Perceptions of urban land use and degradation of water bodies in Kumasi, Ghana

Laundry in Kumasi

The availability of freshwater is vital not only for the survival of the human race, but also the survival of the ecosystems upon which humans depend for a number of services. However, with rapid urbanization and associated land uses there is increasing degradation of water bodies, especially in the developing world. In sub-Saharan African cities, it is well known from the literature that the lack of appropriate land use regulations, low compliance to existing regulations, and the lack of enforcement are enhancing degradation of water bodies. However, little is known about how urban residents perceive land use and water body degradation.

Relying on data collected through semi-structured interviews and transect walks, this study investigates perceptions and knowledge of land use and water body degradation in a poor community and an affluent community in Kumasi, Ghana. The study demonstrates that both communities have a good knowledge on land use and water degradation, but that of the affluent community is richer than the poor community. However, in both communities there is limited knowledge on how estate developments exert impacts on water bodies. The study recommends that education and stakeholder participation (community involvement) should constitute the key components of any environmental regulations and policies aimed at protecting urban water bodies.

Source: Habitat International via ScienceDirect (subscription required)

Photo Credit: Chad Skeers


Publication Type Journal Article
Publisher Habitat International (ScienceDirect)
Year 2015
Author(s) Michael Eduful, David Shively
Other Numbers Volume 50, December 2015, Pages 206–213.
DOI 10.1016/j.habitatint.2015.08.034
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