Accra, April 30, GNA “ Mr Paul Victor Obeng, Chairman National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), on Tuesday expressed concern about the insanitary condition which has engulfed some urban areas in the country.
He said the worsening condition which is gradually becoming a major characteristic of some urban areas in the country is unacceptable and tasked district assemblies to enforce their by-laws on sanitation.
Mr Obeng, who was speaking during the maiden edition of the National Urban Forum, called for the implementation of robust measures to ensure that people who migrate to cities adhered to rules and regulations.
The forum, which was under the theme, śThe New National Urban Policy: Its Implications and Challenges for Ghana™s Urban Developmentť, was attended by stakeholders in local governance and city planning.
Mr Obeng, who is also a Senior Presidential Advisor, urged land developers to make thorough enquires before construction in order not to build on lands earmarked for future projects such as roads.
Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, cited the dramatic demographic shift from rural to urban areas as one of the most significant changes Ghana has experienced since independence.
śIt is worth noting that we were 80 per cent rural and 20 per cent urban in 1960, but now the urban population in Ghana is over 52 per centť, he said.
He said urbanization was very important to government hence its decision to use it as a catalyst for economic growth, social improvement, cultural enhancement and environmental sustainability.
śThat is why government has come out with the National Urban Policy and Action Plan to give a clearer focus on urban development and management in the countryť, he said.
He called on all Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as District Assemblies to prepare pragmatic and workable actions towards the sustainable urban development in the country.
Alhaji Yahaya Yakubu, Director of Housing, Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, said the Ministry had forwarded to the Attorney-General™s Department the final draft of the Real Estate Bill for onward delivery to the Parliament.
śThe Real Estate Bill is to regulate the activities of those engaged in real estate development in the country,ť he said, adding that the ministry had also developed the National Housing Policy with the overall goal of providing affordable housing to people and to upgrade existing slums in the country.