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Study to evaluate land use pattern of Ghana

Ghana: A study by UCSB geography researchers and researchers at San Diego State University, George Washington University and the University of Ghana will analyse land change in Ghana and its ties to both rural to urban migration and demographical shifts in the region.

Research will be conducted in the Central, Greater Accra and Ashanti regions of southern and central Ghana as well as in the cities of Kumasi, Cape Coast, Obuasi and Accra, Ghana’s capital city. The project will run from 2012 to 2015.

Optical and radar satellite imagery will be used to conduct the research. Researchers will then develop land cover and land use change maps which will be compared with the census and health data from both regions.

According to SDSU geography professor Doug Stow, the research team plans to use their results to find links between land change and Ghanaian immigration and quality of life.

“We will determine what is driving rural to urban migration and how cities are changing in terms of densification and expansion of existing urban areas, and how those may impact child mortality and women’s health,” Stow said in an email. “We will also compare within-city patterns of social-economic status for the four major study cities.”

UCSB geography professor David Lopez-Carr said changes in land, precipitation and temperature can all have a variety of negative effects on the health of the Ghanaian population.

“The patterns in the landscape are changing,” Lopez-Carr said. “We think these processes are going to be linked to the urbanisation process increasing in obesity and illness, heart disease and certain cancers and diabetes.”

The connection between urbanisation and disease in Ghana is a pressing issue that continues to endanger the lives of many Ghanaians, Stow said.

Lopez-Carr said once they have gathered all of their data, the team would like to make recommendations for Ghanaian policy aimed at improving the general quality of life while respecting lawmakers’ political independence.

Source: Daily Nexus