By: Joyce Kantam Kolamon
In some urban areas, many Ghanaians live in informal, substandard housing often overcrowded and lacking basic amenities, such as water, electricity and proper waste management systems.
In addition, the Housing deficit has contributed to rising costs of housing for purchase and rentals resulting in further overcrowding.
The need for affordable housing has therefore become more necessary than ever. Our Northern Regional Correspondent Joyce Kantam Kolamong takes us to Wamale in the Tamale Metropolis, where a-100 Affordable Housing Unit started by the erstwhile Kuffour’s Administration has been abandoned close to two decades now.
The facility is wildly surrounded by weeds and has become a den for criminals.
Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goal, SDGs focuses on Building Sustainable Cities and Communities which includes access to basic services, housing, transportation, and protected green spaces for all to enjoy.
Ghana is urbanizing rapidly with more than 50% of its population living in urban areas creating many challenges in cities and towns. Ghana currently faces a housing deficit in excess of 1.7million Units.
There is no doubt that the completion of abandoned housing projects will help to bridge the gap. During his recent State of the Nation Address, President Akufo-Addo laid bare his concerns on the abandoned projects stating that his administration will complete the WA, Tamale and Koforidua housing projects, started by the Kufuor Administration in 2006.
The Tamale Affordable Housing Project which is about 65% complete, aims to deliver 100 Housing Units of low cost housing with focus on low income earners at Wamale in the Tamale Metropolis.
The project which started in 2007 has been abandoned. Contractors who were working on the project moved from the site due to lack of funds.
Abu Ziblim is the Assemblyman for the Wamale Electoral Area. According to him, the abandoned housing unit which has over the years posed security and safety threats to the residents has come about as a result of the lack of commitment by successive governments to take the priority of accommodation needs of the people.
Mr Ziblim indicated that the high cost of renting is putting untold hardship on the people especially low income earners and therefore appealed to the government to do its best to complete the project.
He confirmed that the abandoned project is posing danger to the lives of residents, as criminals have turned the place into a hideout, where they commit all sorts of nefarious activities.