Mr. Foster Osae-Akonnor, the President of the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA), said members of the institute are seeking a more improved built environment for Ghana through the enforcement of planned and quality construction.
He said the many unregulated buildings and structures that defined the Ghanaian cityscape had become a worry for the professionals and blamed this on the absence of architects at the local assemblies.
Mr. Osae-Akonnor was addressing stakeholders in the Volta Region at a townhall meeting in Ho, one of several activities planned for the 60th Anniversary celebration of the Institute, on the theme: “Architects and the Community”
He said most of the assemblies had no resident architects and, thus, were limited in enforcing planned and quality construction works.
“Architects are not enthused with the built environment – the uncontrolled nature of buildings springing up. Metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) do not have the requisite strength of architects, and architecture sells a country,” he said.
“The responsibility of architects is limited at the assembly level, and it constitutes a bigger issue for the built environment in Ghana.”
Mr Osae-Akonnor said the architects “felt left out” of Ghana’s development as challenges with structural and service integrity of buildings intensified, and called on the assemblies to consider their indispensable roles in ensuring standards at all levels.
“Most assemblies lack the capacity to issue certificates of habitation due to the lack of architects and revealed that the Institute was working with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to produce a 10-year strategic plan to be “critically followed through” to its implementation.”
He called on the professionals to seek collaboration with the local assemblies, and that “architects must take the initiative and begin to think about planning all the MMDAs.”
The public was also encouraged to engage professional architects for proper planning to ensure a safe and sustainable built environment.
Mr. Augustus Awiti, the Volta Regional Coordinating Director, said unplanned cities continued to produce challenges so professionals of the built environmental must collaborate to check the menace.
He said the region was pleased for the opportunity to set out collaboration with the planning professionals and would ensure effective collaboration to promote a sustainable environment.
The town hall meeting was attended by traditional leaders, heads of Local Government and staff, and civil society organisations.
Local Assembly heads at the meeting said the high-cost service of architects affected their patronage and appealed for the consideration of the charges and rates.
CSOs present raised concerns over access and other structural allowances for differently abled persons and hoped an enhanced input of architects would address the issues.