The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, says Government has given the approval for the Ministry to embark on a redevelopment agenda of government estates in various regions of the country.
The Deputy Minister said this during a brief meeting with officers of the Western Regional Lands Commission on Thursday, 20th January, 2022.
The meeting discussed areas in the region that has been earmarked for the soon to commence redevelopment programme.
In pursuant of this agenda, Mr Owusu-Bio embarked on a day’s inspection tour to assess areas suitable for the construction of the estates and identify on the ground public lands in areas such as, Beach Road, Airport Ridge, Windy Ridge, SCC and other quarters occupied by the military.
Mr Owusu-Bio said, the Sector Minister, Samuel A. Jinapor has his focus on issues relating to lands particularly this year and this redevelopment agenda is one of the first projects he intends to work on, adding that the Minister’s focal areas for the year 2022 are Cape Coast, Sekondi Takoradi and Tamale.
Nana Aboah II, the Western Regional Lands officer who gave a brief background on the Estates said some of the bungalows in these areas have been there for ages without maintenance and most are also unoccupied and, so, he is happy that this redevelopment project is about to commence, stating that it is a step in the right direction.
He added that so far, they have not had any challenges with occupants of these houses at the various locations, stating also that the Chiefs have also been very co-operative and helpful with issues regarding land administration in the region.
He said he believes that it will not be much of a challenge getting the tenants and traditional leaders on board on this redevelopment drive.
Mr. Maxwell Adu-Nsarfoa Technical Director of Lands at the Ministry said, most of these lands and especially government estates are old and dilapidated which has warranted the decision of government through the Ministry to embark on the redevelopment project which will see to the judicious usage of the Lands.
He said “the days where small bungalows occupy huge lands are over. The population has increased but the lands haven’t so we need to ensure that we restructure our building concept to ensure that the lands are put into the highest and best use”.
Mr. Nsafoa also disclosed that they have already been to Cape coast in the Central Region to inspect some of these government estates, in locations like Ridge one, two and three.
The Western Regional Minister Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Mr. James Dadson, the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, the National Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Alex Quaynor, and the Regional Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Isaac Sagoe also joined the inspection tour.
Government is determined to undertake redevelopment programme as measure to among others help reduce the country’s housing deficit which stands at 30 million.
Developments in the Western Region and its exponential growth has compelled government through the Ministry and the Housing Ministry to effectively fashion out appropriate and alternative ways to reduce Ghana’s housing deficit and provide decent homes for the citizenry.