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Ghana to modernise survey practice

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Sogakope, Aug. 3, GNA- The Ministry of Land and Natural Resources on Monday announced plans to introduce a modernised system, known as Spatial Data Capture (SPC) to facilitate land survey.

The system would soon replace the cadastral system, which uses tapes, strings and other outmoded equipment, which dates back to 1936.

Mr. Collins Dauda, made the announcement in a speech read on his behalf

at a three day workshop for surveyors, legal practitioners, bankers and land administrators at Sogakope in the Volta region.

The workshop aims at developing new technical instructions for the SDC to regulate land surveying practice in Ghana.

The SDC covers many aspects of surveying such as geodetic, engineering, hydrographic, geographic surveying information systems and allied professions.

It would also serve as tuition material in surveyors training institutions in Ghana and ensure standard and uniformity in surveying and mapping practice irrespective of where one is working.

SDC which is also known as Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid system is a datum for all survey co-ordinate data developed in the 1990's as a new era of computer and satellite technology. The system would help the country to re-define the current mapping capabilities.

Mr. Dauda said there was considerable advancement in the surveying and mapping industry world wide and that Ghana could not be left behind.

“Ghana must move along the rest of the world,” he said.

He cautioned that “no matter how good these technical instructions are and the extent to which it meets international standards, the standards provided in the guidelines must be enforced in order to achieve the objectives.

He said the Surveying and the Mapping Division must do all in its power to apply the standards being developed to ensure improvement in the system and weed out quack surveyors.

The minister said the quack surveyors were mostly assisted by licensed surveyors who endorse their site plans.

Mr. Dauda said under the Land Administration Project, five continuous Operating Receiving Stations, were being established in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi, and Bolgatanga.

He said when this was completed it would improve the infrastructure for surveying, adding that the terms of reference for phase two of the new geodetic reference network was being developed and would be completed during the current phase of LAP.

“The LAP team should implement a good training programme that will ensure that capacity is available in using this new infrastructure,” he said.

Mr. Badu Angua, President of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors said land was a vital component of infrastructure development.

He said although access to lands was very critical, the sector was facing countless problems which bordered on blatant violation of the ethics of the profession.

He expressed optimism that at the end of the workshop the document that would emerge would help to address these numerous problems especially the activities of quack surveyors.

Mr. E.A. Mohenu, Director, Surveying and Mapping Division, Lands Commission said the SDC would connect Ghana to the UTM grid and upgrade survey methods to be consistent and homogeneous to International Terrestrial Reference Frame, which according to him would be the fundamental basis for national and regional three dimensional reference networks.

Dr Odame Larbi, Acting Executive Secretary of Ghana Lands Commission said the implementation of the programme was late for more than six months and added that its absence made survey session of the West Africa Gas Pipe Line faced many difficulties.

He said the use of UTM grid would create employment opportunities for Ghanaians surveyors outside Ghana.


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