Achieving Ghana beyond Aid ; Rely on local land surveyors -GhIS

Pro. George Gyan-Baffour, Minister for Planning

Pro. George Gyan-Baffour, Minister for Planning

IN this era of campaign for Ghana Beyond Aid, government must not continue to rely on external personnel to provide professional land surveying services for the infrastructural development of the country, Ghanaian land surveyors have demanded.

In a communiqué issued at the end of their 2018 Annual Seminar of the Land Surveyors Division of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors (GhIS), in Ho, the surveyors said they had over the years exhibited professional competence in all aspects of surveying and mapping hence should be engaged to provide service in Ghana’s spatial development.

The concern of the land surveyors is coming at the back of the engagement of a Singaporean planner, Dr Liu Thai Ker, by the government to redevelop Accra.

“Ghana has rich human resources in all aspects of surveying and mapping including cadastral, topographic, and engineering surveying. There is the need for a paradigm shift to mobilising human resources for infrastructural projects. Government cannot continue to rely on external personnel to provide professional land surveying services for infrastructural development,” the communiqué copied the Ghanaian Times said.

On the theme “Land Surveying and Mapping: The critical foundation to national infrastructural development in Ghana,” some of the topics deliberated on at the two-day gathering included re-positioning surveying and mapping for Ghana Beyond Aid, Map production in Ghana; experiences over the past years, and scientific approach to spatial planning, challenges, opportunities and benefits.

According to the surveyors, Ghana has huge infrastructure needs in areas such as energy, transport, education, health, human settlements, water, sanitation and information and communications technology; hence the need to engage their competences as governments seeks to find solution to the infrastructural deficit.

They contended that surveying and mapping was a critical foundation for national infrastructural development and that “land surveyors have a lot to contribute to national infrastructural development” but their knowledge and expertise have been “underutilised.”

In the view of the surveyors, “as foundations are designed with the soil conditions in mind, so should land surveyors’ advice in the siting of any infrastructural development with the land topography in mind.”

Many infrastructural projects in Ghana, the 11-point communiqué stressed were either “not based on proper surveying nor mapping or do not have Land Surveyor’s input” for which reason government should prioritise surveying and mapping in physical planning and infrastructural projects.

The communiqué noted that in the recent past, many engineering or infrastructural projects in the country have suffered many setbacks in the process of execution and monitoring as a result of poor concept, design, land acquisition, implementation and costing and admonished surveyors and other professionals in the built environment to save the country from these excesses and loses.

The Survey and Mapping Division of the Lands Commission, the communiqué stated, must be resourced well in human, technical and financial capacities to be able to supervise and regulate surveying and mapping activities in the country.

“The Survey and Mapping Division of Lands Commission should strengthen its research and development unit to investigate surveying and mapping problems and offer solutions that can improve surveying and mapping in Ghana. The government of Ghana should support the division in this agenda,” the communiqué emphasised.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI                                            

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