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General News of Monday, 16 January 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Ghana can’t eliminate slums now – Urban planner

An Urban Planning Analyst, Farouk Braimah, has observed that it will be very difficult for the government to eliminate slums in the short-term. He said statistics available to him suggests that, slums will still continue to exist in Ghana for the next two decades. “Evidence across the world doesn’t suggest that Ghana can eliminate slums.

Slums are a manifestation of poverty so if somebody hasn’t got what it takes to provide a decent home in a built environment…you call the person living in a slum, but actually we are discussing urban poverty.”

Farouk Braimah, who works in 34 countries globally, and is also the Deputy Chair for the Slum Dwellers International Network, while speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, said “for Ghana, I can assure you that we will continue to deal with slums in the next 15 to 20 years.” The planning analyst made the remark on the back of a newly created ministry –the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development, which will be headed by Alhaji Sadique Boniface.

Mr. Braimah also suggested that, the only way the new Ministry could succeed, is for government to allocate enough funding for its operations since such communities face major challenges like poor housing conditions, water and sanitation issues, financial problems among others. “If you have a city which doesn’t provide for the poor, definitely people are going to provide for themselves and immediately you allow people to provide housing for themselves you will find slums springing up.

So the inner cities in the typical sense are the decayed portions of your city. So when you plan a city it is organic, after 50 years or so, if you don’t expand and provide the services…the existing human settlements will begin to decay,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the Minister- Nominee, Alhaji Sadique Boniface, also speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, said he is ready to collaborate with other ministries to ensure such deprived areas in the country are developed. “We will be thinking about education and training within the Zongos.

We should be thinking about infrastructure in reference to health and sanitation. We will also be thinking about business support and business development, centres for culture and arts, and we should be talking about areas like security and policing, and also try to make an attempt to create some sanity within the Zongos,” he added.