Wa, Ghana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Wa
Town
View of a high street in Wa
View of a high street in Wa
Official logo of Wa
Wa Municipal logo
Wa is located in Ghana
Wa
Wa
Location of Wa in Upper West Region
Coordinates: 10°4′N 2°30′W / 10.067°N 2.500°W / 10.067; -2.500
Country Ghana
Region Upper West Region
District Wa Municipal District
Elevation 305 m (1,001 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 102,446[1]
Time zone GMT
 • Summer (DST) GMT
Area code(s) 039

Wa is a town and is the capital of Wa Municipal District and the Upper West Region of north Ghana. Wa has a 2012 settlement population of 102,446.[1] Features of the town include several mosques, the Wa-Na Palace, a museum and a nearby hippopotamus sanctuary. The geography of Wa is notable for the dramatic monadnock Ombo Mountain which is located around Kaleo and visible from much of the Wa town. Other notable towns around Wa wa region include Naaha and Ga

The town serves as a transportation hub for the Upper West region, with major roads leading north to Hamile, and northeast to Tumu and the Upper East Region. There is also a small airport, the Wa Airport.[2]

History[edit]

Wa has been inhabited for several hundred years, by traders who settled in Wa to participate in the trans-Saharan trade. Wa also holds the mortal remains of Babatu, a notorious raider well known for his raids in Upper West region during the late and early 19th century.

In 1892, G. E. Ferguson, a Fante man who had explored the Asante Empire and areas to its north on the instructions of the governor of the Gold Coast Colony, reported that the population of Wa at the time was larger than that of Accra. Ferguson had not reached Wa in his travels, but had been to some towns under the control of Gonja.

Wa was long the capital of the Kingdom of Wala.

Starting in the 1930s the Ahmadiyya began to proselytize in Wa. This led to many clashes with the Sunni Muslims in the city, especially over use of the main mosque. In 1951 rioting rose to such a level that the Wala people consider it to have been a civil war.[3]

Violence broke out in 1978 also fighting between the Ahmadiyya and the Sunni. In 1980 there was intense fighting as J. N. Momori and Yakubu Seidu both mobilized their supporters seeking to succeed Sidiki Bomi as the Wa Na. Momori eventually in 1985 became the Wa Na with the reign name of Wa Na Momori Bondiri II.[4]

Demographics[edit]

In 1880 it is estimated that Wa had about 8,000 people. This number is thought to have fallen to 2,000 by 1900. In 1921 the census found the population to be 2,806. The population had risen to 5,207 by 1931. In that year the Wa district of the Wala Native Authority had a population of 13,025. In 1948 Wa had a population of 5,128 while the district had 15,827 people. In 1960 the population was 14,406. In 1970 the population had risen to 21,393.[5]

In 1984 Wa had a population of 36,000.

In the 1880s Wa was said to have a population that was entirely Muslim. The Ahmadiyya began gaining converts here in the 1930s. Recent estimates place the overall population of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wa as about 40% Catholic, but how much this is in Wa and how much in other areas under the diocese is not clear. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints established a branch in Wa in mid-2017, making it so that every region in Ghana had at least one official congregation of the Church.

Environment and weather[edit]

Wa is in the southern part of the Sahel, the semi-arid area south of the Sahara. Average annual rainfall is around 879 millimetres (34.6 in), almost all of which occurs between May and October. Following the May–October rainly season is a cool dry period called the Harmattan when a steady, often dusty, north wind blows from the Sahara. The hottest period of the year is in February and March when daytime temperatures often reach 40 °C (103 °F).

Climate data for Wa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38.9
(102)
40.0
(104)
41.7
(107.1)
41.7
(107.1)
39.4
(102.9)
37.2
(99)
33.9
(93)
34.1
(93.4)
34.4
(93.9)
36.7
(98.1)
38.9
(102)
38.0
(100.4)
41.7
(107.1)
Average high °C (°F) 34.4
(93.9)
35.9
(96.6)
36.1
(97)
34.8
(94.6)
32.8
(91)
30.5
(86.9)
29.1
(84.4)
28.8
(83.8)
29.5
(85.1)
32.4
(90.3)
34.5
(94.1)
33.8
(92.8)
32.7
(90.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.9
(80.4)
29.1
(84.4)
30.0
(86)
29.1
(84.4)
27.8
(82)
26.1
(79)
25.0
(77)
24.5
(76.1)
24.7
(76.5)
26.5
(79.7)
27.5
(81.5)
26.7
(80.1)
27.0
(80.6)
Average low °C (°F) 19.4
(66.9)
21.7
(71.1)
23.7
(74.7)
24.0
(75.2)
23.1
(73.6)
22.0
(71.6)
21.6
(70.9)
21.3
(70.3)
21.2
(70.2)
21.6
(70.9)
21.2
(70.2)
19.4
(66.9)
21.7
(71.1)
Record low °C (°F) 12.8
(55)
15.6
(60.1)
18.9
(66)
18.9
(66)
18.9
(66)
19.6
(67.3)
18.9
(66)
18.3
(64.9)
18.9
(66)
18.9
(66)
17.2
(63)
12.2
(54)
12.2
(54)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 3
(0.12)
14
(0.55)
41
(1.61)
94
(3.7)
131
(5.16)
139
(5.47)
149
(5.87)
192
(7.56)
215
(8.46)
81
(3.19)
17
(0.67)
6
(0.24)
1,082
(42.6)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.3 mm) 1 2 4 8 10 12 13 16 18 7 2 1 92
Average relative humidity (%) (at 15:00) 16 18 28 44 55 63 66 69 68 51 33 19 44
Mean monthly sunshine hours 285.2 265.6 266.6 225.0 266.6 228.0 207.7 176.7 189.0 285.2 279.0 297.6 2,972.2
Mean daily sunshine hours 9.2 9.4 8.6 7.5 8.6 7.6 6.7 5.7 6.3 9.2 9.3 9.6 8.1
Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst[6]

Economy and agriculture[edit]

Despite its urban status, Wa is in many ways still an agricultural community, and the majority of the Wa population make a good portion of their living in small scale farming. The main crops are corn, millet, yams, okra and groundnuts. Upland rice is also farmed in a few areas of Wa. The major fruit crop is the mango. Shea nuts are collected from wild trees, for food or refinement into oils and cosmetics.

Education[edit]

The Town of Wa pays host to a few renowned educational institutions. The biggest Senior High School in the Upper West Region, Wa Senior High School (formerly, WASSEC), is in this town. WASSEC had some tumultuous times in the past due to mis-management and indiscipline which decreased the school's standards. However, the school has recently been recording major improvements in students' general discipline and performance in the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.[7] The school was made a model school, which has boosted its infrastructural capacity thereby making it an attractive destination for students and teachers. Wa also has St. Francis Xavier Junior Seminary. Built in the 1960s, Xavier has produced a plethora of successful young men for the service of the country and the world. St Francis Xavier Junior Seminary, arguably the best secondary school in the country, has scored 100% on the SSSCE for a very long time. Wa also hosts the campus where majority of students of University for Development Studies (UDS) are based with three faculties,[8] namely:

  1. Integrated Development Studies
  2. Planning and Land Management
  3. Education, Law and Business Studies

Schools in Wa[edit]

  • Islamic Senior High School
  • St. Francis Xavier Minor Seminary
  • Wa Senior High School
  • Wa Senior High Technical School
  • Wa Technical Institute
  • T. I. Ahmadiyya Senior High School
  • Wa Polytechnic
  • Nusrat Jahan College of Education
  • University for Development Studies

Nursing Training college, Wa

Culture[edit]

The Damba Festival[edit]

The Damba festival was the main traditional event of Wa. It was typically held in late September to correspond with a harvest in Wa. The highlight of the year was a ceremony in which the Wa-na stepped over a small cow lying on the ground. According to traditional belief, if any part of the Wa-na or the Wa-na clothing touched the cow, the Wa-na would probably die within the year. If on the other hand, the Wa-na stepped over the cow successfully, the Wa-na was guaranteed a successful coming year.

Food and cuisine[edit]

The staple food of Wa is known as sao or T-Zed in English. This is an abbreviation meaning 'very hot'. It is a thick porridge of corn flour eaten like fufu – by tearing off a chunk and dipping into a soup, usually of okra.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "World Gazetteer online". World-gazetteer.com. 
  2. ^ Touring Ghana – Upper West Region. touringghana.com.
  3. ^ Ivor Wilks, Wa and the Wala: Islam and polity in northwestern Ghana (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 1-2
  4. ^ Wilks, Wa and the Wala, p. 2-3
  5. ^ Ivor Wilks, Wa and the Wala: Islam and polity in northwestern Ghana (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 11-13
  6. ^ "Klimatafel von Wa / Ghana" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Secondary Education in Wa". modernghana.com. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Wa Campus". uds.edu.gh. 23 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 10°04′N 02°30′W / 10.067°N 2.500°W / 10.067; -2.500