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Ghana Marks World Habitat Day

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Jamestown in Accra
Jamestown in Accra

The Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development is to revise and institutionalise a strategic framework for National Slum Prevention and Slum Upgrading.

To achieve the goal, the Ministry has called for dialogue among stakeholders and the media on strategies to adopt for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal (known as the Urban Goal), to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe resilient and sustainable.

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development said these in a statement to mark the 2016 World Habitat Day, which is focused on providing shelter for all, under the theme: “Housing at the Centre”.

Mr. Sylvanus K. Adzornu, the  head of Urban Development Unit (UDU),  signed the statement, which was and copied to the Ghana News Agency, in Accra.

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to have adequate shelter.

The statement said Ghana had set initiatives towards delivering affordable and quality houses to the people  to meet its commitment in addressing the housing  deficit and meeting the Housing Policy and the national urban policy.

“There is currently a national commitment to provide social housing for which reason, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies have been directed to go into social housing in addition to their priority projects,” it said.

“These include Saglemi Affordable housing project for the construction of 5,000 houses in the Ningo Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region, Nyamedua Estates,  a Public- Private Partnership for 5,000 affordable houses at Kpone in the Greater Accra Region, 168 for the security service at Tema and 618 housing units as part of the Keta Sea Defence Settlement Project.”

Additionally, the statement said, Ghana was implementing the Participatory Slum Upgrading Project (PSUP) in Ga-mashie in collaboration with the UN-Habitat aimed at housing the people of Ghana.

The Ministry of Local Government, it said, would therefore, continue to collaborate with all urban stakeholders such as the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, the National Development Planning Commission and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to ensure inclusive and sustainable cities and towns across Ghana to help place housing at the centre.

It would also work with development partners, academia and civil society groups towards a achieving the goals.

According to a recent study by the UN-Habitat’s Global Urban Observatory, in collaboration with New York University and the Lincoln Institute, Public housing represents less than 15 per cent of housing types both in developing and developed world, the statement said.

“This is an essential component of improved standard of living anywhere in the world,” it said.

“This year’s World Habitat Day seeks to highlight the relevance of decent housing for the urban quality of life, because adequate housing is a universal human right and should be at the centre of the urban policy as over a billion people in the world – mainly slum-dwellers are unable to enjoy this basic right to adequate housing.

“Since last year, the month of October has also been designated as the “Urban October Month” and designed to raise awareness, promote participation, generate knowledge and engage the international community towards a New Urban Agenda, in 31 days of promoting a Better Urban Future.”

The celebration and observation of Urban October would engender discussions on inclusive housing and social services, improved urban planning and the restoration of green urban spaces.

Others are a safe and healthy living environment for all, with particular consideration for children, the youth, women, elderly and the physically challenged.

It would also promote affordable and sustainable transport and energy, safe and clean drinking water and sanitation and improved waste management.

Source: GNA

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