Upon its establishment in 1997, NED Africa was based north of Accra in the Eastern Region of Ghana. In 2005, we relocated to the Volta Region and have been situated in the Hohoe District. The District’s proximity to numerous protected areas, including wildlife sanctuaries and forest preserves, makes this region a priority for NED Africa, given our commitment to restore and protect reserves and sanctuaries in cooperation with local communities.
Ghana/Togo Border Region
The Hohoe Municipal District, located in the Volta Region in eastern Ghana, sits adjacent to the border with Togo. Friendliness at immigration checkpoints towards Ghanaians and Togolese allows for their free flowing passage across the border for personal and work purposes. Many Ghanaians and Togolese from the border region have intermarried and it is common to find Togolese in many Ghanaian villages in the border region. Based in Hohoe District, we are well-situated to serve villages across the Volta Region and the border region with Togo.
A total of 19 villages in Western Togo and Eastern Ghana represent the current target population for our programs and services. They include:
- 6 villages in Togo, with a combined total population of 1,000, 400 of whom are children under the age of 18
- 13 villages in the Hohoe District on the Ghanaian side, with a combined total population of 7,500, 2,600 of whom are children under the age of 18
In serving these 19 villages, NED Africa serves a total population of 8,500 individuals—3,500 of whom are children.
In these villages, most families are subsistence farmers and cash poor, oftentimes earning less than $100 annually. Some get by with zero income. The more remote villages do not have their own high schools and the most remote do not even have primary or secondary schools. In such cases, students must travel to neighboring villages, sometimes commuting over an hour, to attend school.
Hohoe Municipal District
Hohoe municipality, situated in the centre of the Volta Region, with Hohoe as its capital, was created in 1979. The municipality houses part of the Akwapim-Togo mountain ranges extending beyond Ghana’s eastern border all the way to Western Nigeria.
Within these ranges is Mount Afajato, the highest elevation in Ghana (880.3m), and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Eastern Ghana.
Hohoe District is also home to the Wli Falls, considered the highest waterfalls in West Africa, consisting of an upper and lower falls. Specifications of their real height vary considerably with estimates ranging from 20m to as much as 400m.
The Wli Falls are another huge tourist attraction in eastern Ghana, with as many as 15,000 visitors annually. They have been deemed a national treasure which grants them protection.
Visitors started to come to Wli Falls on a regular basis as early as 1973. In 1997, the Hohoe District Assembly developed a District-wide community-based ecotourism initiative, using Wli as their pilot site. A year later, the villagers of the four adjacent communities founded the Tourism Management Authority (TMA).
Its mission is “to mobilise its people and resources in order to derive the maximum benefits from the natural attractions for the well-being of its citizens”. This shall be achieved by helping to “build an economically strong Wli Traditional State on the principles of unity, peace and respect for one another and for the laws and regulations”. That way, “communities could be economically empowered to access quality health care, education, water, shelter and other basic amenities”. To achieve this goal, the TMA seeks the active collaboration of the District Assembly, the Ghana Tourist Board, the Department of Wildlife and several NGOs.
The River Dayi, a perennial water source, drains the whole municipality together with other smaller ones, making it possible for small irrigation especially for dry season cultivation of vegetables.
The municipality has vast suitable land for both upland and lowland rice cultivation. The bimodal rain pattern is an added potential for crop production. Out of the 117,200 ha of land area of the municipality, about 55,000ha (47%) are suitable for crop production and about 10,000 ha, (8.5%) as pasture land. Out of the available land for crop production, only about 22% are under effective cultivation. The first choice crop of importance to the indigenes is rice, maize and cassava.
The Hohoe municipality has a good road network within the municipal, which facilitates movement from the rural areas to the municipal capital. There are 390km of road network in all, made up mainly of feeder roads. The municipal capital is however linked up to the regional capital, Ho and Accra, the National capital by first class roads.
The municipality is connected to the national electricity grid. There are 3 commercial Banks, namely Ghana Commercial Bank, Barclays Bank Gh. Ltd and Agricultural Development Bank, all located in the municipal capital. The regional office of Bank of Ghana is also located in the municipal capital.
Regional Wildlife Sanctuaries and Forest Reserves
NED Africa is based in the Volta Region, one of 10 administrative regions into which Ghana is divided:
Eight major ethnic groups are represented in the region and about 62 sub-groups speak 56 dialects. The largest ethnic group in the region is the Ewe people who make up 68.5% of the region’s population. They consist of several sub-groups.
Other major ethnicities include the Guan people (9.2%) made up of over 18 sub groups and the Akan people (8.5%) with over 19 sub-groups. The fourth largest group is the Gurma in the north, forming 6.5% of the region’s popultation. Also present in this region are the Ga-Dangme, Mole-Dagbon, Grusi and the Mande-Busanga. Although the region is ethnically diverse, the main ethnic groups are the Ewe, Guan, Akan and Gurma.
The people of the region are organized under chiefs at the lineage and settlement levels. A lineage comprises extended families that trace their genealogy to the same ancestor. The extended families also have heads who are most often the oldest male. Ownership of property is passed on by patrilineal inheritance in 11 of the 12 districts.
The Traditional Council is composed of several Area Councils. Basically, the traditional authorities administer stool lands, holding them in trust for the people, and arrange the celebration of traditional festivals. They are also the custodians of traditional beliefs and customs, passed on from one generation to another. The traditional authorities also have courts which adjudicate on matters relating to stool lands, lineage and family lands, chieftaincy title disputes, violations of traditions and disputes between localities, lineages, families and individuals. In the Volta Region, no Paramountcy owes allegiance to another Paramountcy.
The majority of children not attending school appear to be from rural poor households. While school enrollment in the region is higher than the national average, satisfaction with the quality of both primary and secondary school education is the lowest in the country. The proportion of people satisfied with primary (19.0%) and secondary school (21.0%) education in the region, is low compared with 40.0 per cent for the primary school and 43.0 per cent for the secondary school, for the country. The poor conditions of the educational facilities rank highest among reasons for dissatisfaction. The main complaints are lack of books, supplies (or both), and lack of teachers.