USA: The United State Agency for International Development (USAID) under its local governance and decentralisation programme (LOGODEP) provided IT equipments, worth USD 240,000, to five districts in the Western region of Ghana. The IT equipments included plotters, invertors, state of the art laptop and desktop computers with accessories, scanners, printers and GPS equipment as well as software.
Speaking to Ghana News Agency, Henry Seyram Boachie, Communication Officer, LOGODEP, said that the USAID has also invested USD 15,344 in aerial photographs for these districts to help them spatially identify the locations of various structures within their respective areas.
Boachie further added that the 5 districts (Sefwi Wiawso, Prestea Huni Valley, Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai, Tarkwa Nsuaem and Shama) are also benefiting from IT equipment, software and training support to aid in better planning of their towns and communities.
Boachie noted USAID’s USD 10 million LOGODEP had three main focal areas, namely expanding public participation in local governance, increasing internally generated funds of targeted local districts and achieving comprehensive development planning for local districts.
He stated staffs from the Town and Country Planning Departments (TCPD) of the selected districts were also being trained in a four-module course to assist them become familiar with the use of the equipment and software for spatial planning.
“Trainees are getting practical exposure to use GIS to, among other things, operate handheld GPS to geo-reference scanned maps, name streets, and assign unique identification and issue development permits for specific parcels of land.”
Boachie observed that they would also be taught to use mapmakers, which is the nationally accepted software for spatial planning, and that the data generated in planning towns and cities in the 5 districts will complement Ghana’s quest to build a national database.
“USAID is expecting that this support will also lead to the districts increasing their internally generated funds. With the new GIS system, the districts can easily identify property and business owners from whom they should collect property rates and business operating fees, to aid development”, he added.