Make integration of the informal sector activities into mainstream land use planning processes part of infrastructure development.
Odumase, November 29, 2022
Ms Gifty Nyarko, the Physical Development Planning Director at the Sunyani West Municipal Assembly said integrating the informal sector activities into the mainstream land use planning processes is vital in infrastructure development plans.
According to her, the informal sector workers are estimated to be about 85 per cent of Ghana’s total workforce, but they are without access to basic protection and services of the state.
In an interview the media over the weekend, she stated “informality does not mean illegality, just that they have not been integrated into the mainstream land use planning”.
Ms Nyarko cited that petty traders doing porridge business, those selling waakye, kenkey, pepper and others don’t need a building plot size of land before they could do business, but because there were no proper system and arrangements for them, they are seen as threat to proper city management systems, yet city authorities could not find antidotes to the situation.
She suggested that zoning about 20 feet square for each of these petty traders in a nice shed to do their business would help sanitized the system and avoid the issue of city authorities pounding on them everyday for eviction in the name of decongestion the central business areas of the cities.
Ms Nyarko further observed that regularizing activities of the informal sector could automatically prevent them from selling at unhygienic and unauthorized areas. According to her, the role of strategic infrastructure is key in rebuilding a robust economy, explaining that infrastructure is the pivot of development, “it plays the role of oil or fuel in terms of vehicular movement”.
Hence, the need for proper plans by the City authorities for these small business to avoid the situation of scattered containers and tables anywhow in the cities.
This would help beautify the cities as well as increase revenue mobilization and enhance infrastructure arrangement, she said.
Touching on community engagement in planning processes, Ms Nyarko said the local people are key partners in infrastructure provision, therefore, people in the communities should be informed as participants of the land use planing processes.
This is because they have to be in the known about their stake in national development, she said.
Ms Nyarko called on the Municipal and District Assemblies to build the interest of the public in initiating infrastructure development projects and making them reality in their respective communities as their contribution to national development, but not a burden solely on the government’s shoulders.
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