World Habitat Day marked in Accra

BY: Arku Jasmine

Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu, has singled out the lack of collaboration among implementors of projects as a major challenge to urban planning in the country.

To solve this problem, he said, a National Urban Policy had been developed to guide urban planning to promote effective collaboration in the urban sector.

Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu, who was speaking at an event to mark World Habitat Day in Accra yesterday, said the implementation of the National Urban Policy, together with a National Transport Policy, would help improve urban mobility.

Mr Opong-Fosu called for a multi-stakeholder approach to the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the two policies and explained that they were available to guide urban planning to promote effective collaboration in the urban sector on the implementation of projects and programmes to improve on movements of people in the urban areas.

According to him, improving on urban mobility was “a ‘sine qua non’ to orderly development of towns and cities for effective urban mobility and accessibility,” and stressed the need for planners to plan for all modes of transportation within the cities and towns.

What the ministries are doing

The Director of Research, Statistics and Information Management at the Ministry of Transport, Mr Lawrence Kumi, in an address, said the ministry had initiated programmes and projects in the various modes of transport, including aviation, maritime and road transport, all with the view to modernising and upgrading the transport system in the country.

Mr Kumi, who made specific mention of projects such as the improvement of facilities at the Kotoka International Airport and other regional airports, said the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Roads and Highways were currently implementing the Urban Transport Project  to help introduce some regulations in the provision of transport services in the country.

The Minister of Transport and Local Government, Mr Isaac Agyei Mensah, said sustainable urban development was a set of measures designed to satisfy the mobility needs of the people and businesses and called on all stakeholders in the various sectors to assist in co-ordinating between planning land use and transportation plans.

Government’s Vision

The Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Vincent Oppong Asamoah, said the government’s vision for the housing sector was to provide adequate decent and affordable housing that was accessible, to satisfy the needs of Ghanaians.

A message read on behalf of the United Nations General Secretary, Mr Ban Ki Moon, said urban planning and design should focus on how to bring people and places together by creating cities that focused on accessibility, rather than simply increasing the length and capacity of urban transport infrastructure.

By Rebecca Quaicoe-Duho & Lydia Ezit