles in the housing industry. The availability of clay has engaged so many women in pottery.In the Rural parts of the Metropolis the soil type is sandy loam and it is suitable for growing crops such as millet, maize, guinea corn, groundnuts, yam, and beans.
The population of Tamale Metropolis, according to the 2010 Population and Housing Census, is 223,252 representing 9.4 percent of the region’s population. Males constitute 49.7 percent (111,109) and females represent 50.3 percent (112,143). The population of the Metropolis is estimated to be 278,445 in 2018. This implies that there are more females than males in the Metropolis. The proportion of the total population living in the urban areas is (80.8%) and that of the proportion living in rural areas is (19.2%), meaning that most of the people in the metropolis live in the urban as compare to the percentages of those living in the rural areas. The Tamale Metropolis is therefore the only Metropolis in the Region which is predominantly urban. This implies that the Metropolis could be a growth pole for the three northern regions attracting both population and economic development in the area. This is also a potential for labour (skilled, semi and unskilled) for industry.
The age-dependency ratio is the ratio of persons in the “dependent” ages (those under age 15 and age 65 and older) to the working-age population (15 to 64 years). The age-dependency ratio is often used as an indicator of the economic burden the productive portion of the population must carry. Areas with very high birth rates usually have the highest age-dependency ratios because of the large proportion of children in the population. The higher this ratio is, the more people a potential worker is assumed to be supporting and the vice-versa.
The dependency ratio for male in the Metropolis is 70.2, while that of female is 68.5 indicating that there are more male dependents than females in the Metropolis. In the rural area, the dependency ratio (86.5) is higher than the urban area (65.7) meaning that there is more dependent population in rural areas than the urban centers.
Fertility refers to the number of live births a woman has ever given to in her life time. The analysis is based on the birth histories of women age 15-49. A measure of fertility is important in determining the size and structure of the population. Table 1.4 indicates the distribution of total fertility rate, general fertility rate and crude birth rate for the Northern Region. The fertility rate for the Tamale Metropolis is 2.8 children per woman age 15-49 years, and this is lower than the regional average of 3.54. This means that a woman in the age group 15-49 living in the Metropolis would have, on the average, 2.8 children by the end of her reproductive period age.
Housing and Household Size
Majority (90.5%) of the population in Tamale Metropolis is Muslim and followed by Christians. About (0.2%) has no religious affiliation. Among the Christians, the Catholics have the highest proportion of 3.0 percent; follow by Pentecostal/Charismatic (2.4%) and Protestants (2.4%). The proportion of traditionalist in the Metropolis is (0.3%).There are a number of religious leaders who apart from spreading the message of Islam work to educate people on moral uprightness. Notable places of Islamic propagation include the Central mosque and the Anbariya mosques.
The Metropolis is occupied by diverse ethnic and tribal groups with Dagombas being the traditional occupants of this area. More than 80% of the people living in the Metropolis are Dagombas. Other tribal groups include the Gonja, Mamprusi, Nanumba, Konkomba, Asantes, Ewes, Hausa and some other minorities. This composition is important for inter-tribal cooperation which is required for peace and development in the Metropolis.
The Metropolis is being administered by a number of key traditional rulers including the Dakpema, the Gulkpe Naa, the Lamashe Naa and the Banvim Lana. Other sub-chiefs together with some opinion leaders support the traditional administration in the Metropolis.
The occupation with the highest population in the Metropolis is service and sales workers (33.0%). This is followed by those in the craft and related trades workers (21.5%). The proportion of the employed persons engaged in skilled agriculture, forestry and fishery is (17.6%). There are more males compare to females in almost all the occupations with the exception of service and sales (16.5%) for males and a large proportion (50.3%) for females. Also there are more females (11.3%) than males (6.1%) in the elementary occupations.
Wholesale and retail; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles has the highest employed population (33.4%) with (22.1%) being male and (45.4%) female. Agriculture, forestry and fishing workers are the next major occupation in the Metropolis with a proportion of 18.2 percent of both sexes and with (24.4%) males and (11.8%) female. The next occupation that follows is manufacturing (12.5%), employing (12.1%) males and (12.9%) females. Wholesale, agriculture and retail and manufacturing account for 64.1 percent of the industrial base of the Metropolis.
Employment sector refers to the sector in which a person works. The sectors covered in the census were public, private informal, private formal, semi-public/parastatal, NGOs and International organizations.
Out of the total employed population of 83,229 persons, 11.3 percent are in public (government) sector while 83.2 percent are in private informal sector. A few persons are in NGOs (local and international) constituting 0.5 per cent. In the private informal sector, 76.5 per cent are males while 90.2 percent are females. Semi-public/parastatal has a negligible percentage of 0.1.
There are five functional markets in the Metropolis namely: the Tamale Central Market, Aboabo, Kalpohini, Kukuo, Lamashegu and Kakpagyili markets. There is also a cattle market at Guunayili Community and a yam market newly established at Gbabshe community. While the Central market is currently occupied with mini shops and stalls, efforts are being made to upgrade the market with modern facilities and more stores, to be able to meet the demands of the informal sectors. The Assembly would then be in a position to make the needed revenue for development. The Central Business District (CBD) is also fast developing with the springing up of modern super market activities. There is a modern super market block at Aboabo which is current under construction. This facility when completed would provide space for offices, stores and shopping space for businesses. This would also assist in taking most of the traders off the street and other open spaces in the CBD area of the Metropolis.
Other structures would be constructed as part of this project to provide more stores for the traders.
There is an Ultra-modern Sports Stadium in the Metropolis which is being managed by the Ghana Sport Council. The Sport Stadium has contributed in boosting sporting activities in the Metropolis. Real Tamale United is the biggest football club in the Metropolis with other smaller clubs. There are other facilities such as conference rooms, restaurants and shops within the sport stadium for public use-workshops, conferences and meetings. The inner perimeter of the stadium could also be used for entertainment activities-musical displays and others.
The Metropolis is a transit point to many tourist sites in other districts and regions in the northern part of Ghana. For instance, many tourists moving to the Mole National Park do make a stopover in Tamale before embarking on their trip to West Gonja district. However, there are some few tourist sites in the Metropolis namely: Tugu Crocodile Pond, the Python Sanctuary, the smock and art craft centre, the German Cemetery as well as a Cultural Centre. It is the hope of the Metropolis to collaborate with Ghana Tourist Board to develop these sites to boast tourism in the area. The Centre for National Culture is located right in the Central Business District of Tamale; a place many tourists would cherish visiting to have a look at many items of local Arts and Craft exhibitions. Below is a picture of an artefact shop at the Cultural Centre (Centre for National Centre) in Tamale.
Agriculture is an important sector of Ghana’s economy employing about 60.0 percent of the economically active population of the nation (GSS, 2010). The sector is critical to the national economy contributing 21.3 percent to the Gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013 (MOFEP, 2013).
Households in Agriculture
The 2010 PHCR revealed that more than half (56.3%) of the population in the urban areas are engage in agriculture whereas less than half (43.3%) of the population in the rural areas are also engage in agriculture.
Types of farming activities
The main types of farming activities considered in the 2010 population and housing census in Ghana are crop farming (excluding gardening), tree growing, livestock rearing, and fishing. Crop farming is most dominant in the Metropolis as a whole accounting for more than half (52.9%) of the population in the urban areas whiles less than half (43.3%) of them are also in the rural areas. and. Livestock rearing accounts for 49.8 percent and 50.2 percent of urban and rural households respectively. Fish farming is virtually nonexistent in the metropolis and this may be attributed to the lack of water bodies suitable for that purpose. There is more livestock rearing in the rural areas (50.2%) as compared to the urban areas (49.8%).
Distribution of Livestock
Livestock such as chicken, goat and sheep have large numbers of keepers but relatively small holdings. This perhaps explains the subsistence nature of farming in the Metropolis. The dove has the highest holding (28 per farmer) follows by cattle (26 per keeper). Beehives has the least holding (zero) which has no average keeper in the Metropolis. This implies that there is little or no bee keeping in the metropolis.
Metropolitan Agricultural Development Unit (MADU)
The Metropolitan Agricultural Development Unit (MADU) is a decentralized department under the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly. This department is under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). The department is located at Vittin in the Tamale South Sub-Metro and the Vittin Town Council in general. This department is tasked with responsibility of ensuring food self-sufficiency and the provision of services aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in the Tamale Metropolis. To achieve food self-sufficiency and increase productivity, MADU collaborates with several other governmental and non-governmental organizations especially the farmer population in the Metropolis.
Since the department has the prime mandate to ensure food self-sufficiency and the provision of services aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in the Tamale Metropolis; the office works hand in hand with mostly farmers in the Metropolis. For the department to ensure effective monitoring and extension coverage, the Metropolis has been divided into operational zones.
Metro Education Directorate (MED)
The Metro Education Directorate (MED) is headed by the Metropolitan Director of Education. This Directorate has the oversight responsibility of providing relevant education to all humans living in the Metropolis and to develop their potential to be productive, facilitate poverty reduction and promote socio-economic growth and development.The MED aims at creating a system capable of meeting the pre-tertiary education needs of all children of school-going age irrespective of gender, ethnic, religion and political affiliation through teamwork and total pupil /student/teacher care. In line with the general mission of the GES, the MED has a vision to provide relevant Education, in collaboration Civil Society and other stakeholders in all spheres of life.
All the public Basic Schools are distributed among educational circuits in the Metropolis. The school system is run in three terms in an academic year beginning August/September. There are a number of Circuit Supervisors who inspect, supervise and monitor teaching/ learning activities within that circuit.
Metropolitan Health Services Directorate (MHSD)
The Health services in the Metropolis are managed at three (3) levels namely: Metro. Health Administration level, Sub-district level and the Community level.
Metro. Health Administration
At the administration level, the Metropolitan Health Management Team (MHMT) is responsible for overall planning, monitoring, supervision, evaluation, training, co-coordination of all health programmes in the Metropolis. It is also responsible for conducting operational research and linking up with other governmental agencies, Development partners and NGOs in health provision and promotion.
The Metropolis is sub-demarcated into sub-districts each with a management team known as the Sub-district Health Management Team (SDHMT). The sub-districts are:
• Builpela Sub-district
• Tamale Central Sub-district
• Vittin Sub-district
• Nyohini Sub-district
The SDHMTs are responsible for programme planning and implementation of health activities in their various sub-districts, some of them include:
Conduct integrated static and outreach activities such as immunization, reproductive health, disease control, growth monitoring, health education/promotion and clinical care Training and supervision of community based health workers such as traditional birth attendants (TBAs), Community Based Surveillance (CBS) volunteers, village Health Committees.Community level: Health services are provided at the community level by sub-districts staff supported by TBAs, CBS volunteers.
The General Assembly of the Metropolis stands at a total of 62 members. Out of this number, 41 are elected, 18 appointed, 2 Members of Parliament and the Metropolitan Chief Executive. For effective implementation of policies in the Assembly, the General Assembly has the following Sub-Committees; the Development Planning Sub-Committee, Works Sub-Committee, Social Services Sub-Committee, Revenue Sub-Committee, Education Sub-Committee, Environment and Sanitation Sub-Committee, Finance and Administration Sub-Committee. Security matters are being handled by the Metropolitan Security Committee (METSEC)
Local Governance Structure in the Metropolis
Apart from the main Assembly, there are two sub-district councils; that is Tamale South and Central Sub district councils popularly called Sub-Metros that work to achieve development at the grassroots level. The main assignment of the Sub-Metro structures is to facilitate participatory decision making, community participation in project planning and implementation. They are also expected to design pragmatic ways of generating revenue for the Sub-Metro and the
Assembly in general.
Until recently, these sub-structures were not fully operational. The effective operationalization of the Sub-structures (sub-metros) started during the 1st quarter of 2010. The Sub-Metros have their offices at the following locations in the Metropolis: Tamale Central Sub-Metro is at Kaladan, off Aboabo-Nyohini road, Tamale South Sub-Metro is at Banvim off Lamashegu-Vittin ring road.
There are eminent traditional chiefs and sub-chiefs who are also working hard in the area of promoting peace, stability and development. Also supporting local development efforts at that level are the Assembly members, NGOs, Women groups and other identifiable groups.