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24.03.2006 General News

Architects face solutions to slums


Accra, March 24, GNA - The work of Architects would be daunting in the next 20 years as it would not only involve designing fine offices but also the regeneration of slums, Mr Steve Akuffo, the immediate past President of the Institute of Architects, said on Thursday. He said it would be for them to redesign for low and high lands while the urban population would be growing as well.

Speaking on: "The present state of Accra through the eyes of an Architect" at a day's seminar organised by the Institute, Mr Akuffo said a new design for regeneration was the way forward to give new and fresh ideas emanating from consultants and firms.

He said: "Ghana has recorded over 20 years continuous growth in the migration phenomenon and if slums in the city were not redeemed, Accra would continue to face congestion on the streets and it would be difficult to reach a destination in time of disasters.

Mr Carl Clerk, Engineer of the Metro Works Department of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, told the 55 participants that the Assembly was confronted with poor sanitation, rural-urban drift and insurmountable problems of keeping the city clean.

The seminar which was under the theme: "Accra - State Of Affairs (ASOA Part I)" had participants drawn from the Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD), Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Ghana Surveyors Association and the Institute.

Mr Clark said the varied objectives of the Assembly could be summed up in its mission statement: "To raise the living standard of the people of the city, especially the poor, vulnerable including providing and maintaining basic services and facilities in education, health, sanitation and other social amenities."

Mr Joseph Appenteng, a Planner from the TCPD, said the Department's human settlements policy was geared towards ensuring the efficient and sustainable development for the country's over 48,000 urban and rural settlements.

He said the Department was faced with the absence of a national policy on human settlements and poor enforcement of development control measures, which did not lend themselves to swift action to remove unauthorized structures.

Mr Felix Dokutse-Peteye Abbey, the President of the Institute, advised Architects, Surveyors and allied bodies to come together to fight their cause, adding; "in this way we could contribute our quota towards national development".