Mr Joseph Amenowode, Volta Regional Minister, on Monday, called for urgent interventions to save the region from degenerating into slums.

“Our regional and district capitals are fast becoming slums devoid of any effective urban planning.”

Mr Amenowode was speaking at a Validation Workshop, in Ho, on the Draft National Urban Policy (NUP).

He challenged the region’s Planning Officers to act promptly to save the situation.

Mr Amenowode noted that it was becoming difficult for emergency services to gain access to areas where their services were urgently needed due to the haphazard development of settlements.

He called for a campaign to draw the attention of developers to the consequences of unplanned settlements.

Mr Amenowode, however, expressed hope that an effective National Urban Policy would help address the issues and looked forward to participants making meaningful input into the NUP.

Dr. Bernard Glover, a Member of the Council of State, who chaired the workshop, said about 51 per cent of cities in the country harbour 5,000 or more people and said a National Urban Policy was long over due.

“Man needs to plan his habitat properly and this we have to do with a conscious and a planned policy,” he said.

Professor Paul Yankson of the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research, (ISSER) who gave a presentation on the NUP, said about 51 per cent of the country’s population was urbanized.

He said the overall objective of the Policy was to ensure sustainable development of urban centres.

Source: GNA