The conference meeting began at 9:40AM with an opening prayer by Arc. Joseph Agyei Danquah of CSIR-BRRI.
Introducing the Chairman, Alhaji Yahaya H. Yakubu (Director of Housing, Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, MWRW&H) said Arc. Osei Kwame Agyemang is a young practising Architect who had built his career and now assumed the leadership of the Ghana Institute of Architects.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman said he was happy that all stakeholders in the built environment had gathered to discuss the numerous challenges in the urban environment. He urged all to be circumspect of social considerations in proposing solutions and manage information disseminated during the workshop for the betterment of society.
Delivering the key note address on behalf of the Vice President of Republic of Ghana, the Minister of WRW&H, Hon. Albert Abongo said housing is at the forefront of Government’s action on expanding the country’s infrastructure for growth. He emphasised Government would release and provide incentives to enable estate companies, both foreign and domestic, bridge the housing deficit. In addition, he encouraged all stakeholders to aim at a system that will include elements of housing financing, slum upgrading, use of locally manufactured building materials and innovative cost-effective designs in building.
Hon. Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST) in her address acknowledged housing as one of the most important sectors of the economy. She stressed the country faces acute shortage of housing due to the high cost of building materials, since over 70% of our building inputs are imported. Portland cement which is extensively used in Ghana and produced from imported clinker and gypsum, costs the nation not less than US$180 million annually, she noted. This was further compounded by the high population growth rate, deteriorating old swish/mud houses and the perennial problem of rural-urban drift. She informed the audience that the MEST through its Research Agency, the CSIR, was collaborating with the MWRW&H to develop a National Policy on Housing to ensure the intensification of the use of local raw materials in the housing and construction industry.
It is against this background that the Government intends to ensure that by the year 2015, at least 60% of materials required for the building and construction industry would be obtained from indigenous raw materials.
The Director General of CSIR, Dr. Abdulai B. Salifu, in his welcome address noted that Ghana still needed to do a lot in its housing sector policy and delivery. Housing issues have always presented serious challenges to public decision makers. And with the increase in private sector participation in housing delivery, the major challenge would center on how to balance the need for adequate supply of affordable housing with reducing government intervention in the economic and financial systems that underpin housing delivery in a private sector context.
Whilst recognizing that housing technology and development is a high national priority, he noted that housing research is one of the most understudied issues in social policy mainly due to inadequate resource allocation. Notwithstanding, Institutes like BRRI has been actively engaged in the development and testing of new housing technologies, including the development of complementary and/or alternative housing construction materials such as pozzolana cement. A plant which currently produces 100bags/day is being upgraded to produce 300bags/day. He urged government to support the collaboration and networking amongst housing research organizations which would create a platform to transform our housing sector.
In his closing remarks, the Chairman reiterated the need to support research and manage the information presented at the conference.
THE HOUSING SITUATION IN GHANA AND STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME CHALLENGES
Ing. Eugene Atiemo
Housing is recognized as one of the important sectors of any economy. Most developing countries, including Ghana, face acute housing problems, especially in the larger cities. This is mainly attributed to high population growth rate, deteriorating old swish/mud houses, poor planning and the unstoppable rural-urban migration. Other serious challenges which are mainly policy and enforcement-related include lack of comprehensive National Housing Policy, Institutional weaknesses, poor or lack of urban planning strategy, and low-density, low-rise housing development. The paper recommends strategies to be adopted to overcome the housing challenges facing Ghana. These include the promulgation of a comprehensive, workable and enforceable National Housing Policy which will ensure sustainable housing development, and maximum utilization of local building materials for construction, among others.
THE URBAN HOUSING CHALLENGE AND PROSPECTS FOR MEETING THE HOUSING NEEDS OF THE URBAN POOR IN GHANA
In Ghana, provision of affordable housing for the poor has become one of the major development challenges, because government interventions have failed to meet the housing needs of low-income groups. The excess housing demand over supply as a result of rapid urbanization and population growth has resulted in acute shortage of affordable housing, rising cost of accommodation, growth of urban slums and phenomena of streetism and homelessness. This paper examines the urbanization process and provision of affordable housing for the urban poor. It highlights policy measures required to ensure that urban dwellers, especially the poor and marginalized groups, have access to decent, adequate and affordable housing for healthy life. The key issues addressed in the paper are: What are the drivers of rapid urbanization and urban population change? what challenges are associated with rapid urbanization and population growth in housing the urban poor? And what steps should be taken to address the housing needs of the urban poor, reduce urban sprawl and growth of slums.
Key words: Urbanization, affordable housing, poverty, sustainable development streetism,
DECONSTRUCTING GHANA’S SLUMS: DYSTOPIA, DISTRESSED URBANISM AND LESSONS FROM ASIA
The failed but ongoing attempt by the Government of Ghana to relocate residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, a festering slum in Accra, etched indelibly on the national consciousness the too often ignored urban nightmare that the emergence and proliferation of slums present to Ghana’s cityscape. Sodom and Gomorrah has come to symbolize worryingly the emergence of an urbanization crisis across Ghana that so long ignored, has now morphed into a major public policy challenge. This paper makes the case that Ghana’s slums represent in brick and mortar the dystopia that Ghana’s urban evolution in particular has become and the caricaturing of the whole development enterprise of the Ghanaian state in general. Drawing on lessons from some countries in Asia, the paper presents possible solutions for upgrading slums and tie this in with the development value of such an undertaking.
“Instead of asking/why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals/on the contrary we must all celebrate its tenacity/….its will to reach the sun/ well, we are the roses/this is the concrete/ and these are my damaged petals/don’t ask me why/ thank God/ask me how….” Tupac Amaru Shakur
Key words: Urbanization, Slums, Dystopia, Development, Upgrade, Ghana
NEED TO RE-LAUNCH THE BRICK AND TILE REVOLUTION AS ANSWER TO NATIONAL SHELTER PROBLEMS
J. K. BOADI*, K. OBENG ** J. A. DANQUAH***, F. W. MANU***, P.D. BAIDEN-AMISAH***
* Senior Research Scientist, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR-BRRI Ghana
**Principal Research Scientist, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR-BRRI
*** Research Scientist, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR-BRRI Ghana
Past Governments have tried to find suitable ways of solving the housing problems of the country through various means. One of such means is trying to encourage the use of indigenous local materials such as burnt bricks and tiles. Research findings by CSIR-BRRI and the Geological Survey Department of Ghana indicate that there are enough clay and other soils in all the ten regions of the country which are suitable for making clay bricks for housing and road construction. This paper assessed burnt clay bricks as an alternative affordable building material, past attempts to promote the use of burnt clay bricks and work done by the CSIR-BRRI, the general situation of the brick and tile industry, and the need for Re-Launching A Brick And Tile Revolution as the way forward to solving the national shelter problem.
Keywords: clay, burnt bricks, paving bricks, housing construction.
EARTH AS A VIABLE URBAN HOUSING ALTERNATIVE
Department of Architecture, Anambra State University, P.M.B. 02, Uli, Nigeria
Urbanization which should be a fruit of civilization seems to spawn squalor, poverty, illiteracy, poor sanitation, disease, crime and even homelessness in many developing countries instead of the economic and social progress, promotion of literacy and education, health, social services and all manner of positive things the UN Habitat (2005) postulates. Our immediate past is failure, our present is hopeless but can we look forward to a promising future? As we meet to ‘Plan Our Urban Future’ we need to tackle one of our most devastating urban problems – Homelessness. A housing conference is a veritable tool to explore solutions to this problem. Why do we have homelessness? The one word answer is – COST. Over the years, our governments have mounted ‘low cost’ housing schemes that were neither low cost, nor did they house the people. By the time the schemes were partially completed, they would be priced beyond the reach of even the middle class and of course, far from the low income group. This paper examined the National Housing Policy of Nigeria, looked at the results of the various attempts at low cost housing by many Agencies including the Federal Housing Authority, and concluded that the biggest single cause of failure is the cost of building materials. Looking at building materials, it is clearly demonstrated that the solution lies in looking inward to local materials. Earth has been singled out as an alternative that can play a lead role in achieving housing affordability. Earth has been a traditional material used in past civilizations worldwide and with which 30% of the world population today are housed (Houben and Guillard 1994). Discovery of other more stable materials however displaced the use of earth, particularly in climes prone to wetness. There is however a renaissance of sorts as regards earth as a walling material. Case studies of earth as a viable alternative from the most unlikely of places – Nigeria’s glittering new Capital Abuja – form the major plank of this argument. This paper provided a glimpse of the other side of Abuja, where the Not-So-Rich house themselves in structures built with the age old material – earth. The efforts of the Ghana BRRI in this direction are also highlighted.
Key Words: Urbanization, Homelessness, Affordability, Earth and Revival.
“GATED CAGES, GLAZED BOXES AND DASHED HOUSING HOPES - IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE DICEY FUTURE OF GHANAIAN HOUSING”
Professor Dr. Ing. H. N. A. Wellington
Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University Of Ghana, Legon
This presentation was a reflective paper which embodied the intellectual thrust that had moved and propelled my research and academic work to date, in the area of urban development and the search for appropriate housing for families in Ghana. The paper was not related to any specific research work. In responding to the invitation to present a paper at the national conference on “Planning for Urban Future” of Ghana, the Author fell back on his past publications and gleaned significant points found in his research findings on the matters that dealt with the essence of the conference. In doing so, some responses had crystallised into a set of reflections that were based not on any empirical data, but on a perspective view of recollections of corpus of thoughts that had been considered and developed during the time the author had been active in academia, together with his current thinking on the dicey and disturbing trends he had observed in urban and residential developments in Ghana.
Key Words: estates, sprawl, architecture, housing
THE TRADITIONAL ASHANTI COMPOUND HOUSE – A FORGOTTEN RESOURCE FOR HOME OWNERSHIP OF THE URBAN POOR.
S. O. AFRAM,
Senior Lecturer/Architect, Department of Architecture, KNUST, Kumasi
The courtyard has remained the predominant house form in Ghana, as well as other parts of the world. However, its versatility and utilitarian qualities have not been fully appreciated within both the academic and policy-making circles. Despite the imported influences of western values which helped shape the taste and lifestyle of Ghanaians since the credible presence of the Europeans from the fifteenth century, it has survived in both the rural and urban areas in the country. The paper was in three parts; firstly, it gave an overview of the housing typology in Ghana, with specific reference to Kumasi. Secondly, it focused on the built form of the courtyard house within its urban precincts, examining it in greater detail, its inherent qualities from a predominantly architectural view point and thirdly, proposed a credible way forward for these qualities to be harnessed to create a much needed access for the urban poor, who mostly live in these houses, to build and own their homes within the urban areas where accommodation is acutely inadequate.
OCCUPANT’S PERCEPTIONS OF SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF HIGH RISE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA: A CASE STUDY OF ASUOYEBOA FLATS, KUMASI
Residential development in Ghana has been mainly low-rise development. This has created a shortage of land for development especially in the urban areas resulting in high price of land and inadequate housing. It has also led to the development and expansion of vast slums especially for the poor who cannot afford the high price of land. There is growing pressure on planners and housing developers to achieve higher density housing schemes in urban areas. The government’s housing policy therefore aims at a departure from single storey unit housing to affordable low-cost high-rise housing for people.
This paper examined the perceptions of residents in high-rise accommodation so as to ascertain the validity of promoting high-rise residential development in Ghana. The study found out that, on social grounds, low-rise residential buildings are more favourable than high-rise buildings in Ghana. Again, people considered high-rise residential houses as transcient accommodation. It concluded that, consideration should be given to more research on the issue of high-rise housing and what the salient issues are, for policy makers and developers engaged in housing.
COMMUNITY NEEDS AND PLANNING INTERVENTIONS IN KUMASI, GHANA
This paper discusses the interface between planning interventions and community needs in Buobai, a peri-urban area in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana. Set within the provisions of the decentralisation policy of government implemented since 1988, the paper focuses on the outcomes of the establishment of a Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP) for the metropolis. The perception of the planners, the community’s responses, and the implications for development are examined. The paper concludes that despite decentralisation, there is often a mismatch between planning interventions and community needs and recommends active stakeholder participation, involving, among others municipal authorities, planners, academics, community members, as well as civil society to ensure sustainable urban development.
Key Words: Decentralisation, community needs, planning interventions, urban sanitation,
STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING PUBLIC PROCUREMENT THROUGH INCREASED ACCOUNTABILITY FOR PLANNING OUR URBAN FUTURE; THE CASE OF GHANA
Corruption is a social phenomenon deep rooted in the history of mankind. It is similar to other kinds of crime which are likely to occur in procurement of works by governments and local authorities, due to the large amount of money involved in a single transaction and the difficulty in monitoring project expenditure. Therefore, it is necessary to develop strategies to minimize any corruption risks and corrupt behaviour in procurement of construction projects.
The aim of this paper is to review the current corruption prevention practices in Ghana’s construction industry and suggest ways for improvement. To collect useful and insightful information, desktop studies, focus-group workshops and face-to-face interviews were conducted with supervisory and construction officers at different levels – ministerial, district and Metro/Municipal levels in Ghana, who have direct responsibilities and experience in clamping down construction corruption. The study found that corruption happens in different forms during any stage of construction project procurement, and the current anti-corrupt practices are reactive rather than proactive. Conflict of interest, bribery, embezzlement, kickbacks, tender manipulation and fraud were observed corruption practices in the Ghanaian infrastructure projects delivery system. The severity of corruption practices has intensified the search for more innovative means of delivering infrastructure projects that will achieve value for money. Furthermore, it was found that improvements on the legal system, inspection strategies and processes, and promotion of ethical culture are all required. Implementation of sound procurement performance measurements would be imperative in the bid to curb corruption practices. A number of business approaches to combat corrupt practices in Ghana have been suggested, which are explained in terms of political, technical and operational measures. Based on the research findings, corruption prevention strategies were developed, leading to a conclusion that institution of random and regular checks, severe punishment and prosecution to corrupt personnel, and promotion of a healthy and clean construction culture are all necessary to mitigate the scourge of corruption. It is proposed that knowledge about and debating corruption related issues is just as important to the modern public procurement as are the abilities to creatively and logically introduce monitoring systems when planning, executing and completing projects.
Keywords: Construction, Corrupt Practices, Infrastructure Projects, Risk, Public Procurement, Procurement Authority.
RISK ALLOCATION AND MITIGATION MECHANISMS IN THE FORMATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
AN EVALUATION OF HOUSING COST TRENDS IN GHANA FOR THE PERIOD 1991 – 2008
Ernest Osei-Tutu 1 and Dr. Theophilus Adjei-Kumi 2
1Building and Road Research Institute, Kumasi-Ghana,
2Department of Building Technology, KNUST, Kumasi-Ghana
Housing provision in urban areas in Ghana has been characterised by high and ever-increasing cost for both residential and public buildings. Many reasons have been advanced by experts and these include over-dependence on imported building materials, non-utilisation of appropriate construction management techniques, defective implementation of Housing policy by government, cost of land and lack of political will. Policy makers are also saddled with the problem of lack of credible databases upon which to develop appropriate policies. Many a government has sought to solve this problem via various means some of which is the formation of GREDA in 1988 towards effective private participation in the delivery of housing units. Ghana has a backlog of accumulated housing delivery totalling over 300,000 housing units with an estimated annual housing need of 70,000 units each year. The private sector continues to be the primary contributor of housing delivery in Ghana. From the period, 1984 to 2000 the average rate of increase of housing supply was 3.8% down from 4.9% in 1960-1970 periods.This paper traces the trend in the cost of Residential buildings over the years from (1991-2008) with emphasis on input resources (materials, plant and labour). It goes further to identify the main cost-sensitive components in building construction based on their unit rates, to attract the attention of professionals during cost saving exercises. Mention is made of construction management strategies that support the production of affordable housing units. The paper recommends among others essential cost centres for re-engineering and the formation of an Agency – Affordable Housing Development Agency (AHDA) – under the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing (MOWRWH) tasked with the responsibility of providing low-cost and affordable accommodation for Low Income earners.
Keywords: Affordable units, Low cost Units, Unit Rates and Cost Indices, Inflation and Exchange rates
ELEMENTAL COST ESTIMATING AND ANALYSIS OF BUILDING WORKS IN GHANA: A CASE STUDY OF CONCRETE BEAMS, COLUMNS AND SLABS OF SOME SELECTED PROJECTS IN THE ASHANTI REGION
Richard Oduro Asamoah1 Ernest Osei-Tutu1 and Peter Amoah2
1Building and Road Research Institute, Kumasi-Ghana
2Department of Building Technology, KNUST, Kumasi-Ghana
Consultants in the construction industry need to appreciate the challenges and opportunities presented by the changing needs of clients in relation to cost, and perhaps focus their skills in design and cost estimation. Effective management of cost will enable clients, developers and facilitators involved in physical structures to achieve value for money. Building estimating have traditionally been characterised by cumbersome estimating methods making it difficult to compare cost estimates of construction projects. Based on this background, the study was undertaken using elemental cost estimating method. The study seeks to analyse the elemental cost estimating of the structural frame by considering in-situ and pre-cast concrete slab, beams and columns. The study established that precast concrete elements were 28% cheaper than the in-situ concrete elements. Also the in-situ concrete slab, beam and column averagely cost 47%, 29.25% and 23.75% respectively of the cost of the structural frame. The study has established relevant cost benchmarks for precast and in-situ concrete products (columns, beams and slab) for the construction industry in Ghana.
Keywords: Building Cost, Elemental Cost Estimating, Classification of Cost Estimate, Structural frame.
THE NEED FOR GEOTECHNICAL EVALUATION OF CONSTRUCTION SITE TOWARDS HOUSING DELIVERY IN GHANA
1E.B.E. GHARTEY, 1SETH OWUSU NYAKO, 1KWABENA OSEI OPUNI, 1BERNARD OFOSU
1. Building and Road Research Institute, Box UP 40, Kumasi
Geotechnical evaluation of a site is an essential preliminary to the construction of all civil engineering works. It attempts to access the general suitability of the site to ensure an adequate and economic design of proposed structures. The contemporary practice is to assume a homogeneous and isotropic materials at construction sites without due regard to the possibilities of departures from such ideal situations at the initial stages of structural designs and construction. Even though the existing National Building Regulation (Ghana Legislative Instrument, LI No. 1630, 1996) makes it mandatory for geotechnical investigations to be carried out prior to the design and construction of all civil works to ensure sound, economic and environmentally safe structures, the regulation is ignored This paper highlights the relevance of geotechnical factors, investigation techniques and other pertinent ground features that need to be considered in an attempt to evolve a comprehensive housing delivery policy in Ghana
MITIGATING GLOBAL CLIMATIC CHANGE THROUGH THE USE OF GREEN BUILDING MATERIALS
Manu, F. W.1, Baiden-Amissah P.D. 1, Adobor, D. C1., Danquah, J.A
1. C.S.I.R (Building and Road Research Institute), Box 40, K.N.U.S.T., Kumasi, Ghana- W/Africa, Tel. +233-51-60064-6, Fax: +233-51-60080
The global climate change is real and with us. Temperatures studied from 1971 to 2000 in the country show that the temperatures of Accra and Kumasi have increased by 0.9 ºc and 1.2 ºc respectively. Changing seasons, floods, droughts, and rising sea temperature are being experienced. Developing countries including Ghana have contributed to the phenomenon by emitting 25% of greenhouse gases (GHG). The construction industry and its services alone use 40% to 50% of physical resources and emit 20% of carbon dioxide (CO2). Scientists have noted that developing countries would receive much more of the implications than contributed. Since resources are limited in these developing countries, they will face more difficulties in handling the effects of the phenomenon than developed ones. In order to adapt to and reverse the phenomenon, professionals in the construction industry should take a front role. The paper gathers from literature the current trend of the global climatic change and proposes some solutions to reduce the impact and reverse it. The solution is in the use of green building materials for built urban environment. Research by the CSIR-Building and Road Research Institute, Ghana and other Research laboratories elsewhere confirm the suitability of these building materials and technologies which are available in our communities. Some of these materials were unearthed and mapped through research activities conducted at the CSIR-Building and Road Research Institute in its efforts to increase the use of green building materials. Earth (in its many improved forms and clay plaster) fused laterite, clay pozzolana, lime, and the others are some of the materials which when used will reduce CO2 emission arising from cement production, reduce the energy demand in production and retain capital in the country. Research data is presented to substantiate the efficiency of the materials. This information is to make researchers, academia, construction industry and all stakeholders in the country aware of options in building durable and sustainable walls through locally available material improvement technology. This will reduce the housing deficit and help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Time available is short. The clock continues to tick.
Key words: sustainable, climatic change, green building materials
MITIGATING PERENNIAL FLOODING OF URBAN SETTLEMENTS THROUGH DEDICATED GEOENVIRONMENTAL DATA MANAGEMENT
C. F. A. Akayuli1, P. D. Baiden-Amissah1, S.O Nyako1, J. Ankrah1
1. CSIR-Building and Road Research Institute
In Ghana billions of cedis are lost annually as a consequence of flooding of cities and other municipal and urban areas. During a rainstorm, some abstraction of the rainfall occurs while the rest flows into streams as surface runoff. In urban areas, abstractions are low, and most water has to be managed to avoid flooding. Due to increased urbanization, residential buildings are built in floodplains without recourse to geotechnical investigation thereby exposing them to riverine flooding. Most urban flooding is caused by obstruction to normal stream flow during high storm events. Obstructions to flow are due to dumping of waste directly into streams or siting of auxiliary structures such as kiosks and refuse dumps in floodplains. A detailed geotechnical investigation carried out before building will provide a soil profile that gives indication of the soil type, soil strength and deformability, infiltration rates and groundwater level in an area. An environmental impact assessment will identify all the potential impacts of proposed buildings and propose mitigation measures for such identified impacts. This paper proposed the collation of geotechnical and environmental information into one database called the Geoenvironmental database for all metropolitan, municipal and urban centres. The database will comprise of data from geotechnical investigations including soil borings, test pitting, insitu testing etc. It will also have baseline data on the sites such as flora and fauna, soil chemistry, water levels and quality etc. From these data, floodplains of streams and rivers will be demarcated, the soil profile containing data on infiltration rates of different locations within the city will be outlined and the water table and its variation will be captured. These data coupled with meteorological data will be a powerful tool for designing efficient flood management systems for cities.
TERMITE CONTROL IN BUILDINGS: BRRI-CSIR EXPERIENCE
Ama Tagbor1 and Mr. Augustine Osei Frimpong1
1. CSIR-Building and Road Research Institute
MANAGING THE GROWTH OF GHANAIAN CITIES – THE ROLE OF ICT
Daniel Asenso-Gyambibi1, Florence Fleischer-Djoleto1 and John Solomon Ankrah1
1. CSIR-Building and Road Research Institute
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HOUSING DELIVERY - AN ARCHITECTURAL VIEW
Provision of Affordable Housing in Ghana; the Realities
Isaac Decardi-Nelson and Bettie Solomon-Ayeh
COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE NATIONAL HOUSING CONFERENCE
HELD ON 7TH – 8TH OCTOBER, 2009 AT CSIR-STEPRI, ACCRA
The CSIR-Building and Road Research Institute (CSIR-BRRI) and Ghana Institute of Architects, in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing (MWRWH) organized a two-day National Housing Conference, themed: Planning our Urban Future. The conference held in commemoration of the UN Habitat Day, looked at various perspectives to ensure proper planning of our cities and to provide quality and affordable housing for all on a sustainable basis in Ghana.
Speakers and participants deliberated and shared knowledge on four key areas:
• Housing and the Urban Poor;
• Social Dimensions of Housing;
• Procurements and Contracts; and
• Engineering Considerations and Housing Delivery.
The participants at the end of the conference realised that:
- Ghana has a deficit of about 1,000,000 housing units;
- There was about 65% import content in the construction industry;
- The cost of building materials, especially cement, is very high;
- There is no strategic National Housing Policy in the country, except ad hoc housing programmes;
- There was very low official and private commitment to the use of local building materials such as bricks, Pozzolana cement, compressed earth, and bamboo for construction in the country;
- Poor urban planning, arising from policy-making problems has created slums, environmental hazards and social problems in the cities;
- There is lack of a well-established office to coordinate, implement and enforce housing programmes;
- The government cannot single-handedly provide adequate, decent and cost-effective housing for the citizenry.
Hereby declare that:
• The country should promulgate a comprehensive, workable and enforceable National Housing Policy and the related National Settlement Planning System should be developed in tandem with all professionals in the built environment to allow for effective utilization of local materials to address the challenges of housing and settlements in Ghana.
• The provision of a decent, adequate and affordable housing to the Ghanaian should be seen as the citizen’s right under the Social Pact and therefore, a critical component of the socio-economic development of Ghana.
• Local building materials, such as burnt clay bricks, pozzolana cement and compressed earth could reduce housing cost by 20%. Policy and Legislation must therefore be put in place to enjoin the State Institutions, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to use local building materials for public projects.
• Ghana needs a well-coordinated, long-term urban planning vision, pragmatic and devoid of political encumbrances to guide urban planning and make the cities and towns comfortable and healthy to live in.
• A National Advocacy Body, comprising all Professional Associations, must be set up to assist the National Development Planning Commission to effectively and efficiently fulfil its mandate.
• The Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing should strengthen its collaboration with the CSIR-BRRI and support training programmes in management and capacity building for construction firms and artisans.
• There should also be training in Procurement Contract Law for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Ghana.
• The state must provide the necessary sustainable environment for real affordable housing for the urban poor and the low-income group.
• The capacity of local Scientific and Technological Research Institutes involved in research and development of local building materials and training of artisans must be strengthened.
• There is an urgent need to change the culture of single storey buildings and rather encourage high-rise buildings as a step towards curtailing the housing deficit, provide affordable housing and protecting the land and environment.