A 14-member Regional Spatial Planning Committee (RSPC) to help ensure the judicious use of land in Accra and effectively deal with emerging issues of spatial planning therein was inaugurated last Friday.
The inauguration of the committee is in line with provisions of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925), which requires each Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to establish an RSPC to provide technical advice to bring about efficiency in a region’s land use and spatial planning system.
Chaired by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, the committee comprise of a representative each from the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUPSA), Ghana National Fire Service, Environmental Protection Agency and the Ghana Highway Authority.
Others are representatives from the Regional House of Chiefs, the Forestry Commission, Water Resources Commission, Utility Service Providers and the Regional Coordinating Director.
The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Hajia Alima Mahama, inaugurating the committee tasked members to work assiduously to ensure the full implementation of the three-tier planning system developed for the country for proper planning of each region in line with government development agenda.
The spatial strategy, she said among others, is underpinned by the fact that each RCC identified areas of high growth and development that may require the preparation of a structure plan to fit into local plans by the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).
Hajia Mahama observed the possibility of a joint spatial planning structure for newly created municipalities in the capital who are close to each other to control unplanned settlements and clearly define layouts.
“Our land system is complicated with a whole lot of issues, and I urge members to exhibit impartiality, honesty, sensitivity and transparency in doing a good job for present Ghana and posterity,” she advised.
Mr Ashitey deplored challenges, including “widespread haphazard and unauthorised development, uncoordinated sectoral development, traffic congestion, poor land management, land guards and insecurity” that impede the region’s socio-economic growth.
He was happy that some MMDAs had taken the lead in applying spatial content in the preparation of their plans and programmes under the newly approved spatial development framework for Greater Accra.
According to Mr Ashitey, “the inauguration of the committee is very important in our quest to effectively deal with all emerging issues in the spatial planning and management of the region.”
He pledged the RCC’s commitment in facilitating the success of the project, saying, “it is my conviction that members would endeavour to demonstrate a high sense of professionalism and technical ability to render this vital initiative a big success.”
Chief Executive Officer of LUSPA, Lawrence Dakurah, said the authority’s objective was to provide sustainable human settlement through a decentralised system, while ensuring equitable use of land across the country.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH