Environmental implication of urban land development: a case study of waterlogged areas in Kumasi (Aboabo and Anloga)

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Based on field research from two settlements, namely Aboabo and Anloga, with identical environmental problems ranging from population density, nature of housing and levels of education in the Kumasi Metropolis, the study investigates environmental implication of Urban Land development amidst increase in population and development on the nature reserves in the Kumasi metropolis. It employs personal observation; oral interviews the use of questionnaire and reference from project works of some past students to examine the environmental implication of such changes on the communities, and the city as a whole. In recent years the attempt by the state to increase areas of land and aquatic resource into protected areas by imposing restrictions on the use of nature reserves by the local inhabitants, apart from causing poverty and social conflicts, also causes environmental degradation. The study examines the extent to which the nature reserves are managed by the Metropolitan Authorities in Ghana in general and in Kumasi in particular. It also takes a critical look at environmental hygiene problems, notably garbage handling along our nature reserves, particularly the waterlogged areas adjacent to the Aboabo and Sisal streams. The method of random sampling was used to collect data and the data was analysed by the use of percentages and proportions. It is found that these areas are usually occupied by the marginal sector squatter settlers who are the poorest of the poor; old labourers, divorced wives, handicapped persons, beggars and rag pickers who have little sources of income. They eat barely one meal a day. Such people need special care through the provision of shelter, health care and economic support. It is necessary for policy makers to recognize that squatter settlers will continue to remain as long as rural-urban caring differentials persist in the country. This leads to the continuous disobedience of law, and uncontrolled Urban growth resulting in conflicts in Urban land use. The author therefore made some suggestions which can help find lasting solutions to the numerous problems.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for Master of Science degree in Environmental Resources Management, 2000