A four-day training organized by the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) through the Twin-Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project (TCSPP) for stakeholders in Integrated Urban Governance has ended in Takoradi.The training forms part of the capacity building for stakeholders in Sekondi-Takoradi on urban planning methods and principles. A similar training workshops were organized for all the Assembly Members, Spatial Planning Committee and Metropolitan Planning & Coordinating Unit of STMA last year. The Project Coordinator, Mr. Isaac Aidoo who gave insight of the programme indicated that, the training was to accord the citizenry the opportunity to plan together with technocrats and other development actors to put the Twin-City on a developmental pedestal. This he said, will ensure that at the end of the three-year TCSPP, the development that the Metropolis desires would be improved.
The Mayor of Sekondi-Takoradi, Hon. Abdul-Mumin Issah thanked the participants for making time to attend the programme. He mentioned that primary objective of the workshop is to enhance the capacity of participants to ensure collective support to the Assembly to translate the national urban policies into local development, urban and land-use management plans, with gender-inclusive and climate change perspectives. The mayor added that, out of 48 communities within the jurisdiction of STMA, only 20 have local plans that are fit for purpose. “This deficiency has resulted in unregulated and haphazard physical development, perennial flooding, waste management problems, missing links between housing and basic social facilities, neglect of gender-considerations in planning and inadequate utility service provision for the affected communities” he said. He finally noted that the workshop was designed to generate tangible contribution towards shaping the future sustainable and integrated urban landscape of Sekondi-Takoradi; through co-creation of monitoring and evaluation guiding
document for gender-inclusive urban planning. He urged the participants to make the most out of
the training, by asking questions and contributing to the wellness framework of the Metropolis.For his part, the National Director of Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA),
Mr. Kwadwo Yeboah took the participants through the 3-tier spatial planning model for integrated urban governance which are the spatial development framework, structural and local plans.
He pointed out that it is mandatory for all MMDAs to involve the citizenry in all activities adding that, collaborations in land use and planning among all stakeholders is critical for
He enumerated some activities and services of MMDAs that do not entirely follow the legally set-out processes such as the permitting of outdoor advertising space, which according to him falls under the mandate of Spatial Planning Committee but not third-parties engaged by the Assembly. He therefore implored on the management of STMA to ensure that the right processes for development permits are respected. He again urged the Assembly to vigorously enforce the issuance and acquisition of habitation certificate which is issued to developers after completion and before habitation of any building or property. This he explains, allows the Spatial Planning Committee to ascertain whether all the recommendations at the permitting stage were adhered to by the developer in order to minimize disasters.
Mr. Yeboah also revealed that no individual or groups had the mandate to change the status of a public space use adding that such could only be done through parliamentary approval. The four-day training took participants through decentralization and metropolitan governance, managing municipalities as a business, managing waste in Sekondi-Takoradi, urban economic development, urban social change and community engagement and local planning among others. It drew over five hundred participants which included youth groups, reps of people with disability, traditional leaders, assembly members, unit committee members, journalists, spatial planning committee and metropolitan planning & coordinating unit members. The training was facilitated by resource persons from the Institute of Local Government Studies.