Accra, Sept. 18, GNA – The increasing slums in African cities, Ghana included is due to the rising number of people moving from rural centres to the urban centre, Dr Calvin Atewamba, Research Fellow, United Nations University said on Wednesday in Accra.
He said there was the need to expand the infrastructure base like toilets, to cater for new people coming into the cities, adding, in Ghana there are areas in places like East Legon, where people live in slums, without pipe-borne water and toilet facilities.
Dr Atewamba said this at a day’s workshop under the topic; "Achieving sustainable development through inclusive green growth.”
The workshop, organised by Economy of Ghana Network (EGN) is to expose participants to issues of inclusive green growth and climate change and environment.
Green economy could be referred to as the various economic activities taking place in the economy such as buildings, transportation, manufacturing but which is not harmful to the environment.
He explained that green economy was a new economic model designed to ensure that issues of economy and environment should be seen as one, so that issues on the economy should not be analysed without the environment because they are dependent on each other.
Dr Atewamba said the difference in the level of development in African countries was very small and areas considered as slums are characterised by lack of clean water, supply of electricity and waste mismanagement.
He said in Accra for example, there was the need to improve upon sanitation, especially waste management, the provision of toilets and also change the way houses were built.
Dr Atewaba said over 20 years after the Rio Conference in 1992, the world was still facing many sustainable development issues, adding that, of particular concern were climate change, depletion of natural resources and degradation of biodiversity and the ecosystem services that underpin all life on earth, making sustainable development more difficult to achieve.
He said there were a lot of potential policies in the energy, water and manufacturing sectors that should be looked at to achieve sustainable development
Dr Atewamba said changes that should be made for green economy to happen included, initiatives to foster inclusive green growth, partnership for action on green economy, ten year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production and global platforms for knowledge sharing on green growth.
Prof. Samuel Nii Ardrey Codjoe, Director, Regional Institute for Population Studies and EGN subject matter specialist for Climate Change and environment, said according to the 2010 population census, quiet a number of Ghanaians were living in slum areas with no health facilities.
He said for the first time in Ghana, there were more people living in the city than in the rural centres, adding that, when people come to the city the problem of where to stay is what triggers emergence of slums which leads to outbreaks of diseases such as cholera.
He said the impact of climate change had hit the poor more than the rich, citing problems of floods, low crop yields, uncertainties in income levels and nutrition deficiency among others.