Editorial: Pressing housing problems must be tackled

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Kojo Oppong Nkrumah--Minister of Information

Minister for Works and Housing, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said his ministry is committed to the built environment sector and addressing pressing housing and hydrology challenges in the country.

“We recognise that sustainable development in all these areas cannot be achieved in isolation but requires a concerted and coordinated approach across multiple sectors and stakeholders. Together, we can overcome Ghana’s housing and hydrology challenges and build a more resilient, equitable and prosperous nation for generations to come,” he indicated.

The minister made this declaration at the 2024 Built Environment National Conference on Housing and Hydrology (BENCHH) held at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra last week.

The 3-day BENCHH 2024 conference was designed to provide a comprehensive platform for robust discussions and exchange of insights among experts in the built environment sector, and aims at  developing collaborative solutions to address critical issue affecting the country’s urban development and water management.

Its theme, ‘Enhancing Collaboration to Tackle Ghana’s Housing and Hydrology Challenges’, set the tone for discussions.

A GH¢1,500,000 National Hydrological Fund was launched – a crucial initiative by government aimed at providing financial resources necessary for comprehensive flood management and water infrastructure projects across the country.

Although the public works, housing and hydrology sectors are critical components of the nation’s development agenda, their challenges have proven intractable over the years.

Flooding, for instance, continues to be an annual occurrence in many communities across the country, but the national flood control programme has had limited impact in adequately tackling this challenge.

On the housing front, supply does not meet demand – resulting in a current national deficit of 1.8 million housing units. Government’s affordable housing programmes have been fraught with inadequate funding, resulting in delays for delivering affordable public housing schemes.

Additionally, failure to complete started projects upon changes in political administration has worsened the problem.

Consequently, Mr. Nkrumah hinted that government is keen on deepening public private partnerships for affordable housing by offering incentives which make it easier for private developers to deliver needed affordable housing projects at scale and at the desired price point.

With rapid urbanisation, the country faces significant challenges related to housing shortages and water management, including frequent flooding and inadequate water infrastructure.

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