District assemblies and rural development in Ghana: analysis of infrastructure provision in selected communities in the Sefwi -Wiawso Municipality
Many rural areas in Ghana are plagued with deficit in infrastructure. In spite of the effort of the government at providing those places with basic infrastructure such as roads, water, electricity and school buildings mostly through the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, the problem still persists. In the Sefwi Wiawso Municipality, this situation has been observed in which the Assembly’s effort at providing certain basic infrastructure so far has been urban-bias. The study had the object of analysing the rural-urban distribution of infrastructure and the factors that were considered in the process, as well as the level of participation of the people and the effect infrastructure provided by the Assembly has had on the living condition of the people. One hundred and forty-four (144) residents from four communities (two rural and two urban) and six staff of the Assembly were selected as respondents for the study. Primary data were collected using questionnaires, interview and focus group discussions whereas secondary data were obtained mainly from the Assembly's records such as Development Plan and Composite Budget, reports and publications. Percentages, frequency charts and cross tabulation using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Excel for Windows were used to present the findings. The study revealed that the distribution of infrastructure is skewed in favour of the urban settlements in the Municipality. Party political considerations, as well as low level of participation characterise the provision of infrastructure such as roads, water, electricity and school buildings in the Municipality. The study also revealed that infrastructure provided by the Assembly has had positive effect on the living condition of the people over the last decade. It was recommended that the Assembly should adopt policies that will ensure equitable distribution of infrastructure among urban and rural communities, do need assessment and create conducive environment for the people to participate fully in the activities of the Assembly.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Geography and Rural Development, College of Humanities and Social Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Philosophy, 2015