PRESS RELEASE BY ACCRA METROPOLITAN ASSEMBLY IN RESPECT OF THE ON-GOING STREET NAMING AND HOUSE NUMBERING EXERCISE
PRESS RELEASE BY ACCRA METROPOLITAN ASSEMBLY
IN RESPECT OF THE ON-GOING STREET NAMING AND HOUSE NUMBERING EXERCISE
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) with assistance from the World Bank through the Ghana Land Administration Project Phase Two (LAP II) is implementing Street Naming and Property Addressing (SNPA) System in all the ten (10) Sub-Metropolitan Districts (Ablekuma Central, Ablekuma North, Ablekuma South, Ashiedu Keteke, Ayawaso Central, Ayawaso East, Ayawaso West, Okaikoi North, Okaikoi South and Osu Klotey).
It should be noted that, the AMA efforts of implementing the SNPA exercise is guided by a policy framework with operational guidelines developed by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), after extensive stakeholder consultations across the country. The Policy was approved by Cabinet in 2011, and duly launched by President of the Republic of Ghana His Excellency John Dramani Mahama in Kumasi in April 2012 when he was the Vice President. It is important to note that, the policy document prescribes the general parameters for the implementation of the SNPA exercise whilst the guidelines outline the processes involved in implementing the system.
It is worth noting that, the implementation of the SNPA system or the Street Addressing System is a process of identifying all accesses within a community or area and numbering the properties/parcels along them. It however goes beyond this simplistic description to include considerable amount of mapping of other geographical features. The word street is also used as a generic term in addressing, even though it has a particular description in the definition of accesses.
IMPLEMENTATION OF STREET ADDRESSING SYSTEM (SAS)
There have been many efforts to implement street naming and house numbering in Accra over the years but the implementation has not been able to keep pace with the rapid urbanization of the Metropolis. Among these exercises are the pilots carried out in areas such as Kokomlemle, East Legon, Niiman (Nima) and Dzorwulu.
In 2013, based on the directive from His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana, AMA started a comprehensive exercise of naming all streets/accesses and numbering the properties along them for both formal and informal communities. It must be noted that the execution of the SNPA exercise is part of the local land use plans for communities and therefore the management of the implementation is under the auspices of the METROPOLITAN TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING DEPARTMENT (Metro-TCPD).
Based on the guidelines, the following access types and suffixes which relate more to urban setting are being used to designate streets in the metropolis: Street (ST.); Road (RD.), High Street (HST), High Way (HWy), Avenue (AVE.), Close (CL.), Crescent (CR.), Loop (LP.), Lane (LN.), Link (LK.), Drive (DR.) etc.
It is important to note that, the national operational guidelines urge the MMDAs not to duplicate street names in their areas of jurisdiction to make it easier for public use. This very section happened to be a major reason why most of the names have changed in the metropolis. Since the system can’t accept duplications, it became necessary for duplicated names to be renamed. The guidelines also recommend we uphold the history and culture of the indigenous people. Hence, concepts like Food, Dance, and Festival of the Ga Tradition Area were used to name some of the street like KPANLOGO ROAD, ABOBOI ROAD, etc.
SETTING UP THE STREET ADDRESSING TEAM AS PER THE GUIDELINES
As part of implementing the SNPA exercise, AMA set-up a Street Naming Steering Committee to provide oversight responsibility as per the requirements of the policy and guidelines. The Committee is chaired by Nii Doodu Nsaki, Acting President of the Ga Traditional Council and deputized by Architect Henry Yartey, a technocrat and a Chief; as a means of ensuring that the views of the traditional authorities are duly reflected. There are other members from various professional backgrounds including representatives from Metro Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD), Metro Planning Department, Metro Budget Department, Metro Finance Department, Land Valuation Division (LVD), Survey and Mapping Department (SMD), Metro Works Department, Metro Public Relations, District Statistical Office, Traditional Authorities, Metro Roads, Hon. Assembly Members who provide the needed advice. The Committee has been at the forefront of endorsing names assigned to streets by traditional authorities, opinion leaders and the public.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND AWARENESS CREATION
To promote public participation in the on-going exercise, a number of consultations and exhibitions were carried out which served as a good basis for public feedback on the names applied.
It is informative to note that over forty (40) consultative meetings as well as twenty (20) technical committee meetings have been held so far. In addition, community validation forums were held for two weeks to display the community maps with the proposed street names in five different strategic areas in each of the ten Sub-metropolitan Districts. Two (2) City-wide validation forums were held at the Accra International Conference Centre to exhibit the proposed names to the general public. In order to further enrich the outlook and capacity of the stakeholders and get their buy-in, a number of fliers, banners, print media, radio and van announcements were also made.
These participatory processes helped the AMA to receive critical inputs and feedbacks from the general public about the street naming and property addressing exercise. The events were highly patronised by the general public and a range of groups including the state and non-state actors. Notably amongst them were the Professional Bodies, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s), Private Sector Organizations, NGO’s, CBO’s, Religious Organizations, Traditional Authorities, Opinion Leaders, Assembly Members, Market Women, School Children, GPRTU, PROTOA and other stakeholders.
With the help of the good people of Accra and the adoption of the multi-stakeholder processes approach, AMA has been able to assign names to 4,280 streets/accesses in the metropolis.
INSTALLATION OF STREET SIGNAGES
The current phase of the SNPA exercise, involve installation of name signage (6,780 poles and 12,952 plates) at street intersections in the metropolis. The signage contains the name of the access and the description of the access type. The access types include forms related to shape, function, aesthetics and general use. AMA acknowledges that in some instances the public may have concerns and there is provision to seek redress.
Implementation of the signage installation is being conducted on a Sub-Metropolitan District Councils. The public should note that signage installation is the most expensive aspect of the exercise and requires that the general public should contribute to safeguarding the installations in their communities. It should be noted that, the next phase of the project would involve the installation of property number plates on all houses.
CONCERNS FROM THE GENERAL PUBLIC
It is significant to note that since the exercise started, petitions have been received from both the print and electronic media as well as the public, and there are plans to address them. Some of the petitions relate to the name assigned whilst others are also in relation to the street type and spelling mistakes. Much as AMA agrees with a considerable number of the petitions, it should be noted that some of the access type descriptions have been found not to conform to the generally accepted definitions. As a result, efforts are underway to where needed, address some of these issues.
Unfortunately, recent happenings and reports received, point to destruction of some signage. These include vehicles running into them and running off, other instances involve mob action to uproot the signage, defacing name plates and taking off the arms of the signage. Such an act by the public has grave consequences for the larger communities in which these acts are perpetrated since they stand to lose the opportunity of receiving the needed assistance in times of emergencies such as fire outbreak and robbery. It should be noted that the street signages installed in the various communities are public properties and vandalization of it constitutes a criminal offense.
With the process oriented nature of the exercise, the Assembly acknowledges that there will be the need to perfect the system with time and therefore urges the public not to take the laws into their own hands by destroying the signages.
Finally, the SNPA system being set-up involves establishing a spatial database relevant to the operations of other institutions such as the Ambulance Service, Ghana Fire Service and Ghana Police Service in times of emergency. AMA is developing the needed infrastructure to make the emergency use possible. The spatial database will have a directory of street names and associated property/parcel numbers with their unique identifiers. These will be updated regularly and therefore AMA could be depended on by organisations for all their address platform data needs once the system is fully established. AMA is also working on setting up a fiscal database to provide attribute data on properties/parcels for its own operations and the relevance of such a database to other government institutions and the private sector cannot be underestimated.
The Chief Executive Officer and Management of AMA sincerely thank the general public for the massive support and feedback received to date, which are already contributing to refining and enriching the system and anticipates that the cooperation will continue to enable us all build the type of city we all love to live in .
All concerns are to be reported to the:
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
METROPOLITAN DIRECTOR OF TOWN PLANNING