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19.09.2005 General News

Correct poor perception of Town and Country Planning Dept - Churcher

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Accra, Sept 19, GNA - Ms Christine Churcher, Minister of Environment and Science on Monday urged the Town and Country Planning Department to intensify its public education programme to correct the damage done to its image due to the lack of awareness of its role. She said the lack of appreciation by the public of the difference between planning and implementation had done a major damage to the public image of the Department as it was often blamed for the lack of access to many residential areas.

Ms Churcher who paid a working visit to the Department noted that the problems confronting it could be resolved if it could come up with concrete projects and proposals that would help the Ministry to champion its course.

She said the haphazard building and location of kiosks on waterways, land demarcated for markets and roads were all blamed on the Department due to the conflicting roles of the Department and the assemblies.

The Minister, who was accompanied by her Deputy Dr Gyeysika Agambila and the Chief Director Mr Nsenkyire, said the functions of the Department were most needed at this period when there was disorderliness in the society.

Touching on the restructuring exercise within the Department, Ms Churcher said it must be one that could help resolve the problems facing the Department, adding that this must include an attitudinal change to ensure public confidence.

Mr Edward P. Karbo, Director of the Department of Town and Country Planning said the negative public perception of the Department as non- performing and inept was due to the lack of awareness of its role. He said the Department's own weak internal structure, poor organisational culture, weak manpower and logistic capacity, limited mandate and marginalized status among other Public Sector Institutions constituted important challenges.

Mr Karbo called for a comprehensive National Human Settlement Policy to manage the urbanization process as well as substantive logistics and financial resources to complete the restructuring exercise.

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