Lack of planning and marginalising settlement planners is the reason most communities in Ghana and Accra especially are not developed but just domestic settlements, some experts have said.
The architects argue that a lot of people in Accra and its surrounding environs have to travel miles and also spend a lot of productive time in traffic while commuting to and from work because, the communities were not planned before they were developed.
On the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Monday, Adodo Adih-Nuviadenu, an architect argued that for the capital, Accra and Ghana in general to overcome such problems, there needs to be consultation of experts before communities spring up rather than bring them in when the problem surfaces.
“We simply have to start looking at things from a different perspective. We have to stop the practice of allowing development to start before planning follows…” she said.
She added that though little or nothing can be done about the "mess", it is now time to bring in experts to “dissect” Ghana and see how to move forward with a development plan.
The member of the Council of the Ghana Institute of Architects, also explained that the reason many people will prefer to go in for lands and settlements on the outskirts of the capital like, Dodowa, Kasoa and the likes, is because the lands are cheaper there.
This, she explains, may be convenient for now but the disadvantage is since “we just build there to lay our heads” there are no amenities like schools, hospitals and businesses so residents in those areas will still need to drive kilometres to access these.
“Because you have to sit in traffic long hours, you tend to be more fatigued often and that could have been solved if those communities were developed too,” she explained.
The solution she explains, is that the government and owners must involve architects and other professional estate developers in community planning so all salient factors can be considered before communities spring up “instead of following the tradition of development to start before planning follows”.
Esinam Akyea-Djamson, also an architect who was also on the show explained the other side of the narrative which is once these developers are being eliminated in the planning process, unemployment continues to rise in a particular sector of the economy.
"…we are looking at where Ghana wants to go [and] we have these sustainable development goals which have been outlined by the United Nations (UN) which talks about eradicating poverty, which means jobs for all,” madam Akyea-Djamson said.
She explained that “once the construction sector booms, it will create jobs for a large number of citizens”.
“We are looking at one village one dam, building hospitals et al. and what we as advocates are saying is that this is an opportunity to create jobs for everybody,” she said.