Get to Know–Kpando, Ghana

Our first project is in the small village of Kpando (pronounced with a silent “K”), which is in the center of the district also named Kpando.  The word “Kpando” refers to the large bunches of green plants, with sword-like leaves that exist in the region. Approximately 113,000 people reside in the district and they are mostly Ewe (pronounced eh-way) speaking nationals. The majority of the townspeople belong to different sects of Christianity, but there is also a small muslim population within the community. The people of Kpando spend the majority of their time at religious functions, spending time with family, and watching soccer.

 Kpando is one of the oldest administrative districts in the country dating back to the colonial era. Other towns within this district include Vakp, Wusuta, Kpandu Torkor, Dzigbe, Togorme, Sovie, Anfoega Adame, Anfoega Akukome, Gbei-Hoeme, Fesi, Gbefi-Tornu, and Dzana.

The residents of Kpando are typically devout in their religious beliefs, and the religious presence in the area is evident in the names of the local shops. Examples include “God is Love Enterprise,” “Glory Oil”, and “Thank God Beauty Clinic”.

Although English is the official language of Ghana, Ewe is the main language spoken in Kpando.

Common phrases include:

English Eʋegbe (Ewe)
Welcome Woé zɔ (sg) (pronounced wayzo, this is used almost in place of hello), Yooo (response)
How are you?
I’m fine. And how are you?
Ɛfoa? (pronounced efwaa)
Where are you from?
I’m from …
Fika netso?
Good morning Ŋdi, Ŋdi apemetowo (response)
Good afternoon Ŋdɔ
Good evening Fiẽ
Goodbye Hede nyuie (safe journey) Mia dogo (we’ll meet again)
Bon voyage Hede nyuie (safe journey)
How do you say … in Ewe? Aleke bena Eʋe … ?
How much is this? Nenie?
Sorry Baba / Babanawo
Thank you Akpe
Where is …? … fica de?

The people in this area are mostly farmers, fishermen, or work in the kaolin mining industry. The area is also known for its pottery making and woodcarving. The vegetation in the area is partly savannah woodland and forest, with famous rivers like the Volta and the Dayi. The main crops grown here are vegetables, rice, maize, yams and cassava.

Road Network
The Kpando District is accessed mainly by a mix of a network of small roadways, highways, feeder roads and water transport via the Volta Lake. Unfortunately, most of the feeder roads become impassable during the rainy season as a result of serious erosion problem due to lack of good drainage system and the bad condition of the roads. The state of the roads is the result of the lack of maintenance, which, in addition to severe rains during the rainy season, compounds the problem.

Generally most of the roads and streets are narrow with inadequate drains which accounts for the frequent damage caused to most roads in the hilly areas. In the urban and semi-urban settlements existing buildings are very close to drains making any future road expansion programmes very expensive. All roads in Kpando are either unpaved or in serious condition of deterioration.

Lake/ Water Transport
The Volta Lake (a man made lake) with a shoreline of 80km long forms the western boundary of the Kpando District. The Lake transport in spite of its economic and social importance is plagued with some challenges. The presence of tree stumps in the Lake, the lack of adequate number of river crafts and lack of good landing sites are the major factors that militate against the navigability of the Lake. It’s creation along with other related irrigation systems has led to an increase in malaria, sleeping sickness, and schistosomiasis.

Water Supply/Sanitation
Although a fairly large district, there is still a lack of clean drinking water and sanitation systems in Kpando. This lack of clean drinking water is a severe public health concern in all of Ghana, contributing to 70% of diseases in the country. Waterborne diseases, including diarrhea and guinea worm, which is only endemic in Ghana and three other countries, are also common. Consequently, households without access to clean water are forced to use less reliable and hygienic sources, and often pay more for their water.

Markets Infrastructure
The local market plays very important role in the promotion of the economic life of the people in the district. Apart from commercial trading in farm products and partly processed ones like cassava-dough, gari and local soap, other manufactured products both imported and locally produced are sold in the markets and shops. There are fully developed traditional markets at Kpando and Torkor; and other smaller ones at Anfoega and Vakpo. Each of these market centers are characterised by poor infrastructure and supporting facilities and therefore remain one of the challenges to the district.

Even though the market accounts for the major source of revenue (of over 25%) to the district, it has not received the best of attention over the years. Through the assistance of the Agricultural Sector Investment Project (ASIP) some infrastructural developments were undertaken which resulted in the construction of Market stalls and toilet facilities. But this notwithstanding, the situation in the market has not ameliorated–much remains to be done in order to improve upon the present condition of the market. One of the major problems is the muddy nature of the market ground during the rainy season and in many cases results in drastic decline of revenue realised per day. The market is therefore suffering from a lot of infrastructure deficiencies which must be addressed.

If you would like anymore information about Kpando, Ghana or are interested in getting involved in onevillage’s Kpando Project, please email info@onevillageglobal.org.

Resources:

-http://kpando.ghanadistricts.gov.gh/?arrow=atd&_=123&sa=3452
-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kpando_District
-http://mofa.gov.gh/site/?page_id=1719
-http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/ewe.php

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>