|UPGRADING OF LOW INCOME SETTLEMENTS
COUNTRY ASSESSMENT REPORT
The World Bank
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
ADRP Accra District Rehabilitation Project
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. PROBLEMS AND CONTEXT
2. CURRENT SITUATION
3. POLICY CONTEXT AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK
4. UPGRADING PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
5. CASE STUDY
6. LESSONS LEARNED
7. CHALLENGES AND PROPOSED NEXT STEPS
Background to Study
The Africa: Regional Urban Upgrading Initiative, financed in part by a grant from the Norwegian Trust Fund, is examining and selectively supporting urban upgrading programs in Sub-Saharan Africa through a variety of interventions. One component of the initiative focuses on distilling lessons from three decades of urban development and upgrading programs in the region. Specifically, the objective of this component is to assess what worked and what did not work in previous programs for upgrading low-income settlements in Africa, and to identify ways in which interventions aimed at delivering services to the poor can be better designed and targeted.
As a first step, rapid assessment reports were commissioned for five Anglophone countries (Ghana, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia) and five Francophone countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote dIvoire, Mali and Senegal). Each of the ten Country Assessment Reports provides an overview of the history of upgrading programs and policies in a given country and presents project or community specific case studies to identify lessons learned. Taken together, these ten reports offer insight into the nature and diversity of upgrading approaches in Africa and highlight some of the challenges in and lessons learned about delivering services to the poor.
This paper is one of a series of ten country assessment reports. The study was managed by Sumila Gulyani and Sylvie Debomy, under the direction of Alan Carroll, Catherine Farvacque-Vitkovic, Jeffrey Racki (Sector Manager, AFTU1) and Letitia Obeng (Sector Manager, AFTU2). Funding was provided by the Norwegian Trust Fund for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (NTF-ESSD) and the Africa Technical Department (AFT). Alicia Casalis and Chris Banes conducted the field work for the five Francophone and five Anglophone countries, respectively, and also prepared the draft reports for each of their five countries. Genevieve Connors provided extensive comments and was responsible for restructuring and finalizing the reports. Nine of the reports were edited by Lisa Van Wagner and the Zambia report was edited by Nita Congress.
Located in West Africa, Ghana is a relatively small country bordered in the north and northwest by Burkina Faso, in the east by Togo and in the west by Ivory Coast. The Gulf of Guinea lies to the south. The area is approximately 238,500 square kilometers and the population is approximately 18 million giving an overall population density of 75 persons per square kilometer. Ghana is a lowland country except for a range of hills on its eastern border. Several rivers and streams cross the sandy coastal plain. The Volta River in the east was dammed with the Akosombo Dam, forming one of the largest lakes in the world. The hydroelectric scheme at the dam generates much of Ghanas electricity. The climate is tropical with annual rainfall ranging from about 1,000 mm in the north to 2000 mm in the south. The harmattan, a dry desert wind, blows from December to March.
Ghana is a republic and is a member of the West African economic grouping of countries (ECOWAS). The economy is largely based on agriculture. Ghana was once the worlds largest producer of cacao. Mining, logging, fishing and light industry are also key industries. The Gross National Product per capita is about US$400.
Following independence from Britain in 1957, the economy of Ghana weakened, resulting in a lack of investment in the provision of new and maintenance of existing infrastructure. This led to a situation of extremely poor municipal infrastructure and urban services throughout the country. In 1992, a new constitution saw the return of the country to democratic rule and multi-party elections were held in 1996 and again in 2000. With the adoption of more market-oriented policies and support of the international community, Ghanas economy and infrastructure have, in recent years, begun to improve.
As with many African countries in the region Ghana is rapidly urbanizing. In 1997, about 6.7 million people, an estimated 37 percent of the total population, lived in urban areas. It is estimated that some 1.9 million urban residents live below the poverty line.
Almost one million urban dwellers in Ghanas three main cities reside in communities covering some 3,000 hectares. To upgrade basic infrastructure in these areas would require an investment of approximately US$75 million at todays costs. Investment required would equate to about US$80 per capita for the current population.
Typical problems in Ghana's urban areas include:
2.1 Housing Characteristics and Location
Accra developed inland from the Gulf of Guinea and the old coastal settlements close to downtown Accra (e.g., Jamestown) are now extremely dense (around 1,000 person/ha). There are many substantial buildings in such areas, some of historical merit, but infrastructure and general housing and environmental conditions are generally poor. Migrants have tended to settle in newer, poorer areas often close to watercourses, prone to flooding and with poor sanitation. Accra does not have a sewerage system (other than a small system serving a few commercial properties in the city) and thus all areas rely on on-plot or communal facilities. Communal pit latrine facilities are common in Accra and other cities and the bucket or pan system of human waste disposal has not yet been eliminated
A study carried out in the early 1990s identified 21 infrastructuredeficient low-income communities in Accra (Annex B item 9).
2.2 Profile of Low-Income Settlement Residents
It is estimated that at least 1.5 million urban dwellers in Ghana can be classified as poor. They tend to cluster in identifiable areas of Ghanas major cities. To date, these areas have developed through a mix of formal development and traditional development (e.g., land allocated by local chiefs). The majority of the urban poor lives in these areas and pays rent to other legal householders, often for a room, in areas with poor housing stock and few urban services. Compound style living is also common in many of these areas sometimes with up to 20 families living in one or two rooms and sharing toilet facilities.
About one third of the low-income population of Accra lacks access to piped water and purchases water from vendors, according to a 1991 household survey. These households pay about four times as much for water as households with access to metered or unmetered piped water supplied by the Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation (GWSC). The cost of purchasing water from vendors can come to 10 percent of the monthly income of a low-income household. This, together with the irregularity of water supplies and low levels of health education, constrains the amount of daily water use by the urban poor for drinking, cooking and hygiene.
A 1993 study found that of the 16 significant diseases in Accra, 13 are linked to poor housing and ventilation, an unsanitary environment, contaminated drinking water, poor drainage and lack of facilities for waste disposal. The higher occurrence of disease in low-income areas means greater loss in work days and a higher outlay of expenditure for medical attention for the poor than for those living in better physical environments.
PNDC Law No. 207 (1988) initiated a shift in the structure of governmental authority whereby the central government devolved to local government Assemblies the responsibility for policy formulation, planning, and implementation with respect to, among other things: community development, town planning, public works, roads and streets, markets, sanitation, and motor parks. This shift of authority occurred in two directions: vertically from 22 central government ministerial departments to District Assemblies; and horizontally, at the local government level, from Government of Ghana (GOG) staff performing executive functions to members of District Assemblies performing legislative functions. Two thirds of the members of each District Assembly are elected.
The Local Government Act of 1993, which replaced Law 207, gives District Assemblies the power to exercise political and administrative authority in the District (and) provide guidance, give direction to, and supervise all other administrative authorities in the District (Article 10). The 1993 Act does not mention specific sectoral functions of local Assemblies; but it devolves to them responsibility for the overall development of the District, the development of basic infrastructure, the provision of municipal works and services, and the management of human settlements and the environment, among other activities. The 1993 Act also refines the structure of local governments by distinguishing among three different types: Metropolitan Assemblies (requiring at least 250,000 population); Municipal Assemblies (requiring at least 95,000 population); and District Assemblies (which must have at least 75,000 people within their boundaries).
3.2 Institutional Framework
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) has the mandate to:
In addition, in the absence of actual implementation of composite budgeting, the MLGRD serves as an interlocutor between local governments and international donor agencies. To assist in the preparation and implementation of donor-supported projects, a Local Government Project Support Unit (LGPSU) was formed in the MLGRD. The Ministry of Works and Housing is responsible for implementing the first generation of World Bank supported urban projects but despite being nominally responsible for housing policy it in fact does very little in this field.
The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are autonomous local governments with legislative and executive powers. They are empowered to prepare and approve their annual budgets, to raise revenues from taxes and fees, to borrow funds, to acquire land, and to provide basic services and local infrastructure. A Letter of Local Government Development Policy prepared by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development focused on two key points. First, Local Governments should eventually be able to employ their own staff who are accountable to them and, second, the Assemblies should have discretion in the selection of projects to be financed with revenues of the District Assemblies Common Fund. The Assemblies are responsible for local planning, development control, provision of local roads, drainage and solid waste management plus other environmental health functions.
Upgrading projects are essentially about the provision of improved infrastructure (in some countries associated sub-components such as micro-credit schemes are also included), rather than the provisions of housing (i.e., top structures), and thus Assemblies have a particular interest in upgrading policy. The Ghana Water Supply Company (GWSC) is responsible for water supply, the Ghana Electricity Supply Corporation (ECG) for electricity supply and street lighting, and the Department of Urban Roads (DUR), through its Urban Roads Units, for urban roads. Arterial roads are the responsibility of the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA).
4.1 Summary of Policy
Ghana has no stated upgrading policy but the government has given tacit approval to the upgrading of predominantly low-income urban communities by including upgrading components in various urban development projects implemented since the mid-1980s. Both central and local governments have recognized the benefits of the upgrading approach. Currently, the Government and the World Bank are considering a Greater Accra Project for which the central focus would be the upgrading of infrastructure deficient low-income communities.
4.2 Overview of Initiatives
Evolution of upgrading in Ghana, 1985-1996
In 1985, the World Bank began to support the Government of Ghana, through the Technical Services Center of the Ministry of Works and Housing, with a pilot infrastructure upgrading project in the East Maamobi community of Accra, under the Accra District Rehabilitation Project (ADRP). This first exercise to test the integrated multi-sector approach to infrastructure provision in Ghanas urban poor communities improved the lives of over 19,000 people living in an area of 30 hectares at a somewhat high cost of approximately US$80 per capita or approximately US$47,500 per hectare. Through the provision of basic infrastructure, such as roads, footpaths and drainage, the communities became accessible and the incidence of flooding was reduced. Additional water supply points and communal pit latrines improved the sanitation and contributed to a healthier environment in the communities. Government reaction following scheme completion was favorable, and further schemes were planned.
The subsequent initiatives were carried out between 1988 and 1996 in single communities in Accra under the Priority Works Project (PWP) (see 4.7) and the Urban 2 Project (see 4.7), namely in Ashaiman (70,000 people in 109 ha) in Tema; West Nima (36,000 people in 54 ha) in Accra; Ward E (32,000 in 59 ha) in Tamale; and Suame Magazine (70,000 people in 142 ha) in Kumasi. Kumasi's program was different from the other upgrading schemes as it improved an informal commercial area occupied largely by motor fitters and mechanics. To implement the program, an integrated multi-sectoral approach was used. The projects had an immediate and visible impact.
The Urban Environmental Sanitation Project (UESP), 1997
The Urban Environmental Sanitation Project (UESP), which commenced in 1997, supported primary drainage, citywide sanitation and solid waste management components, and launched a new generation of community infrastructure upgrading initiatives in Ghana. The Community Infrastructure Upgrading Project (CIUP) component of the UESP included the concept of cost-per-hectare limits and functional standards to keep a check of costs while still providing an adequate level of upgrading. The project also embraced community participation and sustainable maintenance arrangements focusing on a bottom-up approach involving the beneficiary communities. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development was the responsible parent ministry and, most importantly, for the first time in a World Bank supported project in Ghana, UESP gave local governments the responsibility for managing the implementation process. Another innovation was that it required local governments to contribute 10 percent of the capital costs, thereby promoting greater interest and ownership of the schemes as well as making them more concerned with actual costs.
4.3 Objectives and Approach
The objectives of the upgrading components in Ghana to date have been to increase the health, general well-being and productivity of low-income communities by providing basic infrastructure and improving municipal services. The first generation of projects in 1985-96 were very much top down initiatives designed and fully funded by central government. The recent UESP project which included upgrading adopted a much more participatory approach. The planning and design process (see Section 5.0) involved the respective communities and identified, through consultations with beneficiaries, works to be done within a broad menu of options. Facilities and Management Plans were prepared and signed off on by community management committees.
There have been a number of upgrading initiatives in Ghana over the past 15 years. All have followed the basic community wide multi-sectoral (or integrated) infrastructure typology without cost recovery (see Annex D). The approach has been to upgrade the community-wide engineering infrastructure to improve efficiency to and within the areas being upgraded. This encourages residents to help themselves and to invest in the housing stock. It also stimulates local economic development, which, in turn, assists in the alleviation of poverty and improves the efficiency of the city generally.
The upgrading projects have not addressed social infrastructure facilities (e.g., schools, health clinics), security of tenure, direct cost recovery or micro-credit schemes. The upgrading efforts have been subsidized by central government with, in the case of UESP, additional contributions from local government. The UESP, however, strove to involve communities throughout the identification, planning, design and implementation process much more so than in earlier projects. The seven settlements selected in the three cities were chosen because they have the most acute infrastructure, environmental and health problems, as well as specific settlement dwellers who were willing to commit, participate and contribute to the upgrading proposals and community structure.
4.4 Land Ownership and Administration
Land ownership and administration is complex in Ghana with the formal (modern) system attempting to function in tandem with the traditional system whereby local chiefs allocate land. Although the latter is more the accepted practice in rural areas, it also applies in urban areas particularly the growing peri-urban areas. Major impediments to efficient planning and the functioning of a land and housing market include the institutional arrangements between a number of different agencies, access to land, mapping, land management, titling, conveyancing and deeds registration. The Urban 2 Project attempted to address some of the issues by improving mapping capabilities as well as land titling and administration while acknowledging that this required a long-term vision. The objective of the Land Administration Pilot Project was to establish a system for issuing new land titles in accordance with the Land Title Registration Law of 1986. Some positive results have emerged in that major obstacles have been identified and regular inter-agency meetings to improve coordination have been introduced. However, much remains to be done. The UESP proposed to continue these modest efforts by strengthening field operations and records management of the Land Title Registry and by establishing a small unit in the Survey Department for the production of registry maps and registry plans employing digital methods.
However, the critical allocation problem in urban areas has not been addressed and this is exacerbating weak planning and development controls and leading to unchecked urban sprawl. Successive upgrading projects have not attempted to address land tenure issues and bring land allocation and plot sales into the cost recovery equation. Land issues are such that they need to be addressed at a wider national and sub-national level not through upgrading projects.
Because of the legal complexities, a decision was taken to move forward with infrastructure upgrading acknowledging that land administration and management issues need to be resolved at the national level and that this would take a long time.
4.5 Design Principles and Guidelines for Upgrading
Early upgrading projects attempted to provide infrastructure to appropriate standards in order to keep costs down. They also took a multi-sectoral approach with regard to carrying out of the works, bundling all public works into one major contract for the predominantly network infrastructure. This approach also has the advantage of reducing costs and avoiding coordination problems as it places this in the hands of the contractors. However the new generation of upgrading projects, launched with the UESP, sought to extend and improve on earlier upgrading efforts. While keeping to appropriate functional standards, these projects introduced the concept of cost-per-hectare limits to keep check on costs while still providing an adequate level of service (see section 5.0). They also embraced more current practice with regard to community participation.
4.6 Community Participation
In 1996, the proposed UESP acknowledged more current thinking with regard to community participation. Since then, project communities have been involved at key stages in deciding their priorities, within project limits, and they were parties to the Facilities and Management Plans produced for each community in conjunction with the planning and design consultants. Minimal resettlement was a design objective but where some houses required removal to enable infrastructure to be provided, resettlement and compensation arrangements were discussed with and approved by the communities.
4.7 Financial Aspects
The costs and coverage for the first generation of upgrading schemes compared with the most recent (UESP) are shown in the following table. The UESP included cost per hectare limits as a design parameter and this is reflected in the costs and the area able to be upgraded within a given budget.
4.8 Overview of Implementation Arrangements
Early projects were essentially central government projects and were planned, designed and managed by the Technical Services Center of the Ministry of Works and Housing with consulting assistance. The City and Municipal Councils of the time were not involved. Introduction of the decentralization policy and the strengthening of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the establishment of its Local Government Project Support Unit changed this. Overall project management for upgrading under UESP was vested in the MLGRD but with day-to-day management carried out by the respective Assembly through its small project units established for the task. Under UESP, each Assembly was responsible for procurement and management of the upgrading works, supported by local consultants (see Figure 1).
In all projects, works have been packaged together for efficiency gains, in line with the multi-sectoral approach. Local contractors have been engaged to carry out the works. This has been an important factor as local contractors have a better understanding of a communitys needs and circumstances. Usually, one large contract is packaged for the network infrastructure although minor stand-alone works have been tendered separately and small contractors are encouraged to participate in the bidding.
Figure 1 Institutional Linkages for Upgrading Schemes (UESP)
4.9 Operation and Maintenance
In the early projects, little attention was given to the future operation and maintenance (O&M) requirements on the assumption that this would be taken care of by the responsible agencies. In reality, little funding is available for operation and maintenance for trunk infrastructure let alone the secondary and tertiary infrastructure provided under the upgrading projects.
New initiatives to try to ensure better operation and maintenance in the future were agreed under the UESP. The funding and execution of simple O&M activities (e.g. tertiary drain maintenance) could be carried out by communities themselves. Private contractors could undertake other O&M. The Management Committees in each community were established to ensure that the responsible authorities carried out necessary periodic maintenance and that the Committees could organize routine and emergency maintenance of tertiary infrastructure directly.
Operation and maintenance costs were to be covered by the respective communities through user charges, property taxes and other contributions that might be raised from community efforts. For water supply and street lighting, the responsible utility agencies (GWSC and ECG respectively), were to operate and maintain the systems after taking them over following the end of their defects liability periods, with funding from existing tariff revenues. It was envisaged that the community standpipes would be franchised to private operators or community groups that would be responsible for standpipe operation, sale of water, and payment of the GWSC water bill. Street lighting was to be maintained by private contractors engaged by ECG as was now the norm.
For roads and drainage, major periodic maintenance (i.e., resurfacing and major structural repairs) was to be carried out by the urban roads units in the respective Assemblies. However, routine maintenance of roads and drains could be organized within the communities and carried out by the communities themselves or small contractors organized by the respective sub-metropolitan structures with budgets channeled through the respective Assemblies. The respective Assemblies agreed to allocate such sums each year to the respective sub-metropolitan structures for routine maintenance of roads and drains for the beneficiary communities commencing in Year 3 of the project.
Community Infrastructure Upgrading Project (CIUP) of the UESP
Improving the living conditions of under-serviced communities in Ghanas cities has involved the provision and/or improvement of basic municipal infrastructure and services that are: (i) planned and designed by local consultants to functional least cost standards; (ii) constructed by local contractors; and (iii) funded by central government with some assistance from the local governments in question. The project has had efficiency gains in the management of the construction process by using local consultants and established local contractors who become an important interface with the communities during implementation and who often sub-contract to small-scale contractors or community groups. Once completed, the upgraded infrastructure has been taken over by the responsible authorities for operations and maintenance.
The UESP was thus kept as simple as possible for ease of design and implementation. Consequently, it has been completed close to planned time schedules, within estimated costs, and to good standards of workmanship. Investment in housing stock and small business by the people themselves is already occurring in the upgraded communities demonstrating a positive effect of upgrading.
Seven communities in three cities, Accra, Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi, were upgraded as part of the Upgrading Component of the UESP. The infrastructure provided in the upgrading schemes is predominantly network infrastructure and thus is area-sensitive rather than population or density- sensitive. Experience has shown that planning to per hectare costs limits is more meaningful than planning to per capita limits.
The program included the following improvements:
The project followed ten basic principles that were adopted and used throughout the planning and design process. Approximately 265,000 people, residing in about 530 hectares, benefited from the UESP upgrade.
The Ten Basic Principles of the Community Improvement Upgrading Project are:
The Planning and Design Process
The Initial Survey Stage involved the identification of focus groups in each community, household surveys, preparation of a database, and group stakeholder discussions leading to agreement on general principles and scope of the program.
Summary Data and Costs - Plan
In total, the project costs were estimated at US$11.6 million. The Assemblies contributed 10 percent of the total costs, the GOG 13 percent, while the IDA loan covered 77 percent.
Although the UESP is considered successful by most beneficiaries, government officials, donor officials and the public at large, there are two major issues that need to be addressed in the future in subsequent upgrading projects and other parallel initiatives.
The success of the programs to date has led the Government of Ghana and the World Bank to consider the preparation of an Urban Upgrading Project for the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area, which could set the stage for a national upgrading program.
The upgrading schemes in Ghana have resulted in a dramatic improvement in environmental and sanitation conditions in the communities:
The benefits of upgrading extend beyond the specific areas upgraded. For example, people from the areas around Maamobi use the communal toilets, waste containers and running water facilities in the upgraded areas. Project staff believe that the number of people from outside the project area who also benefit from the projects impact amounts to a further 10 percent.
The impact of upgrading in Kumasi has been of a different nature. Suame Magazine, the Mechanicsville of Ghana, is a densely populated area where informal mechanics and motor fitters set up shop. The winding streets were dusty and filled with holes, there was no running water or proper sanitation facilities, and flooding was a regular problem. Yet, this area housed about 60,000 workers who worked day in and day out in the dirt and squalor providing much needed automotive services to Kumasi and its surrounding areas. The upgrading of Suame Magazine has improved tremendously the sanitary conditions of the works, and given a huge boost to business as any car or truck can now navigate the paved roads and the mechanics can now rely on electricity to operate heavy-duty equipment. As a result of the upgrading, the area draws workers from other parts of the country in search of work or seeking to learn an automotive trade.
The impact of the upgrading schemes in Ghana has been such that they have fostered political support, with residents not only praising these schemes to local politicians but also asking why more could not be done. The government, in turn, has recognized that the upgrading approach is a vital way to addressing the many problems of Ghanas poor urban communities in a cost effective manner within a reasonable timeframe.
6.3 Lessons Learned
Specific lessons learned from upgrading schemes carried out in Ghana to date are summarized below.
It is estimated that US$100 million at todays costs could substantially address basic tertiary infrastructure requirements in Ghanas poor urban communities. Taking into account implementation capacity considerations this could be achieved within 15-20 years. However the need to provide for off-site infrastructure (primary and secondary) requirements to serve existing communities as well as to address urban growth must also be considered.
Given the success of the upgrading projects to date, the next urban project agreed upon by the Government of Ghana and the World Bank should focus on upgrading infrastructure in the majority of infrastructure-deficient poor communities in greater Accra together with the critical primary infrastructure necessary to serve it. This new Urban Upgrading Project could lead to a national upgrading program covering all cities and towns in Ghana.
In addition to the upgrading of low-income communities in the established areas of Ghanas cities and towns, a major challenge facing Ghanas central and local government officials, traditional leaders and communities will be how to deal with the growing peri-urban settlements. These areas, which house many very high-income as well as low-income residents, are largely unserviced but contribute little to the provision and upkeep of either basic lifeline services or to citywide facilities. Responsibility for these areas remains weak and unclear.