The Ranking Member for the Local Government Committee of Parliament, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, has advocated the institution of a proper maintenance scheme for projects in the country to ensure that such projects stand the test of time.
He explained that because of the absence of the culture of maintenance, most projects deteriorated within short periods.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunyani, was speaking at the opening of a three-week training programme for the staff of Urban Management Institute,Ghana (UMI) on institutionalising operation and maintenance in metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) in Accra.
The training programme is being funded by the Netherlands government under its Nuffic Fellowship Tailor-Made-Training.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh stated that the entire infrastructure in the country would break down if the authorities reneged on their responsibility to factor in maintenance systems in planning.
He urged urban management and actors involved in the sector to ensure an efficient city to improve quality of life.
Living with urbanisation
The Director of the Urban Management Institute (UMI), Ghana, Prosper Kwame Dzansi, in an address explained that urbanisation was a phenomenon that the country had to live with due to its role in the development of countries.
He said urbanisation should be seen as an engine and a catalyst for growth, incubators of civilisation which facilitated the evolution and transmission of knowledge, culture, industry and commerce.
When properly planned and managed, he explained, urbanisation had the key to promote economic growth, human development and the protection of nature.
Mr Dzansi further said it was unacceptable for the country to continue experiencing instances where projects implemented failed after just a few years of being inaugurated.
"Although some success of systematic improvements of the operation and maintenance systems of public infrastructure can be observed, it has to be noted that maintenance systems are often not established by government-funded projects" he said.
Mrs Gladys Ofei, Trade and Information Officer and a representative of Netherlands Fellowship Programme-Tailor-Made-Training (NFP/TMT) at the Netherlands Embassy, explained that the Dutch government had been supporting higher education and capacity building of institutions and organisations in Ghana since the early 1960’s. "In the past few years the Dutch government has intensified its efforts in capacity building within institutions through their Tailor Made Training Programme".
"This programme is designed to provide training for professionals on request of a specific organisation. The requesting organisation has to find a Dutch provider who is ready to assist with the training needs required, and submit a joint proposal with them" she said.
She indicated that over the past two years, the Dutch government had intensified efforts to assist institutions with capacity building needs.
Mrs Ofei congratulated Strategies Groep International, the Dutch service provider, on accepting the invitation from UMI to give the training.
The training also covered skills development in urban planning.
In an address, Marco Van Hoek, an Associate Partner of Strategis Groep, the Dutch service provider, said Strategis Groep, which was born out of the Technical University of Delft in Netherlands, used management information systems to transform data into useful information for urban planning and design.
Mr Van Hoek urged participants to invest their time and effort in the course to enable them to gain the requisite skills in financial management and maintenance of urban projects.