Ikamiut is located in the southern part of Disko Bay on an island with the same name. There is approximately 36 km to Qasigiannguit in the north-east and approximately 40 km to Aasiaat in the west.
People started settling here around 1817, but not until was a proper trading station founded. The settlement consists of two areas divided by a hollow. The oldest buildings are situated by the port and include trading houses, production plants etc. The residential areas are located further to the south-west. On the other side of the hollow are the settlement’s church, school, service house and homes.
Provisions and subareas
The general provisions apply to all subareas of the municipalities in towns, settlements and open country areas. The provisions are general and do not consider the local conditions in the subareas.
The overall provisions for each subarea are the basis for the municipality"s granting of area allotments and building permits.
Akunnaaq’s present service and housing levels are as a minimum sought to be maintained. Further urban development is to take place by expansion west of the existing residential area. The fishing industry is to be maintained and strengthened, e.g. by improved infrastructure and utilities, and the tourism potential should be further investigated. The settlement’s outdoor areas can be improved by providing lighting, benches and suitable spaces for gathering. More functions can be included in the settlement facilities to also support the wish of expanding the tourism potential. The dump can be moved to a more suitable location.
During the period of 1980-2000, the population was quite stable around 100 citizens, but since then, the population has decreased significantly. On 1 January 2017, the number of inhabitants in the settlement was 54. It is typically the young people who leave the settlement due to lack of opportunities for education in the settlement.
Ikamiut consists of 22 households with an average of 2.5 persons per household, a little higher than in Aasiaat (2.3). On 1 January 2010, there were 37 homes in the settlement, all single-family houses.
Several houses are empty. The population is not expected to rise significantly in the coming years, so during the planning period, the primary need will be to rehabilitate or redevelop houses, possibly including the construction of replacement buildings. There is not much available area left (approximately corresponding to 15 houses) within the existing settlement zone. It is possible that houses can be built between the two cemeteries and down the coast. This requires a relocation of the dump approximately 200 m to the west.
The primary trades in Ikamiut are sealing, whaling, fishing and fish production. There is a production plant in the settlement, previously owned by Arctic Green Food, where Greenland halibut and crabs were processed. The plant was shut down due to negligent maintenance in the summer of 2012. Royal Greenland has now taken over the plant and in the autumn of 2013 they were to estimate the scope of necessary maintenance and new equipment. They will also initiate dialogue with the local fishermen about the co-operation potentials.
The three settlements in the Aasiaat district had a total unemployment rate of 10.2 in 2015, which is higher than for Aasiaat (8.2%), but resembles the general picture of the municipality Qeqertalik. This corresponds to the municipal average (10.7%), but slightly higher than the national average (9.1%). Jobs are related to fishing, sealing, whaling, the shop, store, administration, the municipal administration, the school, the church etc. Most jobs are located near the port.
Tourism is limited in the settlement, but it is assessed that a potential exists, e.g. related to hiking/camping, ice fiord fishing and settlement tourism.
The town plan leaves room for building approximately 2,000 m2 for industry and port purposes.
There are actual roads in the settlement, rather wheel tracks providing a main thoroughfare from the port to the waterworks and another two tracks towards the south, one leading to the houses on the foreland, and the other past the school and helistop towards the dump. The tracks are primarily suited for tractors and the likes and are in need of overall maintenance and improvement.
In the winter, the main means of transport are dog sledges and snowmobiles. But in the summer, it is possible to go by boat to and from the settlement. The port is a natural port with a breakwater towards north-east, a pontoon for small boats, a jetty and a local crane as well as a concrete road with a supporting wall for the production plant. The channel has been deepened, enabling supply ships to dock. Passenger transport is handled by Disko Line’s weekly connection to Ikamiut during the ice-free period. Goods are delivered to the settlement by KNI supply ships. The settlement is serviced by settlement aircraft services and has a helistop south of the settlement. From the harbour and an area to both sides of the island, Naalakkersuisut has designated a port authority area.
Supply-wise, the settlement is connected to Aasiaat. Ikamiut has its own power plant and water works, where a frost-proof reservoir is filled up with water from a nearby river in the summer. A summer water pipe system supplies the production plant, KNI, the church, the school, the summer water reservoir and approximately half of the homes in the settlement. In the winter, water is collected at the bottling house by the water works. Heat is provided by individual oil-burners and ovens. The settlement is not sewered, except for the service house, but all buildings are included in the night-soil collection service, which discharges into the sea. Grey wastewater is discharged above ground. The dump is situated just west of the settlement, but the burning of day-time refuse and night soil causes obnoxious smells and smoke in parts of the settlement. For years, it has been planned to move the dump to a new location, 200 metres further to the west. There is no solution for hazardous waste and metal scrap, and the incineration plant is not operational.
Telecommunications services are managed by TELE Greenland.
There is a KNI shop in the settlement, a municipal office and a service house with shared laundry facilities, toilets, shower room, workshop, skin processing facilities, meeting room, kitchen and a village hall. The settlement also has a nursing station and a day-care scheme.
The settlement's school, Ivilikasiup Atuarfia, has approx. 25 pupils taught in 3 classes from 1st to 9th. There is a school library, and the premises are also used for youth club, evening school and meetings.
The following buildings in Ikamiut have been declared preservation-worthy: B-44, fisherman’s house from 1932 (production facilities); B-47, a warehouse from 1908; B-48, warehouse from 1890; B-49, the church (school chapel) from 1908, which was later modified and totally renovated; B-314 and B-315, storage sheds from the 1950s; and B-383, trade manager’s house from 1968 (formerly Vester Ejland).
Except for the church, all preservation-worthy buildings are situated close to the port area, a part of which is designated a heritage area.
Lastly, Ikamiut has a combined service centre and village hall and a soccer field located in the southern end of the settlement.