Hajia Alima Mahama, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to adopt innovative approaches to the management of waste in the cities and towns.

She urged the assemblies to learn best practices of urban management from each other and explore new technological solutions from elsewhere for implementation in their various communities.

This was in a speech read on behalf of the Minister in Accra at a durbar to commemorate this year’s World Cities Day on the theme: “Changing the World: Innovations and Better Life for Future Generations”.

Hajia Mahama said the theme was timely because public discourse needed to focus on finding innovative ways in the management of cities and towns through robust and technological know-how mechanisms.

She said the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and with support from the Swiss Government was implementing the Ghana Urban Mobility and Accessibility Project to find innovative ways of easing traffic congestion and improve mobility in the cities.

“The Ministry in partnership with the Office of the Vice President and other stakeholders are implementing the street naming and property addressing system to ensure full digitization of our cities and towns”, she added.

She said as the country commemorated the day, it was imperative for Ghanaians to resolve to give the cities an identity to serve as drivers and incubators of innovation, industry, technology and creativity that would enhance social development.

According to the Ghana National Population and Housing Census, Ghana was experiencing rapid urbanization and the most affected region was the Greater Accra with a population of over four million.

Statistics revealed that Accra was vulnerable and seriously exposed to recurrent shocks and stresses including hazards like storms, rise in sea level, and flooding.

Hajia Mahama said Parliament approved the Greater Accra Resilient and Intergrated Development Project, a World Bank credit facility of $200 million to address issues of flooding and slums upgrading in some selected communities in the country.

The Deputy Minister inaugurated the Coalition of Students in Urban Advocacy and Research from the University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology aimed at finding innovative solutions to urban challenges.

Mr Patrick Boamah, the Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources expressed concern about the activities of Ghanaians on the environment including the indiscriminate disposal of refuse, which had immensely contributed to disasters in the country.

He urged the assemblies to adhere to sanitation laws by punishing anyone found culpable to serve as deterrent to others.

Madam Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme, said countries urgently needed new ideas to help transform the cities and towns to ensure a better future for the generations.

She stated that cities accounted for two thirds of global energy demand and were responsible for three quarters of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Madam Sharif urged countries to use innovation ways to increase energy efficiency through natural ventilation, thermal heating and solar cooling.

The World Cities Day is observed on October 31, to create a platform for advocates, policy makers, academics, and government to discuss strategies for sustainable urban development.

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