LAND AND HOUSING
People’s Dialogue Ghana (PD ) is actively providing strategic and technical support to members of its allied group; Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor (GHAFUP) by strengthening their capacities towards effective and sustainable improvement in their communities. PD is working with the GHAFUP in enhancing the security and access to low cost housing for slum dwellers in the country.
The two organizations which have often stepped in to negotiate and advocate for the fundamental human rights of the urban poor (usually slum dwellers), are also working hard to defend as well as offer alternative land and housing arrangements for slum dwellers that have received eviction notices from the local and central authorities.
An example of such initiative/collaboration is the active participation of Amui Dzor Housing Cooperative members in the construction of UN-Habitat’s Slum Upgrading Facility (SUF); – a demonstration housing project which currently provides decent accommodation for 31 slum families at the heart of Ashaiman-Tulaku within the Tema Municipality of the Greater Accra Region. Apart from the dwelling units for the federation members, the facility also makes available rental stores and toilets for commercial purposes.
One important attribute of this demonstration project was that it has offered lessons on how the urban housing and sanitation could be improved through engagement and involvement of the slum dwellers. Members of the Amui Dzor Housing Cooperative who also belong to the GHAFUP benefitted from various skills in project management, supervision, architectural and designing, among others through the construction process. The process also created a space for constructive engagement and dialogue between federation members and private sector actors particularly from the formal financial institutions.
It is important to stress that federation members in the Ashaiman community saved GH¢1000.00 each towards the project. Federation members also sit on the Tema/Ashaiman Metropolitan Assembly Slum Upgrading Facility (TAMSUF) Board and negotiate the terms of mortgage loans.
In a related development, Tunteeya Saving Group, the first group of slum dwellers to be formed in Old Fadama within the Accra Metropolitan Assembly continues to receive constant threat of eviction from the city authorities. The leadership of this group in consultation with the PD and the GHAFUP constituted a Land Search Committee to work in collaboration with surveyors to identify and acquire four plots of land measuring 0.45 acres for a housing project.
The land has therefore been fenced waiting for actual construction work to be carried out with the anticipation that over 50 families will benefit from this housing project.