Urban areas quality of life declining in Ghana – Study

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A drone shot of the vast landscape of Ghana, Accra.
A drone shot of the vast landscape of Ghana, Accra.

A study conducted by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), indicates that the quality of lives in urban areas are not the best. 

The study conducted in the last three years also established that accountability from duty bearers in cities was horrible.

The CDD findings asserted that the democratic means by which members of the public express their opinions had to be strengthened to save democracy.

These findings were presented at the maiden public engagement exercise organised by the CDD-Ghana in Kumasi, under its Ghana Cities Monitoring (GCM) project.

Funded by the Hewlett Foundation, the GCM is an easy-to- use tool for evaluating the provision of essential services and infrastructure necessary for the cities, including, economic, social, and environmental well-being as well as the quality of life of city dwellers.

The project sought to stimulate evidence-driven discussions on urban governance and the delivery of goods and services within the cities.

It was conducted in 23 cities and covered components such as education, health, social services, economic infrastructure, communication, electricity, water and housing.
Among the three Metropolitan Assemblies perceived to be the largest in Ghana, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) emerged first.

The KMA emerged as the best-performing city with a score of 41.0 percent, followed closely by Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) with a score of 39.3 per cent.
The Tamale Metropolis (TaMA) trailed with a score of 34.2 per cent.

KMA ranked first in three out of the six components; Environmental Services (61.4 per cent), Economic Infrastructure (56.1per cent), and Economic Services (28.2per cent).
Comparably, the score of AMA, which ranked second, was driven up by three components: Environmental Services (57.6), Safety, Security, and Disaster Management (55.4), and Economic Infrastructure (52.2).

Scores on the remaining three components – Local Governance and Social Inclusion (28.7), Economic Services (24.1) and Social Services (17.9) – pulled it down.

The TaMA emerged as the lowest-ranked metropolis on the GCM, trailing KMA and AMA on four components – Environmental Services, Economic Infrastructure, Economic Services, and Safety, Security, and Disaster Management.

Even though TaMA outperformed KMA and AMA on the Local Governance and Social Inclusion (34.0) and Social Services (22.1) components, the differences in scores were insignificant.

Mr. Gilfred Asiamah, Research Analyst at the CDD-Ghana, speaking that ceremony said if one compared the quality of life of these Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, it was not appreciative.

“If the quality of life for the winning city is 41.0 percent, then there is more room for improvement for the city which emerged as winner.”

He said three of the bottom five districts – Savelugu, Gushiegu, and Sagnerigu, were in the Northern region, while the remaining two – Ejura -Sekyedumase and Ablekuma West, were in the Ashanti and Greater Accra regions, respectively.

Issues which had a positive remark were electricity, with reliability and affordability.
On water, Mr. Asiamah underscored the frequency, reliability, accessibility, and affordability of issues associated with water supply.

He said throughout the last three years of the project, it came out that accountability from power or duty bearers in cities was down.

On employment and skill training, education and health, the CDD-Ghana noticed that the indexes were low.

Mr. Asiamah stated that for Ghana to develop and strengthen in governance, it must prioritize opinions of people coupled with policies that were beneficial to everyone.

If several people were coming to the cities but were unable to provide quality education, good health, and social protection, which would serve as a cushion to fall in an event of disaster, then the quality of life in the city was down and dangerous, he stated.

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