Housing Characteristics

  • Housing Conditions and Types
  • Water Supply and demand

a) Housing Conditions and Types

The housing character of the Municipality is varied depending on the various areas. It entails a predominantly densely populated, low income and indigenous zone along the southern or coastal portions such as Old Nungua and Old Teshie. Buildings in such areas are depressed and have poor quality material such as mud, untreated timber and zinc roofing sheets for walling. The housing environment is characterised by haphazard development, inadequate housing infrastructure, poor drainage, poor state of alleys, erosion and high population concentrations. An important housing intervention measure that can be initiated in the short term is the provision of alley pavements to facilitate movements in these low income settlements.

Towards the central and southern portions, one would observe relatively lower density middle income buildings with high level of encroachment on roads in a few areas. These middle income areas also have barely sufficient infrastructure to service them just like their low income counterparts. Another common feature of these areas, especially at the northern sections or periphery of the Municipality, are the large numbers of uncompleted houses inter-dispersed with pockets of undeveloped land which are often subject to litigation or the inability of organisations and individuals who own it to develop due to lack of funds. Nevertheless the municipality can boast of well planned affluent neighbourhoods developed by estate developers such as Airport Hills, Manet Estates, Greda Estates which have very high level of infrastructure provision.

More than 70% of the land in the Municipality is customarily owned (family and stool). However the Assembly through planning regulations is expected to manage development of infrastructure and other land uses but weak institutions over the years has posed a major challenge in the execution of this function.

b) Development Control

Development Control in the Municipality is handled by the Works Department which has responsibility for ensuring that approved developments are constructed according to the permit granted by the Municipal Planning Committee which is a multi-disciplinary committee chaired by the Chief Executive. The committee has overall responsibility for the management of the land-use plans and physical development activities in the Municipality and all other development agencies in the Assembly are expected to base their service delivery on these plans.

It is also appreciated under the development control functions of the Assembly that the proximity of the Municipality to the capital city and Tema, the second largest city in the Greater Accra Region as well as economic opportunities that the Municipality provides has led to increasing commercialisation of land which has put substantial economic pressure on customary lands. In this regard access to land is usually beyond the means of the poor who are forced to settle or squat on illegal lands. A major challenge facing the Municipal Planning Committee is to draw a synergy between poverty reduction programmes for such poor areas on one hand and the need to enforce planning regulations on the other. There is also the added challenge of the constant demands of clients or developers for use conversion of the various land uses due to the dynamic nature of an urbanised municipality such as the LEKMA. The need for the planning committee to be very professional in maintaining the balance between original land use plans and the request or applications for changes to these plans is key if LEKMA is to manage her urban space effectively.

c) Electricity Supply

Due to the urbanised nature of the Municipality, every locality is connected to the national grid. The challenge is the usual erratic supply of power which is a reflection of the broad national trend.

d) Water Supply and demand

The source of water to the Municipality is the Kpone Water works which has its catchments area in the Volta River Basin. There is however marked variations with respect to income classes in the access to water. First class residential areas such as the Greda Estates, Manet Gardens etc are connected to the water supply network and in most cases receive water most days of the week and pay official rates, which range from 18 a bucket to a maximum 65 per bucket. In recent times it is common to have polytanks in such areas to supplement shortage that may occur. However large sections of the middle and low income earners in the Municipality have very poor or irregular supply of water although they are connected to the network. In such areas residents who can afford polytanks are compelled to purchase them as a matter of necessity to supplement their water supplies. Those who cannot afford the polytanks purchase water from vendors at high prices. The most critical water problem in the Municipality however relates to inability of supply of water to meet demand.

It is estimated that water leakage is estimated at 30% for the entire supply system. Efficient measures on leak detection and repair can lower this percentage to approximately 25%. A decrease in 5% in the leakage rate is expected to save water within the margin of 30 000m3 daily which represents substantial savings. In the medium term efforts should be made to collaborate with stakeholders to increase investments to the sector, especially in low income settlements like Old Nungua and Old Teshie.

In Old Nungua most of the 150m A/C distribution pipelines are in disused state owing to corrosion of jointing. Other sections also run under buildings and have as such become non functional. Consequently residents do not have access to direct pipe-born water.

A new elevated GRP reservoir in Old Nungua with a capacity of 450m cube and a booster system to lift water into the tank has been planned to improve distribution pressures inside the community. Presently, the elevated tank has been erected but the booster pumping set is however yet to be installed to enhance water supply in Old Nungua.The following indicate the piping that would be required to improve the network in Old Nungua.

In the absence of such interventions attempts have been made by the Assembly to provide Polytanks to be supplied by water tankers as an interim measure to address the water problem in the Municipality, especially in deprived communities. The Assembly hopes to establish relationships with local organisations in the sustainable management of the polytanks for the benefit of the affected communities.

Key findings under Housing Characteristics:

•    General problem relating to water supply in the Municipality
•    Increased commercialisation of land to the detriment of residential development
•    Constant demand on management to by individuals convert uses of land
•    Middle income areas are least served with road infrastructure

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