World Habitat Day Marked

Dr. Christine Evans Klock UN Resident Coordinator giving a statementThe Ministry of Works and Housing in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development commemorated the 2017 World Habitat Day on the theme, ‘Housing Policies; Affordable Homes’, in Accra.
The World Habitat Day, which is celebrated on the first Monday of October every year, was instituted by the United Nations (UN) in 1985 to reflect on the state of cities and towns and the basic rights of all to adequate housing.
The UN also designated the month of October as “Urban October”, to commemorate key urban activities across the world and to create awareness among policy makers, citizens and stakeholders about the opportunities of urbanization.
Over one billion people, constituting one sixth of the world’s population, live in deplorable conditions in dilapidated slums and shanty-towns. By 2030, that number is expected to increase to 2 billion.
Addressing a press conference to mark the day, Honourable Samuel Atta Akyea, Minister of Works and Housing expressed the Government’s commitment to addressing the housing deficit in the country through partnership with the private sector in the provision of affordable housing units.
He said the Ministry is currently implementing Affordable Housing Programme aimed at providing adequate and decent housing, particularly to the low and middle-income groups.

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Minister Visits To The Agencies

pic 1The Minister for Works and Housing, Honourable Samuel Atta Akyea on the 24th of August paid a visit to agencies under the Ministry to acquaint himself with their operations and activities.

The Minister and his entourage visited agencies which include the Engineering Council, Architects Registration Council and Hydrological Services Department.

In his interaction with staff, he urged the agencies to remain resolute, put up their best and do what they could in order to ensure that work goes on smoothly. He assured them of government’s commitment and determination to provide solutions for challenges they face at work to enable staff deliver well.

He urged the Engineering Council to scale up the registration of practitioners in order to address any challenge in the engineering sector since the profession plays a key role in the socio-economic development of the country.
In his address to the media, he urged local contractors and engineers to strive for the highest level of competence so that their work would be appreciated. He explained that by the rules of fairness, award of contracts were always based solely on merit or quality of work and not whether a person was a citizen or not. Honourable Atta Akyea observed that although there were very good local contractors and engineers, there were others that lacked the expertise to perform excellently that ought to be looked at so that the issue could be addressed.

According to the Minister, one measure that could help to ensure that these professionals improve to match the world class standards was for them to come up with superintending bodies that would ensure that the right standards were set and adhered to.
He also disclosed that government would now give contractors building materials instead of money to complete housing projects that have stalled across the country. In line with this, efforts are in place to complete such projects in Ho, Asokore Mampong, Koforidua, Kumasi and others that were started during former President John Agyekum Kufour’s tenure, before new ones would be started.
The Minister however commended the various agencies for their good work towards the development of the country even though they are faced with many challenges.

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New Architects Inducted

Induction of New Architects 1The Architects Registration Council of Ghana (ARC) has held its 17th induction ceremony for 42 newly qualified Architects at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in Accra.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Architecture the Critical Tool for Development’, the Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Hon. Eugene Boakye Antwi, said architecture plays a significant role in the socio-economic development of every nation such as provision of safe, functional, attractive and state-of-art settlements that enhance livelihoods and boosts productivity in the workplace.

He noted that architecture is a noble profession that deservedly enjoys a high standing in society and within the building and construction industry and therefore much is expected of architects to collaborate with their colleagues in the built environment for sustained work for the benefit of all.

He called on the inductees to adhere to the professional ethics and code of conduct since their work has trans-generational implication and when it is shoddy, the cost is huge over a long period of time.

The Hon. Deputy Minister stated that Ghana is celebrating 60 years of nation-hood, however, it is confronted with a huge housing deficit estimated to be in excess of 1.7 million housing units and other physical infrastructural challenges.

Hon. Antwi said most of the housing units available are not within the reach of the ordinary Ghanaian and the cost can be attributed to the type of designs and materials used for the construction.

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Government To Partner Private Sector To Reduce Housing Deficit

Hon. Deputy Minister visit to Sethi Realty 4The Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Freda Prempeh has paid a working visit to Nyame Dua City, a gated community project being constructed by Sethi Realty, a Real Estate Company in Kpone Katamanso District of the Greater Accra Region.
The visit was to inspect the company’s housing project and see how best the Ministry could collaborate with Sethi Realty to reduce the national housing deficit.
The project comprised of 8 blocks of two and three bedroom apartments, with each block consisting of 30 apartments, making a total of 240 apartments.
Addressing the media after the inspection, Hon. Freda Prempeh said as part of public private partnership, the government was considering how best to acquire at least 200 units of apartments from Sethi Reality, which is an indication of providing 200 people with quality accommodation to ease the 1.7 million housing deficit.
She noted that there were a number of high rise buildings in the city but due to the expensive nature of those facilities, it was difficult people to rent or buy these facilities. In view of this, the Ministry was looking at engaging the private sector to jointly provide quality and affordable housing for the citizenry.

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Minister Visits Communities Affected By Coastal Waves

correct0001The Minister for Works and Housing, Honourable Samuel Atta Akyea has visited Blekusu in the Ketu South Municipal of the Volta Region to inspect communities that were affected by coastal waves.
The Hon. Minister, who was accompanied by his Deputy Minister, Hon. Freda Prempeh, the Chief Director, Mr. Solomon Asoalla and some officials of the Ministry, were taken round the affected communities by the Ketu South Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Edem Agbenowu.
About 272 households in four communities, namely Blekusu, Agavedzi, Amutinu and Salakorpe were displaced.
The Minister commended the Assembly for the timely intervention and called for collaborative effort to address the incidence permanently.
He said it was capital intensive to manage the coast of any nation and called for bold steps to protect the coastal areas of the country. ‘When we show commitment as a people to address that challenge we can have the opportunity to attract investors to come in and support,’ he added.
Hon. Atta Akyea said the Ministry would impress upon the Ministry of Finance to allocate some special fund in case of emergency situation like the coastal waves.
He therefore appealed to the Chiefs and religious bodies and authorities to intensify education on the need to avoid building houses near the coastal lines.

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