A research report into slums and informal settlements development aimed at making Ghana’s cities resilient has been launched in Accra with a call on government to review the Ghana National Housing Policy.
Findings from the report revealed that the current housing policy did not effectively target the poor and low income segments of the country’s population. The research was conducted with 600 slum dwellers in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi.
The report was initiated by Good Governance Africa (GGA), an independent and non-partisan research and advocacy organisation, which seeks to improve government performance on the continent.
Presenting the report yesterday, the lead researcher, Dr Ronald Adamtey, said the slum situation in the country was likely to increase by 2030.
“The policy is internally weak as it claims to make the private sector a key factor in housing provision in the same vein it says it will make housing affordable,” he said, stressing that the two could not help address the menace as the private sector was profit-oriented and would not be able to provide affordable housing to poor and low income citizens.
Dr Adamtey added that the policy did not recognise the social norms, cultural practices, value of networking and social ties in the typical Ghanaian setting where people loved to be close to their extended family and neighbours.
According to Dr Adamtey, the findings further revealed that, to avoid the creation of new slums, force eviction by city authorities was no better solution as it worsened the plight of the slum dwellers.
To address this, Dr Adamtey mentioned that there was the need to coordinate all independent and isolated slum intervention programmes by donor agencies.
He added that it was important to enforce rules and regulations governing human settlement development, adding that to achieve resilient cities, slums must be given a central place in the governance process.
Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, Minister of Inner Cities and Zongo Development, in a speech read on his behalf, said the ministry was focused on improving the lives of people living in slums through capacity building.
He commended the GGA noting that their findings could inform decision making.
The Board Chairman of the GGA Nana Osei Bonsu said slums were going to be there forever but could be improved upon.
BY ALLIA NOSHIE