At least 300 professionals are required by the Town and Country Planning Department to enable it to establish offices in all the 138 districts in the country.
Currently, the department has no offices in 54 districts and this is hampering the performance of its mandated duties of providing a guiding framework for ensuring the orderly physical development in towns and cities in the country.
Mr. Edward Karbo, director of the department, said this in Accra on Friday when the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, paid a familiarization tour to the department to assess the situation there.
The visit is part of a series of tours by the minister to departments under the ministry.
The director attributed the situation to low priority and lack of understanding accorded to the essential and catalytic role of urban planning in the development process in the country.
He said the situation has existed for a long time and indicated that it could further worsen giving the fact that some of the staff would soon be going on retirement.
Mr. Karbo said that due to the situation, the department was considering the establishment of mobile district land use planning teams in all the 10 regional capitals and the head office.
The teams, he said, would go on outreach programmes to the districts where they have no offices to assist in the physical planning of such districts.
Mr. Karbo said the department had nationwide staff strength of 803, made up of 101 town planners, 347 planning technicians and 265 administrative and other supporting staff.
He noted that a critical look at the capacity of the department indicates that it cannot efficiently and effectively handle the task that it has been entrusted with.
“In the light of mounting urban degradation and haphazard human settlements' development, the support of all stakeholders as well as improved logistical, human resource, financial and legal capacity to deliver is required as a matter of urgencys” he said.