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Development Planning Unit University College London


This research was co-ordinated by the staff of the MSc Environment and Sustainable Development at the Development Planning Unit, University College London; Adriana Allen, Alexandre Frediani, Pascale Hofmann, Rita Lambert, Etienne von Bertrab and Matthew Wood-Hill. This has been organised in association with People’s Dialogue for Human Settlements based in Accra and with inputs from the International Water Management Institute. Many people have contributed to research findings and strategy development: local facilitators and translators, academics, researchers, public officials, colleagues and friends in Accra and in London, and above all, women and men farmers who warmly opened up to us and patiently shared their knowledge and experience. Finally, the students of the MSc Environment and Sustainable Development 2011-2012 enthusiastically engaged with this action-research project to generate valuable and detailed primary information, produced a range of outputs, and put forward interesting insights which further the understanding of the actual and potential role of urban agriculture in contribution to the environmentally just urbanisation of cities in the Global South, and specifically Accra, Ghana. This compilation of reports is the final product of their work. To all, many thanks. Environmentally Just Urbanisation through Urban Agriculture (Accra-Ghana, Reports 2012) 2

Alejandro Ordóñez González Editorial Coordinator

Matthew Wood-Hill General Coordinator

Alejandro Ordóñez González Cover and Editorial Design

Liza Griffin and Matthew Wood-Hill Revision and Style First Edition, London 2013 Development Planning Unit University College London-UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment 34 Tavistock Square London WC1H 9EZ T+44 (20) 7679 1111 - Fax: +44 (0)20 679 1112 The DPU’s mission is to build the capacity of professionals and institutions to design and implement innovative, sustainable and inclusive strategies at the local, national and global levels, that enable those people who are generally excluded from decision-making by poverty or their social and cultural identity, to play a full and rewarding role in their own development.


Table of contents


Preface 5 Chapter 1: Coastal 7 Chapter 2: Old Fadama 51 Chapter 3: Nima 95 Chatper 4: Legon 163 Chapter 5: La 225





hese reports have been produced as part of the MSc Environment and Sustainable Development programme at the Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London (UCL) in response to terms of reference for the ‘Environment and Sustainable Development in Practice’ module, 2011-12. The five student groups worked in distinct areas within the city of Accra and its broader metropolitan area to understand the contribution of Urban Agriculture towards environmentally justice urbanisation in the city. The study areas represent a series of different realities facing urban farmers and urban dwellers alike. The research has included a four month deskstudy followed by two weeks of in-country fieldwork and meetings with key stakeholders and community, local, municipal and national levels. It has been conducted in collaboration with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), People’s Dialogue on Human Settlements (PD) and the Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor. The research produced in this document builds on and further contributes to work that has been undertaken by DPU staff and students alongside IWMI in Accra since 2009. For more information, and to read reports from previous year, please visit:


Chapter 1


Restoring coastal systems






Table of Contents 1 Acknowledgements 2 Abbreviations 3 Executive Summary 4 Introduction 4.1 Background 4.2 Objectives

5 Analytical framework 5.1 Conceptual Framework

5.2 Hypothesis and Research questions

6 Methodology and Limitations 7 Findings 7.1 Contributions to Resilience 7.2 Hindrances to Resilience 7.3 Coping and Adaptation Strategies 7.4 Interim conclusion

8 Strategies 8.1 Introduction 8.2 Improvement of Livelihoods 8.3 Waste Management 8.4 Natural Resource Management

9 Conclusion Bibliography Appendices



1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to thank the following people for their valuable contributions:


Facilitators: Paul Nii Ankamah Adjn-Tettey (Fisheries Commission) Charles Blay (MoFA) Naa Arday-Acquah (GHAFUP) Mensah Owusu (PD) Étienne von Bertrab (DPU) Rita Lambert (DPU) Adriana Allen (DPU) Alexandre Apsan Frediani (DPU) Matthew Wood-Hill (DPU) Asare (Revenue accountant, Ashiedu Keteke Sub-Metropolitan District Council) Ayikwa (Canoe owner in Jamestown) Bismarck Nettey (Ex-President GNAFF; Canoe Owner in Chorkor) Divine Odotoy (Coordinating director, Ashiedu Keteke Sub-Metropolitan District Council) Daniel Adjin-Tettey (Chorkor resident / ex-fisherman) Daniel Ocansey (Supervisor, Zoil Services Limited) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Emanuel-Mark McHansen (Zoil Services Limited; fisherman in Jamestown) Nana Tambia IV (Queen of Nleshie Amanflo; Organiser of the GAMA market women association) Fatawu Giwah (Coordinator, Zoil Services Limited) Ivy (Fisheries Commission) W. Odame Larbi (Executive secretary, Lands Commission) Patricia Makrey (Fisheries Commission) Prof. Irene K Odotei (University of Ghana) Scott Apawudza (Greater Accra regional director, MoFA) Samuel Quarshie (Waste Management Department, Ashiedu Keteke Sub-Metropolitan District Council) Samuel (Ghana National Canoe Fisherman Council) Nii Teiko Tagoe (Project Director, GAMADA) We would like to thank the fishing communities in Jamestown and Chorkor for their warm welcome and invaluable support for our fieldwork.




Accra Metropolitan Assembly


Canoe Owners Union






Community Based Management Committees Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Protection Agency

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations Greater Accra Metropolitan Authority Ga Mashie Development Agency

Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor

Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen Geographic Information System

Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council Integrated Coastal Management

Integrated Coastal Resource Management Integrated Coastal Zone Management Large Marine Ecosystem

Millennium City Initiative

National Fisheries Association of Ghana Non-Governmental Organisation

People’s Dialogue on Human Settlements

PPPs Policies/Plans/Programmes UA Urban Agriculture WACAF

West and Central African Regional Seas Programme


Water Resource Commission


Waste Management Department Zoomlion Ghana Limited




his research tries to build on the past 3 years of work carried out by the University College London (UCL) students from the Development Planning Unit (DPU), which focused on exploring the potentials and constraints of Urban Agriculture (UA) as a planning tool for an environmentally just urbanisation in Accra. This year, the research area, on which our team has focused, is the coastal strip of Accra, which stretches from Jamestown to Chorkor. Within this area, we identified a long established traditional food production system dating back to the XIX century: the artisanal fisheries sector.


From our secondary research, the manifestation of resilience amongst the artisanal fishing communities within Accra’s ever growing urban boundaries was striking. This is especially true when looking at the industrialisation of the fisheries sector, an increasing depletion of fish


stocks and the privatisation of the coastal strip of Accra. What Harvey (2006: 98) calls “uneven geographical development” arising from capitalistic agglomeration economies is well evident in this neglected Old Accra. This ‘striking’ resilience inspired the aim of this research work: finding the structural reasons for such resilience, identifying its vulnerabilities and developing a coherent strategy to counterbalance the impacts of these vulnerabilities on the fishing communities and the city of Accra as a whole. Within this uneven and therefore unjust urbanisation process, the artisanal fisheries sector stands out as a main contributor towards the food security of the city and this importance needs to be acknowledged by all stakeholders in order to trigger an environmentally just urbanisation process.


It was found that the traditional structure of the artisanal fishery provides social and economic resilience through hierarchical organisation and division of labour in which women play an important role in securing income and food for the fishing communities and beyond. Ecological resilience is built through traditional rules and practices. However, as environmental degradation and industrialised fishery is continuously depleting fish stock, artisanal fishing communities have recently been forced to adopt less sustainable practices in order to cope with these impacts. Such practices of ‘mal-adaptation’ are

reproduced as long as plans and programs ignore urban and marine social-ecological systems, and are therefore blind to the underlying causes of the degradation of livleihoods in these communities. To restore resilience in artisanal fishing communities in Accra, it is recommended that a more integrated approach in coastal urban management is implemented, for which the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem Project (GCLME) provides a suitable framework. Exemplary strategies for implementation of an integrated coastal urban management are outlined.











4.1 Background


he environmentally unjust urbanisation in Accra is rooted in the colonial times when a clear divide was made between economic activities in the area inhabited by indigenous Ga communities around the harbour (Old Accra) and residential areas for the European settlers. After independence in 1957, Accra’s port was relocated to Tema in order to reduce the migration pressures in the city. The former colonial administrative and residential areas around the European town and Central Business District

were reorganized and opened for commercial and residential uses. Consequently, Jamestown was no longer attractive for commercial activities and therefore no longer functioned as a development node. The densely populated borough was facing increasing levels of poverty, exacerbated by the economic recession in the 1980s. The marginalisation of Old Accra continued as the liberalisation policies since the 1980s have encouraged economic investment in suburban areas (Grant & Yankson, 2002).

4.2 Objectives


oday, fishing is the only significant economic sector remaining in Jamestown (Yeboah, 2008). The artisanal fishing communities have persisted in Accra since pre-colonial times coping with socio-economic, political and environmental pressures. The aim of this report, therefore, is to identify factors that contribute to and hinder resilience in the coastal communities in Accra in order to develop strategies towards adaptive governance of urban systems in coastal Accra. The report begins by introducing the conceptual framework created and the main hypothesis developed; followed by a summary of the methodology used. An analysis of the key findings is presented in the succeeding chapter, which is followed by a set of strategies. MAP 2_STUDY AREA




5.1 Conceptual Framework



In reality, however, the web of socioecological relations is highly dynamic and unequal urban geographies are constantly reshaped, reflecting cross-scale power relations amongst different urban actors (Cumming, Cumming & Redman 2006; Swyngedouw & Heynen, 2003). As a consequence of these complex and obscure relations, the creation of benefits for some tends to result in vulnerabilities for others as the systems react. For instance, the creation of economic opportunities in Osu and suburban areas through structural adjustment programs (change in economic and political systems) has triggered

urbanisation and investment in infrastructure in these areas (changes in physical system), while no improvement was made in Old Accra/Ga Mashie area and Chorkor. Moreover, along with the commoditisation of ecosystems for urban purposes in the suburbs came the degradation of ecosystem services, such as natural storm-water drainage (changes in ecosystem). As a consequence, communities in the coastal area of Accra Urban Social-ecological System


rbanisation may be understood as a process of creating spaces that provide urban services such as housing, jobs and infrastructure (Ernstson et al., 2010). This process is highly dynamic because it is shaped by perpetual changes in socio-cultural, economic, political, physical and environmental systems not only within the city, but also at the regional, national and global scale (Ernstson et al., 2010; Swyngedouw & Heynen, 2003). Systems are linked through material and informational fluxes (Swyngedouw & Heynen, 2003), hence changes in one system trigger changes in another. Ideally, fluxes between urban systems would create equilibrium such that changes in one system are compensated by another. In this ideal state, the urban social-ecological system would provide conditions for equal access to livelihoods and recognition of rights among all citizens (Figure 1).

Economic system

Physical system


Political system

Social-cultural system

Recognition of Rights

Environmental Justice


have been facing a double risk of exposure to natural hazards of flooding and pollution, and loss in income opportunities (Bremer, 2002; Yeboah, 2000). These impacts have contributed to today’s


conditions of overcrowding and unemployment (change in socio-cultural system)(Yeboah, 2008). Finally, the conditions of non-equilibrium and unpredictability of urban systems are exacerbated by uncertainties arising from migration, climate change and changes in the capacity of ecosystems to sustain services (Ernstson et al., 2010). In the coastal communities of Accra, this is felt most strongly in the decline of fish stocks in recent years, an outcome of industrialisation of the fishery sector, climate change and marine pollution.

Therefore, urban systems need to be concurrently resilient to shocks and amenable to transformation, given the constantly changing environment (Ernstson et al., 2010; Walker et al., 2006). Only then can the negative impacts from (both planned and unplanned) changes in one or several systems on the marginalised communities be prevented, thereby strengthening environmentally just forms of urbanisation. Planning for environmental justice in urban areas therefore requires an adaptive approach in governance rather than static solutions (Evans, 2011).

5.2 Hypothesis and Research Questions


he hypothesis developed in this report is:

This hypothesis is analysed through the following research questions: 17

“Potentially, the artisanal fisheries in Jamestown and Chorkor can contribute to resilience at three levels: household, community and city level, through enhancement in livelihood strategies, organisational structures, food security and ecological resilience.”

• How does the organisational structure of fishing communities contribute towards building resilience? • How are the artisanal fisheries included in the city, and how do they contribute to food security and creation of livelihoods? • What are the challenges in the fisheries contribution towards ecological resilience? • What are the impacts of current urban planning initiatives on the coastal area? • What is the vision among key stakeholders toward the future of the artisanal fisheries?


These questions were particularly focused on the convergence and divergence of perceptions among the public authorities and decisionmakers on one hand, and amongst the community members and other non-governmental actors on the other hand.



n order to analyse the above stated questions the group used different techniques. A summary of the methodology used is provided in the table below: However, the fieldwork was marked by certain limitations. Firstly, the research took place over a period of two weeks limiting the depth and scope of the research. Therefore, the study does not claim to have examined the said community in all its complexities. Secondly, gender, nationality and ethnicity may also have influenced the STAGE I: SECONDARY RESEARCH January – 26th April 2012

direction and interpretation of the findings. The researchers hailing from different backgrounds had their own perceptions and consequent biases. Though the facilitators were of immense help, it was a challenge to interpret the problems. This is because some of them were policy implementers who have their own biases. Lastly, the presence of canoe owners (as they represent a higher level in the hierarchy) made it extremely difficult to reach the lower levels of the hierarchy to get their inputs during the focus group discussions.

• Extensive secondary research together with lectures throughout the term from the tutors helped to provide valuable insight • This was used to define the research task and develop hypothesis to be tested in the field work • Transect walks



27TH April- 10th May 2012

• Focus group discussion with: - 2 Chief Fishermen - Crew members in 2 groups of 6-7 fishermen - Fishmongers 4-5 groups of 5-6 women - Queen mother with secretary, vice-president of the Tuesday Market Association - Canoe Owners 1 group of 4 • One to one interviews and seminars with: - Environment Protection Agency (EPA) - Fisheries Commission - Asheidu-Keteke Sub-Metro - Prof. Irene K Odotei - Ga Mashie Development Agency (GAMADA) - International Water Management Institute (IWMI) - Institute of Local Government Studies - People’s Dialogue - Ghana’s Federation for the Urban Poor - Town and Country Planning • Participatory mapping exercises with groups of fishermen and fishmongers

STAGE III 14th May to 31st May 2012


• Data processing and analysis • Output: - Final Presentation - Video - Final Report








7.1 Contributions to Resilience


ccra’s artisanal fishing communities do not merely provide employment opportunities, but represent a traditionally and culturally embedded way of life, which is visible throughout the factors identified as building resilience, as explained below.


The fishing communities in Jamestown and Chorkor follow a typical structure (Figure 2) headed by a chief fisherman who is responsible for (1) representing the community at all levels (2) resolving disputes at community level (3) enforcing the traditional Tuesday ban on fishing. This ban is enforced all over the country and is linked to the very old tradition of considering Tuesday as a sacred day for the sea god. The chief fisherman is followed by the canoe owner who selects the first Bosun (first captain) Processing

Men sell the fish to the women

50% to canoe owner’s wife/wives 50% to crew members’ wives

Women sell in the market

Women’s share (Profit margin)

Savings groups



and the second Bosun (second captain) among the crew. The crew members can number up to 20 in the case of poli canoes, which are the biggest in size. In relation to the resilience building capacities of the canoe owner, it was found that he is not only the owner and manager of the canoe but he has a social obligation to help crew members in times of Men’s share crisis. Moreover, as (Without profit) it was highlighted by different interviewees, when a crew Canoe owner member gets married, the canoe owner Crew members sometimes provides accomodation for the Maintenance newlyweds.


DIVISION OF THE CATCH According to the traditional practices, fishermen’s female relatives get the right of first refusal over the catch. The division (Figure 3) reflects the social hierarchy: 50% of the catch goes to the canoe owner’s wife and the other 50% goes to the crewmembers’ wives. Women buy from men at a fixed rate set according to the supply and demand, depending on a bounteous or meagre season. They often buy on credit from the men and then sell the produce in the markets. The revenue without profit margin is subsequently divided into three equal parts: one third to the canoe owner, one third is shared between the crewmembers and the remaining is kept for maintenance of the canoe and the gears. The profit margin is retained by the women, who usually form savings groups in Chorkor.

WOMEN’S ROLE As fish traders, women are very important because they are the ones who determine FISHMONGERS SCALING FRESH FISH IN JAMESTOWN the price paid for the PHOTOGRAPH BY MANDIRA THAKUR catch. They work to achieve the best final price for the product and hence translate fish into money. As fish processors, their activity is embedded in the food culture of the population, which demands the fish to appear in a certain marketable form: smoked fish that can last 7-8 months; salted or fried fish (less common) that can last up to 1-2 months.




This becomes more important considering that these communities do not have cooling facilities and in case of bumper harvest, the fish need to be processed quickly to avoid deterioration. In this regard, women can be considered one of the main actors providing food security not only to their communities but to the city as a whole.

incomes, about two thirds of national per capita income (Bortei-Doku, 2000). In order to carry out the role of informal lenders, women usually form savings groups which are the major source of interest-free loans for the fishermen. In Chorkor, women are organised in 4-5 groups of 100 each, subdivided into groups of 30, headed by a queen mother. In summary, the fishing community is built along very strong ties. The husbands serve as an important source of credit for their wives when the fish is sold to the women. The women, on the other hand, serve as a major source of interest-free loans for the fishermen. Furthermore, the women integrate the fish into the city.




As bankers, women provide the money needed to purchase and upgrade inputs. This is crucial in such an informal sector, where fishermen have many constraints on borrowing money from professional lenders since they don’t have a regular income due to wide seasonal fluctuations. In general, fishing communities have low


The artisanal fisheries sector is represented at national level by the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council (GNCFC), which is part of the National Fisheries Association of Ghana (NAFAG), within which the industrial and semiindustrial fisheries sectors are also represented. Each fishing community is represented by its traditional Chief Fisherman appointed to sit in a regional artisanal fishermen committee. These committees are united in the Union, which represents the artisanal fishermen in the Ministry of Fisheries and other organisations. The Council distributes the fishing subsidies to the fishermen and imposes a small levy on those inputs. In this way, the Council has some resources to work with (FAO, 2007). Furthermore, there are also Community Based Management Committees (CBMCs) formed by representatives from Government, Chief Fishermen and community members. The main idea is to enable a flow of information by allowing the members to voice their concerns.


7.2 Hindrances to Resilience


lthough the factors elaborated above make the fishing communities of Jamestown and Chorkor resilient, they still face certain threats.

WEAKNESSES OF POLITICAL CAPITAL Given the advantages of the political capital, the fieldwork however also revealed many impediments created by the same. Many of the canoe owners interviewed were dissatisfied with the Chief being the only one able to legally represent them at national level. This is because of the hereditary nature of the chieftaincy ensuring the restriction of political capital to certain families.

This can sometimes lead to the appointment of a Chief who was not traditionally a fisherman, creating disputes as it is felt that the lack of experience in fishing will lead to a lack of SEWER OUTFALL INTO KORLE LAGOON understanding of the PHOTOGRAPH BY MANDIRA THAKUR fishermen’s problems and therefore to a scant representation of the community’s real needs.





In response to this issue, the canoe owners formed the Canoe Owners Union (COU). This however, is still not represented at the National level (cf. Figure 4). Furthermore, even the CBMCs have been discarded over the years. Therefore, there seems to be growing dissent amongst the community members with respect to their representation. OPEN SEWER IN CHORKOR, FILLED WITH RUBBISH PHOTOGRAPH BY SANTA PEDONE



Environmental degradation has severe implications for the coastal areas which are particularly vulnerable. Coastal vulnerability is further exacerbated by climate change. The increasing sealing and compressing of soils in upstream areas enhances surface water runoff, increasing flood risk particularly in river mouths. As a result of inadequate drains, dumping of refuse into drains and development on vulnerable areas, seasonal flooding is nowadays occurring almost annually in Accra and is particularly strong in the coastal area (cf. Appendix 1.1) (Twumasi & AsomaniBoateng, 2002). As a result, the majority of the untreated industrial and household waste water is discharged, converting water streams into open sewers (cf.

Appendix 1.2). Again, Jamestown and Chorkor are the final points of discharge of this contaminated water. Solid waste dumping in open drains also increases the risks of flooding (Baabereyir,, 2009). This is heightened by wide-spread lack of awareness on waste management at household and community level. In particular, the informal dumping of non-degradable plastic bags (e.g. water sachets) creates a problem of blockage and pollution. The outfalls of sewers and open dumping sites in the study area are shown in Appendix 1.3. Moreover, the shoreline in these areas has been constantly eroding at a rate of 1.7 metres per year over the past decades (Addo, 2009), which is likely to increase further. Climate change has also created changes in up-welling patterns leading to further depletion of the fish stock.

INCREASING COMPETITION WITH SEMI-INDUSTRIAL TRAWLERS The tragedy of commons further hinders the resilience of the community. Semiindustrial trawlers tend to ignore the demarcation of the sea waters and intrude into the 30 metre depth zone while THE PROBLEM OF LIGHTFISHING, DESCRIBED BY using illegal fishing PAUL NII ANKAMAH ADJIN-TETTEY methods such as light PHOTOGRAPH BY SANTA PEDONE fishing, and in the process destroying the nets of the artisanal fishermen. This has created many conflicts between the semi-industrial trawlers and artisanal canoes. As pointed out during an interview with the Greater Accra regional director, Scott Apawudza, the Government has tried to offer ‘out of court’ settlements by creating arbitration committees. However, due to the recognition given to the trawlers (as they help in generating foreign exchange through their exports), these committees are often accused of favouring the industrial sector.



CURRENT POLICIES AND INSTITUTIONAL GAPS The implementation of infrastructure and services for urban environmental management is mainly the responsibility of the AMA/ GAMA, and is regulated through the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency Act 1994; Environmental Assessment Regulations 1999) and the Water Resource Commission (WRC) (Water Resource Commission Act 1996). Additional services are provided by private companies such as Zoomlion Ghana Limited (ZGL), a national company for solid waste management. Projects in infrastructure have further been initiated and implemented by international aid agencies and companies. However, today such projects have not been sustained due to a lack of commitment and coordination among different institutions involved. As a consequence, the infrastructure

needed for adequate service provision in water and waste management is lacking. A disastrous example of this omnipresent failure in environmental management in Accra is the disfunctional high-tech waste water treatment plant and Marine Disposal Site “Lavender Hill” at the Korle Lagoon (cf. Appendix 2.1). Internationally designed initiatives such as the Millennium City Initiative (MCI) are shaping current visions of urban development in Accra. The latter has a particular impact on coastal communities as one of its core projects is the regeneration of the harbour in Jamestown. The analysis of discourse in the MCI and among interview partners from AMA and private waste management companies reveals that current actions and visions for urban development conceive the city’s coastal area as an aesthetic asset and are focused on creating visible changes,




whereas the underlying vulnerabilities are by and large ignored. For instance the cleaning up activities of beaches by Zoil (a subsidiary of Zoomlion) is limited to solid waste collection on beaches, but no action is taken to reduce the pollution from liquid waste. Likewise, the proposal of the MCI is to protect artisanal fishing communities for their value as cultural heritage but without acknowledging the likely socio-cultural implications of such development initiatives.


The statutory fisheries policies appear to be limited to the management of fish stocks, and once again, like the urban policies, ignore the socio-economic importance together with the gender-based division of labour in these communities. This is exemplified by the failed attempt to introduce a wholesale market in the community (Bortei-Doku, 1993) which would bypassing the crucial role of women. Despite the existence of policies, different stakeholders (Figure 4.) and statutory and customary laws there is still a crucial missing link. Current policies are poorly implemented in the local context of Accra, let alone in the

MOFA Fisheries Comission

Fisheries Act, 2002 Fisheries Regulations, 2010

NAFAG National Inland Canoe Fishermen Council Co-operative Fisheries Association


Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council


The government has also laid down some laws with respect to fishing specified under the Fisheries Act 2002 and the Fisheries Regulations 2010 (L.I. 1986). Besides the statutory laws the fishing community is also self-governed by ‘customary laws’ (cf. Appendix 2.2).

coastal communities of Jamestown and Chorkor, assemblies and sub-metro offices. Policies/plans/ programmes (PPPs) (cf. Appendix 2) are designed sector-wise at regional, national and international level, whereas their implementation is transferred to district and local assemblies who lack capacity in skills, resources and time.


Trawlers Association


Ghana National Canoe Owners’ Union National Federation of the Urban Poor People’s Dialogue


The complexities of PPPs are particularly strong in the context of the communities analysed, where urban and marine policies accumulate. The lack of coordination amongst different governmental bodies creates overlapping of authorities leading to shirking of responsibilities.

7.3 Coping and Adaptation Strategies


n order to face the challenges presented in the previous section, the fishing communities have developed some coping strategies, which can be summarized as follows: • The decreasing fish stocks and the subsequent loss in income have pushed the fishermen to migrate seasonally in search of greater catch. Besides increasing income, this strategy allows them to save money by avoiding some of the social and economic obligations (cf. Obeng, 2010).

• Another way of bypassing the social structure, which in the lean season represents an obstacle for many fishermen, is the practice of landing on other landing beaches, where they can sell the catch to the highest bidder. This helps them to avoid sharing the catch with the canoe owner. • Reduced catches and competition with industrial and semi-industrial trawlers dictate the necessity to use illegal fishing techniques such as light fishing in order to attract more fish as


a desperate measure. This has also encouraged the use of nets with illegal mesh sizes (allowing fishermen to exploit juvenile fish) together with disregard of the traditional fishing ban on Tuesdays. • Formation of women’s saving groups as explained earlier.

• Women buy and process imported frozen fish, in Tema especially during the lean season. • The necessity to fish in deeper waters and the need to adapt to new technologies have encouraged the useage of outboard motors (introduced in 1956).

• Creation of COU in order to compensate for the lack of representativeness of the Canoes’ Fishermen Council to which only Chiefs have access. • Fishmongers use coconut shells in order to replace the costly firewood for the Chorkor ovens.





7.4 Interim Conclusion


n summary, the lack of participation by the traditional fishing community, poor representation within this community, lack of recognition of their traditional structures and their importance for the city implies ‘no protection’ of the interests of coastal communities. The question raised is:

‘Who protects the coastal ecosystem which is a source of livelihood for the communities residing there? Who provides food security and are a key contributor to the resilience of the city?’


Two main conclusions can be drawn from the analysis of the findings. Firstly, processes at the scale of the city, at National and at global level seem to be the root cause of vulnerabilities created in coastal communities. However, as traditional structures become weakened, dynamics within the community are likewise contributing to a loss in


resilient structures. Secondly, processes of urbanisation have had negative impacts particularly on the ecological and the socio-cultural systems. There is thus a need for a paradigm shift in planning of coastal social-ecological systems in Accra towards “human-in-the-environment perspectives” (Folke, 2006: 263) which would integrate not only urban but also marine policy making. In the present context of fragmented planning and overlapping responsibilities, this seems to be a major obstacle in Accra. Nevertheless, the analysis of current proposals, initiatives and informal actctivities allows us to identify room for manoeuvre (cf. Appendix 3). In particular the Guinnea Current Large Marine Ecosystem Project (GCLME) provides a useful framework for improved integration of urban coastal management issues. Strategies for implementation of this project in the specific context of Accra’s artisanal fishing communities are proposed in the following section.



8.1 Introduction


he fieldwork findings showed that gaps in coordination across institutions and lack of public participation are currently hindering Accra’s coastal communities from adapting to the changes. In order to overcome these hindrances, planning for Accra’s coastal communities needs to shift to a more cross-sectoral approach, integrating regional and local PPPs (cf. Appendix 2) ranging from waste management, environmental planning, freshwater management, marine resource management to urban development. The involvement of multiple stakeholders, including the communities themselves as well as other formal and informal institutions, throughout the process of design and implementation of plans would be the key to success for an integrated approach that enables adaptive governance.

INTEGRATED COASTAL MANAGEMENT Two examples of such approaches are the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and the Integrated Coastal Resource Management (ICRM), which have emerged as successful strategies to reduce the multidimensional pressures currently degrading the coastal ecosystems in Accra (Kay & Alder, 2005). The approach is to coordinate competing uses in coastal areas through spatial zoning and participative stakeholder planning and implementation. In Ghana, the framework of ICZM has been introduced at national level through the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME), (cf.

Appendix 3.1). However, similar to most ICZM projects worldwide, this is currently focused on rural areas, and therefore fails to fully address the double burden of urban and marine pressures that communities in Jamestown and Chorkor are facing.

NEXT STEPS The lessons learnt in the pilot implementaion of ICM in urban areas in the Philippines have highlighted the importance of a multi-stakeholder taskforce drawing members from public and private organisations and the community. (PEMSEA, 2006). Therefore, the current proposal to create a similar body in the form of a ‘District FIshery Assembly’ must be ratified. GCLME recommended that strategic action be taken in several areas. Among them, four can be identified as crucial to achieve the objectives of ICM in the context of Accra. These are improvement of livelihoods, waste management, resource management and the creation of employment opportunities. Activities for implementation of strategic action in these areas are suggested to link existing PPPs and activities at regional, urban and community level with GCLME projects, as outlined in the following chapter. For the strategies proposed, and for waste management in particular, the currently implemented GCLME pilot project on Waste Stock Management in Ghana (cf. Annex 3) provides a supportive context.



8.2 Improvement of Livelihoods TABLE 2_STRATEGY FOR LIVELIHOOD

STRATEGY FOR LIVELIHOODS ACTIONS • Participation of fishermen and fishmongers in the planning and the implementation of regeneration of the harbour • To ensure creation of jobs in uploading and regeneration doesn’t hinder their work • Invitation disseminated through radio; suggested time of meetings Saturday

INDICATORS • Number of meetings at all stages • Participation methods documented • Number of participants from different groups

ACTORS • Fisheries Commission • Earth Institute/Developers • District Fisheries Assembly • Queen mother and fishmongers • Canoe Owners Council • Chief-fishermen and fishermen • People’s Dialogue • Community based management committees


Number of savings group formed

Ghana Federation of the Urban poor

Long Term

Number of coconut shell charcoal production sites The amount of charcoal produced The reduction in the purchase of fuel-wood

• •

Community members Federation of the Urban Poor NGOs Universities


Creation of Saving Groups in Jamestown



Making charcoal from coconut shells collected as waste to be used as a substitute for firewood bought from inland by the fishmongers

• •

• •


hough the plan for regeneration of the harbour (MCI, cf. Appendix 2.1.1) is still ‘a work in progress’, it has presently created a lot of dissatisfaction amongst the Ga community. In this regard a first step has been taken by the NGO Ga Mashie Development Agency (GAMADA) by establishing a conflict management plan aiming at providing solutions to any dissent created.

ensure maximum participation by all. To fulfil this objective, the NGO People’s Dialogue on Human Settlements (PD) and the CBMCs can provide the much needed impetus. The group’s fieldwork revealed that Saturday was the most suitable day as this is the least productive day for both men and women.

This plan requires the involvement of a larger spectrum of stakeholders than it currently includes such as the Fisheries Commission and COU and, most importantly, the community members.


The focus group discussions should be interactive so as to allow cross flow of information. Selection of day and timing must be such so as to

Fishmongers have a considerable potential to develop entrepreneurial skills. It is suggested that any future attempt to enhance the artisanal fishery value chain should first assess its impacts on the organisational structure, which is crucial for the survival of the sector itself. So far, no such


assessment has been carried out by the authorities. Also the Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor (GHAFUP) could help in the enhancement of savings groups, which at the moment are not widespread (Mrs. Arday-Acquah, the groups facilitator and representative of GHAFUP, expressed an interest in engaging in this area).

ALTERNATIVE LIVELIHOOD STRATEGY: USE OF COCONUT SHELLS TO MAKE CHARCOAL Besides the creation of cold storage facilities (as suggested by MCI), a community level adaptation can be achieved in short to medium term. One of the possible strategies could be the use of charcoal made from coconut shells. This can possibly serve as a more sustainable measure of livelihoods and resource management in fish processing of Chorkor and Jamestown. The commercial practice of carbonising coconut shells to charcoal exists in Ghana (Hall, 2012). However, this is not widely acknowledged in the communities.


The production of coconut shell charcoal is considered more sustainable than buying fuel wood because: it protects the forest, it reduces transport costs, provides livelihood opportunities (coconuts can be bought from local coconut collectors and processed into charcoal at the smoking location). Thus, there can be a reliable supply because of the close proximity to the smoking site. Furthermore, coconut shell charcoals provide better product quality with better texture and sweet smell to the smoked fish.

In Nigeria, there have been attempts to replace raw fuel wood with sawdust (Akande et al., 2005) in order stop the destruction of mangroves.

8.3 Waste Management DESIGNING THE STRATEGY Based on the key stakeholders identified in the pilot project of the GCLME (cf. Annex 3), a committee for the design of actions and their implementation should include stakeholders from the public sector (AMA, sub-metro officers, EPA), the private sector like Gbi Hanjer Ghana Limited.(cf. Appendix 3), NGOs and the community, represented through the COU and women’s savings groups. This committee should be linked to the national GCLME Project on “Combating Living Resources Depletion and SOLID WASTE IN KORLE LAGOON PHOTOGRAPH BY EMMANUAL-MARK MC HANSEN









Encourage industry to use recyclable plastics, making mandatory the existing proposal of adding biodegradable additives

NATIONAL Number of • companies using recyclable plastics • Number of compounds participating • Number of facilities created •

Long Term

AMA Community

Medium Term

Training of teachers to educate primary school children about the environment, and environmental management at household level

Number of teachers trained

Creating facilities and markets for re-use and recycling

Number of recycling facilities in use

Sea clean-up days on which Fishermen take plastic waste to the beach instead of throwing it back into the sea

• •

Canoe owner’s council ZOIL

Short Term

Creation of collection facilities at the compound level

Canoe owners council publish who participated and create a competition Amount of recyclable bags collected Number of collection facilities created in compounds

AMA submetro offices Ashiedu Keteke and Ablekuma South Community members, particularly women

Medium Term


• •

EPA (for monitoring and record keeping) National Association of the Sachet Water Producers Ghana Plastic Management Association


Gbi Hanjer Ghana Limited and other private waste management companies • Producers of plastic products • Organisations such as Global Mamas COMMUNITY

Long Term

Refer to Appendix 2.1.3 Additional actors and responsibilities are recommended to be specified by the executive committee on waste management

1 2


Coastal Area Degradation” within which a network has been set up to develop strategies on waste collection, disposal and recycling by the private sector in Ghana. By bringing together these various stakeholders, existing proposals (e.g. SWITCH project (Adank, Darteh et al., 2011), the GCLME project), initiatives (e.g. Accra Sewerage Improvement Project (OCIN, 2005) and informal actions (e.g. coconut shells for reuse in smoking Chorkor ovens) can be merged into one coherent strategy. Activities should be prioritised and include the replacement of current non-degradable water sachets with biodegradable plastics through formal regulation, as well as the creation of recycling markets to encourage formal and informal engagement in recycling activities. The latter strategy combines the creation of employment opportunities and economic benefits created at city and national level for small and medium scale enterprises. Additional activities should focus on awareness raising through education of school children (to trigger a long term change) and through immediate actions such as “sea clean up days”, in reference to Zoil’s clean-up of beaches . On such days, fishermen could be encouraged to collect plastic caught with the fish and bring it to the shore instead of throwing it back into the sea which is currently a common practice. Incentives could be the nomination of the most environmentally friendly fisherman through the publications and awards by the COU.

LIQUID WASTE MANAGEMENT Although the direct impact of contaminated waters on decline in marine fish stocks was neglected by most interviewees, including representatives of the EPA and MoFA, a strategy for management of liquid waste is likewise important in order to maintain and improve livelihoods in coastal communities, and to prevent any

impact on fish stock from liquid waste that has not been documented to date. In this context it is to be recommended that the Riparian Buffer Zone Policy is implemented in the entire Densu River water basin not only through integration of riparian land use criteria in land use planning and environmental assessments of future projects, but also through revision of existing permits for water extraction and use based on these criteria. More comprehensive monitoring of water pollution is moreover considered crucial for effective liquid waste management, engaging stakeholders in both freshwater and marine water management (i.e. WRC, EPA, MoFA, Fisheries Comission, farmers and fishermen). A starting point for a more comprehensive monitoring would be a register of waters returned to water streams, based on the data gathered by the WRC when granting permits. This could be complemented by measurement of water qualities, in order to establish separate thresholds for return of contaminated waters for each water stream discharged in Accra. A strong colaboration between research institutes and governmental institutions is recommended for the latter. 33

SIDE STRATEGY: USING ORGANIC WASTE FROM FISH PROCESSING AS COMPOST As a side strategy, good management of organic waste can help in reducing financial and stakeholder pressures on coastal communities. Much of the waste generated during fish processing (fish intestines) is commonly discarded, generating negative impacts such as unhygienic conditions in the landing beaches and markets. Composting of the discarded waste products is a useful way of reclaiming nutrients from organic refuse. It saves valuable landfill space and possible contamination of land and water due to leaching. It improves soil conditions and can be used as a fertilizer in UA and coastal regeneration (Chirapaisarnkul, 2011).




Better coordination in monitoring and enforcement of laws though District Fishery Assemblies

Mangrove Restoration




Enforcement of Customary Law and Fisheries Law Mid-Long term Fish stock: Introducing • EPA fishing log system of catch • MOFA at two layers by fishermen • NAFAG and authorities • Fisheries Commission • Monitoring: Continuous • Community-Based implementation of Fisheries Management monitoring on discharge Committees and sea water quality • Canoe Owners Council • WRC • AMA • Universities Creation of nursery for juvenile fish for the future sustainable fishstock Mid-Long term • Wildlife Department • Creation of management plan (Plan for nursery • Ministry of Environment site/community-based • Science and Technology management) • EPA • Develop a mechanism that • District and Metropolitan moderates the Assemblies participatory process that • Ministry of Food and involves wide stakeholders Agriculture and local communities • Survey and Meteorological • Provide a strategic plan of Services Department action ensuring the • Ministry of Lands and establishment of user Forestry rights and self monitoring • Forestry Department processes by local • Council for Scientific and communities Industrial Research (CSIR) • Implementation of • Centre for African mangrove restoration Wetlands Management (to • Capacity development coordinate wetlands among engaged research for the West stakeholders African sub-region) • The amount of fish stock • Water Resources regenerated Commission • Densu Basin Board • Ghana Education Service • Universities • NGOs (e.g. Ghana Wildlife Division) •

REGENERATION OF NURSERY FOR JUVENILE FISH FOR THE FUTURE SUSTAINABLE FISH STOCK In order to ensure the future sustainability of fish stocks harvested by the traditional fishing communities in Accra, there is a need to create a city linkage connecting Accra with fishing communities in Jamestown and Chorkor.

Despite the ecological benefits of preserving their resources, including mangroves that serve as sites of nursery for marine juvenile fish, wetlands have been widely used as waste lands or considered as areas served for mosquitoes breeding (Ministry of Lands and Forestry, 2001). There has been indiscriminate exploitation of wetlands due to lack of regulation. The recognition of the importance of wetlands with Ramsar Convention (1971) gradually came into force, and


therefore the Ministry of Lands and Forestry has established the national wetlands conservation strategy, managing Ghana’s wetlands: a National Wetlands Conservation Strategy (1999). Therefore, effective mangrove restoration programmes will be a key to regenerate fish stock by restoring more breeding and feeding sites of the juvenile marine fish species which eventually

add to the sustainability of fish stock of the Greater Accra Region. To achieve this, initiatives related to sustainable management of coastal resources need to be coordinated at city, regional and national levels as well as at sub-regional level, such as GCLME and the West and Central African Regional Seas Programme (WACAF) by UNEP.




9 Conclusion I


n the past, traditional fishing communities of Jamestown and Chorkor have been resilient to political, economic and environmental changes due to their strong socio-cultural structures and adaptive capacity. Today, however, gaps in policy implementation and the neo-liberal forms of urban development undermine the resilience of these communities. In order to gain an understanding of their contribution to the resilience of Accra, the study developed a conceptual framework which was used to analyse the findings. It was found that they are forced to adopt short-term coping strategies which are often not sustainable. Therefore, in order to maintain their resilience in the future, these communities need to be protected. In order to achieve this objective, the strategy suggested in the study, is an integrated management of urban and marine systems. However, given the limitations of the study and the importance of this community together with the unique urban setting of Accra, further research must be conducted in the future. This must be with respect to:


• Assessing the impacts of constantly changing environmental interactions related to changes in up-welling, destruction of wetland areas, coastal erosion and flooding on the livelihoods of the communities. • Monitoring the changing dynamics of stakeholder interactions over time. • Close monitoring of the water quality both in the sea and freshwater by measuring Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and others. • At regional level the saturation of the artisanal fishery sector, the ensuing unemployment among the fishermen combined with high migration rate to GAMA have been verified (Atta Mills, op. cit; Obeng, 2012). Therefore, future research should investigate fishermen unemployment rate in Ga Mashie and assess migration trends in order to establish if a coherent strategy for employment diversification is needed.


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APPENDICES 1. Maps 1.1. Flood risk 1.2. Pollution 1.3. Land use in fishing communities


Plans, Programs, Policies 2.1. Urban environmental


2.1.1. Millennium City Initiative and Harbour Regeneration 2.1.2. Solid Waste Management 2.1.3. Waste Water Management 2.1.4. Environmental Monitoring 2.2. Regulatory Framework for the Fishing Industry


Room for manoeuvre to bridge gaps 3.1 Summary of GCLME





1. Maps 1.1 Flood Risk

1.2 Pollution

1.3 Land Use in Fishing Communities in Jamestown and Chorkor 43




2. Plans, Programs, Policies (PPPs) 2.1. URBAN PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 2.1.1. ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND MONITORING Environmental Assessment Regulations 1999 Through extending environmental permits based on an environmental impact assessment(EIA), the EPA regulates the introduction of waste waters into the environment (Environmental Assessment Regulations 1999, Part I, 1-2). Water Resource Commission Act 1996 Upstream water pollution is moreover regulated by the water resource commission responsible for regulation and management of water utilization, e.g. through the issue of permits for water utilization and through enforcement of riparian buffer zones. Permits for water extraction are currently granted by the WRC, based on assessment of sustainability of extraction in terms of quantity of water extracted and state of the water returned to public streams. While this procedure helps to prevent heavily polluted waters to be returned into streams, it does not take into account the accumulation of pollution from multiple points of discharge of medium polluted waters. Moreover, extraction for subsistance agriculture is exempted from the requirement of a permit, hence there is hardly any control over pollution from agricultural waste. A severe problem in managing liquid waste is poor monitoring of water quality: While permits of extraction are overlooked in a register, no such register exists for the quantity and quality of waters returned (WRC representative, personal communication 2012). The quality of freshwater bodies is monitored only where water is extracted for potable use. That way it is currently difficult to identify the most problematic sources of contamination affecting water streams in Accra.

Riparian Buffer Zone Policy For Managing Freshwater Bodies in Ghana The Riparian Buffer Zone Policy For Managing Freshwater Bodies in Ghana (2011) implemented by the WRC under the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, provides a framework for managing cumulative water pollution through the restriction of contaminating uses around water bodies. The policy does however not specify strategies for implementation in areas that are already in problematic use (cf. MWRWH 2011).

2.1.2. WASTE WATER MANAGEMENT Implementation of waste water related regulations is the responsibility of the AMA, with additional services provided by private companies and through self-supply. The current sewerage system is limited to central areas of the city, mainly around Makola market and the ministries. The system is connected to a UASB (Up-flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket) waste water treatment plant in Jamestown/Korle Lagoon, designed and constructed by international companies from the Netherlands and the UK. However, the plant broke down in 2004, one year after its operation was handed over to the AMA (Adank, 2011). Since then, black waters are discharged without treatment into Korle Lagoon, and from there into the ocean. In addition to waters from sewers, septic tanks are emptied into the outfall of Korle Lagoon at the Marine Disposal Site (“Lavender Hill�). The high concentrations of organic and chemical pollutants have converted Korle Lagoon into a dead water body, and have led to depletion of fish stock around the outfall of the Lagoon. The site is planned to be closed in June 2012, and will be converted into a compostation plant. Along the coastline, outfalls of open sewers discharge grey waters into the sea.



2.1.3. SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT Solid waste management is in the responsibility of the AMA, within the Waste Management Department (WMD). The authority contracts private companies such as Zoomlion Ghana Ltd for picking up waste in the city. Within Zoomlion, Zoil specialises on the cleaning up of beaches. In Jamestown, Zoil is contracted by the AMA submetro division of Ashiedo Keteke to pick up waste on a daily basis and manage a waste container. Zoil further facilitates occasional clean-up days by providing gears. According to the company, waste collected is brought to dumping sites; however, burning on site seems to be common practice in Jamestown. In addition to clean-ups, the company is engaged in managing problems of open defecation through provision of sanitation facilities and coastal guards to enforce the prohibition of open defecation in Jamestown beach.


The vision of Zoil is to “restore clean beaches to become a Millennium City” (Fataw Giwah, Regional coordinator of Zoil). Informally collected waste from natural products (sugarcane, maize, coconuts) is used to sell to fishmongers as substitutes for firewood in Chorkor. “In low income fishing communities, solid wastes including sugar cane leftovers, dry corncobs, and coconut shells are used to smoke fish in open ovens. The collection of these wastes provides employment for people who collect them for sale to fish smokers.“ (Owusu et al., 2003)

attaining the MDGs including the fundamental goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015. The MCI’s top priorities are to attract domestic and FDIs that can create jobs, stimulate domestic enterprise and increase prosperity through more efficient agricultural production and agroprocessing, improved manufacturing and a wider array of export markets (Obeng, 2012). The other key area of focus is on bettering the lives of citizens by helping to improve the delivery of such essential public services as water and sanitation, good safe schools and properly equipped health facilities. Within the MCI, two successive urban planning, policy and design workshops have been undertaken to date addressing Accra’s public health system and studies on waste-to-energy and bus rapid transit options, solid waste composting, the region-wide e-waste industry now headquartered in Accra, and the history of land use policy for the city. Design proposals for improvement of residential and commercial sites in Ga Mashie envisage improvement of water provision services through water towers, market-oriented development of commercial areas and development of the waterfront for touristic use. The current designs include fishing and related activities as important livelihood strategies, but do not provide visions for protection of the artisanal fishery.



Fisheries Act, 2002 Act 625

The Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI) of the Earth Institute (2011), Columbia University was founded by the world-renowned Development Economist, Jeffrey D. Sachs as the Urban Counterpart of the Millennium Villages Project and an outgrowth of the national level work carried out by the United Nations Millennium City Project. MCI’s core mission is to help underserved cities across sub-Saharan Africa to complete Urban Transformations which are essential to

Provides the fisheries regulation and management and the development of the fishing industry though sustainable use of fishery resources “FISHING ZONES, GEAR, METHODS AND MANNING OF MOTOR FINING VESSELS Section 82. Destruction of fishing gear of artisanal fishermen in inshore exclusive zone (1) A person


aboard a motor fishing vessel shall not destroy or damage an appropriately marked fishing gear of an artisanal fisherman inside the zone. (3) full compensation for the destroyed gear either in kind or in cash, and adequate compensation for lost fishing time. Section 81. Establishment of zones and prohibition of fishing inside zones (2) The zone shall be used exclusively by small semi-industrial vessels, canoes and recreational fishing vessels. (3) A person shall not use a large semi-industrial vessel or industrial fishing vessel for fishing inside the zone. (5) A towing gear shall not be used in a thirty-metre zone or the depth prescribed by the Regulations. FISHING ACTIVITIES Section 84. Closed seasons (1) The Commission may by notice in the Gazette declare closed seasons, including their duration, for fishing in specified areas of the coastal waters or the reverie system. (2) A declaration made under subsection (1) shall be given reasonable publicity and, where possible, shall be given in advance of the closed season. CONSERVATION MEASURES Section 89. Protection of gravid and juvenile lobsters, other crustacean and other juvenile fish (1) A person shall not during fishing knowingly take any: (c) juvenile fish. (2) Where a fish mentioned in subsection (1) is caught accidentally or as a by-catch it shall immediately be returned to the sea, river or lake. (3) A person who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine and in addition, the catch, fishing gear or any other apparatus or any combination of them used in the commission of the offence may be forfeited to the Republic. Section 92. Pollution of fishery waters A person who directly or indirectly introduces a deleterious substance into the fishery waters which adversely affects the habitat or health of the fish or any other living aquatic resource commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine.� The Act failed to raise issues such as harmful fishing practices such as light fishing and pair

trawling on artisanal and semi-industrial industry, quality control of fish products and rights to access fishing logistics. Fisheries Regulations, 2010 (L.I. 1968) in tune with modern measures covers all fisheries sectors, including artisanal fisheries, in regards to fishing license, registration of fishing vessels, fishing nets, fishing devices and methods, fishing equipment, compliance measures and monitoring mechanisms. “Section 8.(1) A person shall not use (a) a multifilament set-net the mesh size of which is less than fifty millimeters in stretched diagonal length in the marine water or riverine system; (c) a monofilament set-net in the marine waters. Section 10. (1) A person shall not manufacture, import, or sell or use a fishing net or gear, the mesh size of which is less than twenty-five millimeters in stretched diagonal length. Section 11. (1) A person shall not within the fishery waters of this country (a) use any fishing method that aggregates fish by light attraction including use of portable generator, switchboard, bulbs beyond 500 watts or bulbs whose cumulative light intensity attracts fish and long cable to facilitate light production or any other contrivance for the purpose of aggregating fish by light. (d) operate pair-trawling.� Customary Law (Under Article 11 of the Constitution) are on the basis of religious beliefs and superstitions in association with fetishes which are enforced by taboos; Tuesday is regarded as the sacred day of the sea god and a long resting period which coincides with the fish sprawling periods. Nevertheless, the conservation of marine resources managed though taboos is sometimes disregarded by some fishermen due to small catches caused by the depletion of fish stock.



3. Room for manoeuvre to bridge gaps


Gaps in policy-making/implementation Room for manoeuvre in the current policies Improper waste management : - Plans for recycling facilities by Gbi Hanjer Ghana - lack of basic infrastructure, Limited (private waste management company) - lack of commitment from AMA ‘Accra Sewerage Improvement Project’ (ASIP), - overlapping responsibilities of AMA/subfunded by African Development Fund, implemented metro offices by AMA (to be completed by May 2012) - lack of awareness (informal dumping of o 5 treatment plants to be fully working and non-degradable waste, fishermen throw connected by 2030 plastic back into the sea) - Strategic directions to enhance sewerage treatment capacity identified by Accra Learning Alliance (SWITCH project) as component of integrated urban water management system o Using capacity of natural filtration in ecosystems o Securing/acquiring new sludge treatment sites: protection of mangroves around Korle Lagoon and Kpeshie Lagoon o Capacity building - Informal waste picking activities which can be integrated in formal SWM - Riparian Buffer Zone Policy (implementation by Monitoring of Pollution and Environmental management not working because: Water Resource Commission, WRC) - overlapping responsibilities (WRC, EPA - Strategic Environmental Assessment (manual prepared by EPA; to be implemented by - absence of monitoring of cumulative pollution (documented only for registered GAMA/AMA and private developers) emitters individually, no documentation of - Current project of EPA to build comprehensive informal discharge) aerospace cum GIS database for resources appraisal and state of environment reporting in coastal areas (Ghana Navy, EPA, Ghana Statistical Services) - Ghana’s Action Plan on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (2011-2015), designed by National Disaster Management Organisation and EPA with support from UNEP; to be implemented by district assemblies (AMA) Representation/Participation of artisanal - Canoe Owners’ Council: representation of canoe fishermen owners’ interests - only chiefs consulted by Fishery - Savings groups, market women, queen mothers: Commission (through National Canoe representation of fishmongers’ interests - People’s Dialogue and Slum Dwellers International Fishermen Council) (SDI): facilitators for representation of interests by - no consultation of fishermen in MCI initiative for harbour regeneration urban poor communities - uncertainty in the level of representation of long-term migrants Marine Resource Management - GCLME: regional framework for integrated - market-led management aimed at management - District Fishery Assemblies restoring/enhancing total catch, little


3.1 GUINEA CURRENT LARGE MARINE ECOSYSTEM PROJECT (GCLME) This project aims at bringing sustainable development of the environment and resources of the county along the Guinea coast. It started out on the initiative of 6 countries namely Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo in 1995 under the name of “Water Pollution Control and Biodiversity Conservation in the Gulf of Guinea Large Marine Ecosystem” with aegis of Global Environment Facility together with technical assistance of international organisations such as UNIDO, UNDP, UNEP and others. The project ended in 1999 and now has been extended and renamed as the GCLME with 16 participating countries. This is amongst the first time that the concept of ‘Large Marine Ecosystems’ (LME) has been used to achieve the UNCED goals. LME are large areas that are distinguished by their hydrography, bathymetry amongst others. In order to assess the current state, five operational modules are used that help in creating a bridge between science and socioeconomic gains for the region. There are (1) ecosystem productivity (2) ecosystem fish and fisheries (3) ecosystem socio-economic conditions (4) ecosystem governance protocols. This cross- regional effort hopes to restore, protect and augment the current ecosystem both in terms of its capacity and output in the region. To meet this end the project has established labs across the belt helping in data collection, using WHO Rapid Assessment for pollution, GIS system for data generation, promoting community and non-governmental organisation participation, conducting training workshops in all the associated countries amongst others. Furthermore, in its strategic action plan it has reiterated the importance of cooperation and integration amongst the different regions in order to sustain this complex ecosystem. In order to replete the fish stocks, improve water quality, restore the environment, the main strategies that are to be implemented are (1) integrated coastal area and river basin management (2) strategic environmental assessment (3) creation of marine protected areas (4) cross boundary assessments of the efficiency of government policies, programmes

and initiatives amongst others. This is implemented through the creation of country specific plans and Interim Guinea Current Commission, which is later to become a more permanent body. For implementation of the GCLME, the GCLME Strategic Action Program (SAP) has been developed by the steering Committee of the Interim Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystems (GCLME) in annual meetings between 2005 and 2011. The SAPs are currently translated into National Action Programs (NAPs) in each of the 16 member countries. In Ghana, this process is coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology and supported by consultancy reports and monitoring activities from Ghana Water Research Institute (WRI) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). As a pilot project, a Waste Stock Exchange Management System is being designed, exploring the options for solid waste recycling and promoting public-private partnerships, scientific research and awarenessraising campaigns (IGCC/UNIDO 2010). 49


Increasing the potential for environmentally just urbanisation in Old Fadama through urban agriculture and community led waste management 51


Development Planning Unit, University College London 34, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9EZ, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (20) 7679 1111 Fax: +44 (20) 7679 1112 E-mail: Web:


Table of contents 2.1 Acknowledgments 2.2 Abbreviations 2.3 List of Figures and Tables 2.3 Executive Summary 2.4 Background 2.5 Methodology Limitations

2.6 Conceptual Framework Hypothesis 2.7 Key Findings: Case Studies 2.8 Scenarios Spatial Stagnation Spatial Negotiation Spatial Transformation Strategies 2.9 Conclusion Future Research 2.10 Epilogue 2.11 Works Cited 2.12 Appendices





irst and foremost, we would like to thank our two local facilitators, Albassan Baba Fuseini of GHAFUP and Lawrence Dickson-Cobblah of MoFA. We are extremely grateful for their time, translation, support and excellent facilitation of our research in Ghana. We would also like to extend our gratitude to our UCL facilitators, Adriana Allen and Matthew Wood-Hill, as well as the rest of the DPU team that travelled to Ghana with us, Rita Lambert, Alexandre Apsan Frediani and Etienne Von Bertrab, for their valuable insight and feedback.


We greatly appreciated all lectures and seminars both in London and in Accra as they were extremely enriching for our project and our understanding of UA and land issues in our area. Last but not least, we thank everyone who agreed to talk to us on the field with a special mention to the members of OFADA, as our research would not have been possible without them.


ABBREVIATIONS AMA Accra Metropolitan Assembly AWGUPA Accra Working Group on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture CICOL Civil Society Coalition on Land COHRE Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions DPU Development Planning Unit EJ

Environmental Justice

EJU Environmentally Just Urbanisation EUU Environmentally Unjust Urbanisation GAMA Greater Accra Metropolitan Area GHAFUP Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor GHC Ghana Cedi

KLERP Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project LAP Land Administration Project LC

Lands Commission


Land for Life

MCI Millennium City Initiative

MDGs Millennium Development Goals MLG Ministry of Local Government MoFA Ministry of Food & Agriculture OFADA

Old Fadama Development Association

PDG People’s Dialogue on Human Settlements Ghana RtC

Right to the City

GWCL Ghana Water Company Ltd.

SDI Shack/Slum Dwellers International

ILGS Institute of Local Government Studies

TCP Town and Country Planning

ISSER Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research IWMI International Water Management Institute


Urban Agriculture

UCL University College London





TWO Methodology Table 14 THREE

Environmentally Just Urbanisation 15

FOUR Hypothesis 16 FIVE Mapping the Flows: Livestock Farmers



Mapping the Flows: Slaughter Slab



Mapping the Flows: Chop Bar 20

EIGHT Mapping the Flows: Abossey Okai 20 56

NINE Mapping the Flows: Kaya Yei 21 TEN Mapping the Flows: Kaya Bola 22 ELEVEN

The Power of Associations 23


Spatial Stagnation Scenario Map: Business As Usual



Spatial Negotiation Scenario Map: Relocation



Why are OFADA and PDG Negotiating Relocation?



Spatial Negotiation Scenario Map: OFADA Waste Management


SIXTEEN Why are OFADA and PDG Negotiating the OFADA Waste Management Scenario? 26 SEVENTEEN

Spatial Transformation Scenario Map: Synergy Without Walls


EIGHTEEN Synergy Without Walls Timeline 28 NINETEEN

Synergy Without Walls: Linking Actors to Actions




his report is the product of a four month long study of Old Fadama, the largest informal settlement in Accra, Ghana. This community of over 80,000 people situated on the shores of the Korle Lagoon is the centre of a heated political debate. While the local government seeks to evict the settlement in order to carry out a restoration project on the Korle Lagoon, residents are fighting for their right to remain in a place that they have called home for over two decades. Moreover, Old Fadama is situated in a flood prone zone which is commonly used as an informal deposit for solid waste that the government has refused to provide with any basic service such as waste collection, sanitation and education. In this difficult political situation and these precarious living conditions, our study seeks to examine what role UA could contribute towards achieving a greater level of EJU. We have centred our research around Old Fadama’s ties to the surrounding area by examining three categories of “flows” in and out of the community: food, waste, and livelihoods. We argue that the flows identified display the settlement’s importance within Accra and challenge its perception as an isolated pocket of poverty that hinders the development of the city. Rather, the data collected reveals the extent to which Old Fadama is an integral part of the city and a crucial element in the metabolism of West Accra. This conclusion will be demonstrated through detailed descriptions of the role of key actors, institutions, and places in West Accra, including kaya yeis (head porters), kaya bolas (waste collectors), and livestock farmers, chop bars (local canteens), a slaughter slab (informal abattoir), and the Abossey Okai farm. Additionally, four different possible scenarios for Old Fadama will be analysed with the aim of exploring the current situation and possible opportunities for EJU in Old Fadama with the use of UA and community-led

waste management as tools. While the three first scenarios demonstrate less than optimum situations, our fourth scenario contains our main recommendations and strategies that would bring about a greater level of EJU in West Accra. In short, we recommend a spatial transformation approach combining a community-led waste management system and UA coupled with an awareness campaign to challenge the negative perception of the settlement. Through this strategy we hope that citizens of Old Fadama will be able to reclaim their right to the city and generate a greater level of environmental justice.




hroughout the developing world, cities are being transformed by the dual processes of rapid and unplanned urbanisation, and internal migration, as economic pressures push people from rural areas to seek opportunity in the city. The emergence of Old Fadama is a consequence of these changes: with an influx of citizens from Northern Ghana, increasing competition for land and rising land prices, Accra cannot accommodate all newcomers. Informal settlements thus serve as an affordable solution to housing and provision of livelihoods in the informal sector.


Old Fadama exists in a permanent state of transiency, with infrastructure1 and housing being organised, built and maintained by the community at their own cost. The issue of the settlement’s location has continuously been contentious. Popularly referred to as ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’2 the settlement has always been perceived by authorities as a temporary arrangement. Claimed to be dangerous and the residents “violent people, armed robbers, crooks, prostitutes and the unemployed” (Galeta, 2011), Old Fadama is viewed as a virtual pocket of bads, a ‘cancer’ that needs to be removed for Accra to develop. Additionally, the community borders the Korle Lagoon, currently used as an illegal landfill for both local waste and international e-waste.

The declaration of Accra as a Millennium City by the Millennium City Initiative (MCI) in 2001 1 The community has no formal sanitation, waste collection or basic infrastructure amenities, due to its informality. 2 A biblical reference to two cities that were so ridden with sin that God destroyed them without offering a chance to repent.

has promoted the city as a model for sustainable development for West Africa. However, the drive to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has translated into a number of regeneration projects being fast-tracked throughout the city, generally overlooking notions of sustainability and environmental justice (EJ) in favour of economic growth and touristic appeal. In West Accra, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has been promoting the Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project (KLERP), which would require the community’s relocation.

Through our research we attempt to understand the potential for urban agriculture (UA) – a commonplace practice in open spaces all over Accra – in Old Fadama and how it could contribute towards a more environmentally just process of urbanisation. One of the peculiarities of our area is its sheer concentration of people. Because of the density and growing population, competition for land is at its highest, leaving little room for open spaces. As a consequence, we have assumed a broad definition of UA, extending


beyond vegetable farming to include livestock rearing, and the flow of raw and processed foods in and out of the settlement. Generally, UA has been under-studied in these areas, providing little to build our research around.

• In what ways could UA contribute to a more environmentally just pattern of urbanisation for Old Fadama?

Since waste management is an evident issue for the community, we decided early on to analyse its relation with UA with a particular focus on the synergies that could exist between UA and a community-led waste management system.

• Can UA contribute to improve the relations between Old Fadama and AMA?

We therefore developed several important questions exploring the role of UA in Old Fadama:

• Can the settlement be considered in isolation from the rest of the city, and the Agbogbloshie market?

• How can waste management promote UA practices and thus contribute to environmentally just urbanisation (EJU)?

• What are the existing UA practices in Old Fadama? • What is the potential for expanding these?



Abossey Okai: • • • • • • • •

Active UA plot since the 1940s Institutional land, owned by AMA UA site reduced due to plans to build parking lot by International Central Gospel Church 10 farmers, all men Currently 10 beds per farmer Water source for irrigation: drain water Market women from Agbogbloshie and Makola buy vegetables directly on site In the process of relocating

Old Fadama: • • • • • • • •

Largest informal settlement in Accra Estimated to have approximately 80,000 dwellers1 Covers 31 hectares of institutional land, owned by AMA Emerged in 1981 Mostly populated by citizens from Northern Ghana Commonly referred to as Sodom and Gomorrah ‘Fadama’ in the Hausa dialect means ‘irrigable land’ ie. land that is prone to flooding, wetlands – Old Fadama experiences frequent flooding Livelihoods dependent on Agbogbloshie market

1 The population estimates vary between 40,000 and 80,000. This is due both to the difference between day and night populations, frequently missed in official data, and to the strategic interests of the government in refuting the size of the settlement.


Korle Bu1: • • • • • • • 1

11 hectares of private land, owned by Korle Bu Teaching Hospital MoFA best farm award in 2011 Association and savings group since 2010 120 permanent farmers (1 woman), 50 day workers 120 beds per farmer Water sources for irrigation: drain, tab and dugout Market women from Agbogbloshie, Kasoa and central region buy directly on site See Appendix 1 for Korle Bu case study.

ONE Situating West Accra1 1

Data from: Grant, 2009


Agbogbloshie Market: •

• •

Previously a destination for people from rural areas to sell their produce, became a market in the 1980s when AMA built permanent structures Largest wholesale market in Accra, attracting customers from all over the city Products competitively priced


Korle Lagoon: • • • •

Previous place of worship of Ga tribe, now used as dumpsite At the centre of the KLERP KLERP: 90 million dollar project, backed by international investors KLERP aim: preserve the lagoon and its surroundings as an ecological park for recreational activities – a tourist attraction KLERP: requires the relocation of Old Fadama




ur research methods differed with respect to each stage of the project. Starting with a comprehensive background study on both the area and current UA practices in Accra, we went on to develop our hypotheses and research questions, which guided our fieldwork. We then spent two weeks in the field using a variety of participatory research tools1. At the end of our stay,

we processed our data and presented it orally, opening a dialogue between different stakeholders and giving us the opportunity to hand over the results of our mapping exercise as a tool for local organisations. The final stage of this project was to compile this document as a catalyst for further discussions around UA and EJU in Accra.

1 For a detailed daily plan of our fieldwork, refer to appendix 2.


LIMITATIONS • Lack of prior research on urban agriculture in Old Fadama – limited the precision of our initial fieldwork plan • Conflicting views – the topic of Old Fadama is controversial, and our sources had varying agendas and differing biases • Conflicting data – interviewees sometimes had different information on the same issues. The time constraint of our fieldwork did not allow us to examine these inconsistencies in more depth • Time frame –three weeks of fieldwork does inhibit certain levels of data collection i.e. seasonality and consistency

TWO Methodology Table



o conduct our research, a working definition of EJU was developed through the merging of debates on what EJ and the right to the city (RtC) entail. This was applied to the examination of the current and potential practice of UA in Old Fadama. EJ, at its core, is recognised as the just distribution of environmental goods and bads, as well as the equal participation and recognition of the populations most affected by environmental degradation (Agyeman, 2005). The concept of RtC identifies the collective Environmentally Just rights of citizens to shape Urbanisation the environment they live in as a basic human right. • Just distribution of environIt transcends notions of mental goods and bads resource allocation to give • Equal participation and recogthe urban poor, tradinition of urban poor tionally excluded from this • Horizontal platform of RtC (MacPherson and communication enabling Ziervogel), an active role voice for most affected in urban planning (Harvey, • Ensured inclusive, active role 2008).EJU is hence the in planning of the city meeting point of EJ and • Combines rights-based RtC. approach with justice-based approach to development

THREE Environmentally Just Urbanisation

The current pattern of urbanisation in Accra has systematically excluded the urban poor – in particular the residents of Old Fadama – from the planning process, leaving them voiceless and turning their living environment into a landfill. This propagates a model of environmentally unjust urbanisation (EUU) both for Old Fadama and the Korle Lagoon.

We therefore had a twofold mission during our fieldwork: •

To investigate existing practices and relationships of UA within current environmentally unjust patterns of urbanisation – with a focus on waste management

To assert the importance of Old Fadama within Accra, and challenge its perception as an isolated pocket of poverty rather than an integral part of the city through the analysis of “flows” in and out of the settlement

HYPOTHESIS Our mission was informed by our hypotheses. In particular, based on our desk research, we deduced that UA has the potential to bring about EJU in the Korle Lagoon area and strengthen the links that already exist between Accra and Old Fadama. Specifically, linking UA with a community based waste management would encourage environmental stewardship, ultimately promoting EJ in and around Old Fadama and the Korle Lagoon. Linking UA and community based waste management systems would allow for: •

Shorter food chains and improved food security

Promote social organisation and greater participation in Accra’s food system for the residents of Old Fadama

Reduce environmental degradation




FOUR Hypothesis





hrough our fieldwork, we developed several profiles. This list is not exhaustive, and presents only some of the key actors, activities and flows taking place within our area of research. These include livestock farmers, an informal abattoir, local canteens, a farm to the West of Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market, kaya yeis (head porters), and kaya bolas (waste collectors). We identified these six case studies as they represent different, but integral, roles in the production, processing, consumption, sale,

LIVESTOCK FARMERS1 Animal Rearers 66

• • •

Male Approximately 200 farmers No Association

transport, and disposal practices of the area. The first four could be described as physical transaction points in our flows within the city - they are key places for production, processing, and sale. The last two could be considered vehicles, transporting the produce - live, cut, cooked, waste to another destination. To ignore these different profiles, and their role, is to ignore their right to the city by ignoring their contribution to its workings, thus perpetuating environmental injustices inflicted upon them. farmer’s family. Production is small, due to the difficulty of building capital and the density of living spaces, in comparison with farmers outside of the community. Therefore, farming is not the only source of household income. Livestock feeds on organic waste from the Agbogbloshie market (watermelon peels, plantain, cassava, etc.) provided free of charge, sometimes supplemented by hay bought outside of Old Fadama. As the livestock is reared freely, they also feed on organic and inorganic matter found in the community. Customers come to Old Fadama to purchase the livestock live. The livestock is either immediately taken outside of the community to be processed elsewhere, or processed at a slaughter slab within the community. Waste produced by the livestock is thrown in the back of the community, on the shores of the Korle Lagoon.

Livestock was identified as the main form of UA production in Old Fadama. Young livestock is brought into the community from outside and raised for sale. They are typically reproduced, but new livestock is bought to maintain a specific male-to-female ratio and breed. None of the livestock is consumed within the livestock 1 See Appendix 3 for additional background information..

FIVE Mapping the Flows: Livestock Farmers


SLAUGHTER SLAB1 An informal abattoir where livestock is killed for consumption


• • •

Men own and operate 100% of livestock from Old Fadama is slaughtered here Over 50% of livestock slaughtered brought from outside of Old Fadama

1 See Appendix 4 for additional background information.

CHOP BAR1 A Local Canteen

There is one SIX Mapping the Flows: Slaughter Slab slaughter slab in Old Fadama. Since livestock production is not large enough to satisfy demand, livestock is bought from outside Old Fadama once every week or two, by the slab owners. Most of the meat is then taken outside of the community to be further processed through flows such as butchers, chop bars and restaurants. Meat is then predominantly brought back into the community through chop bars that purchase at Agbogbloshie market. The wastewater used to clean the slab and unwanted organs are dumped on the shores of the Korle Lagoon by slaughterers.

• •

Women run and own chop bars Main source of household income

Old Fadama • • •

1200 chop bars in Old Fadama, 530 work during the day, the rest work at night 100% of food used is from Agbogbloshie market 95% of food is consumed in Old Fadama, while 5% is sold outside of community

Agbogbloshie • • 1 See Appendix 5 for additional background information.

Association 100 chop bars



there is not enough time to cook on weekdays. As a result, most people eat in chop bars five times a week. Livestock is produced in Old Fadama, processed in the community’s slaughter slab, sold in Agbogbloshie Market and bought by the Old Fadama chop bars to then be cooked and sold in the community. The chop bars use the kaya bolas to remove their waste, which is dumped on the Korle Lagoon. Agbogbloshie SEVEN Mapping the Flows: Chop Bar Old Fadama Chop bars get all their produce from the Agbogbloshie market. Old Fadama is a community of traders and labourers, with two or more jobs. The entire household works, which means that


An area of land being farmed west of Old Fadama and Agbogbloshie market.


90% of crop sold to market women

10% for household consumption

No association but recognised due to long-standing presence

Agbogbloshie has a Chop Bar Association. All the produce processed and consumed by the chop bars in Agbogbloshie is bought from the market. Waste is collected by the market kaya bolas for a fee and taken to the containers around the market. There is no formal sorting or recycling system set in place for the waste. partially owned by AMA. Because the church is now developing a portion of the land, the farmers are being relocated. This case study is considered within our profiling because while it is close to Old Fadama, there is no contact with the community. The majority of the crop is sold to market women from Makola and Agbogbloshie, who come directly to the farm. The farmers buy all the inputs for the farm (seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides) instead of cycling in available inputs from surrounding areas (i.e. manure from livestock in Old Fadama). Over the years, Abossey Okai has become known as a networking point between the farmers and market women.

Abossey Okai has existed since the 1940s. The land is partially owned by a resident church, and 1

See Appendix 6 for more information

EIGHT Mapping the Flows: Abossey Okai


KAYA YEI1 Head Porters

·     Girls, between the ages of 6 - 18 ·      Average daily income: 5 - 8 GHC/day

Kaya yeis act as a vehicle to transport goods. They depend on the market, just as the market depends on them. They play a vital role within the flows of the city, linking Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market. Originally from the North, they are sent by their families to earn extra household income. They come to Accra during the periods of low harvest season and return when they are needed on their families’ farms. In addition, the kaya yeis pay a daily tax to AMA’s inspectors. While they work in the market, they sleep in Old Fadama. In Agbogbloshie, the Kaya Yei Youth Association counts more than 488 members. These girls are being given skills training by the Association in anticipation of the market’s relocation, which would force them to go back North, or seek other, often unstable, means of income.

·     Accommodation: 2 GHC/week


·     Food: 2-3 GHC/day

See Appendix 9 for additional information on gender roles and saving groups in Old Fadama. NINE Mapping the Flows: Kaya Yei


See Appendix 7 for more information


KAYA BOLA1 A rubbish collector

• Men Old Fadama • • • • 70

TEN Mapping the Flows: Kaya Bola

150 kaya bolas No association 30 - 40 clients 10 - 15 bags collected/day

Agbogbloshie • • •

Operating around 6 waste containers The kaya bolas manning the container charge 30 pesewas - 1 GHC The kaya bolas collecting directly from the vendors charge between 50 pesewas - 1 GHC, then pay a smaller fee to the kaya bolas in charge of containers

As Old Fadama has no formal waste management system, kaya bolas have emerged in response to waste issues. While their roles are informal, they play an important part in the waste management system of the area, collecting waste from one place and dumping it on predetermined sites, both legal and illegal. Kaya bolas work across Old Fadama and Agbogbloshie market, though their roles may differ. Old Fadama Not all kaya bolas operating in the community live there. Kaya bolas have a regular customer base. There are no containers in Old Fadama. 1

See appendix 8 for more information

Instead, dumping occurs on the shores of the lagoon. Some waste separation takes place, as the kaya bola remove bits of copper, aluminium and plastic at collection for resale. This separation process constitutes a significant component of their livelihood. Agbogbloshie Some kaya bolas are in charge of manning the containers owned by Maxwell, managed by Zoomlion, while others collect the waste from vendors in the market. The latter are critical to the vendors’ livelihood, ensuring that the stalls remain in compliance with the ‘health certificate’ authorised under AMA’s Environmental Health and Sanitation Office. This certificate grants a permit to sell, provided that their stalls uphold a certain level of hygiene. In contrast to Old Fadama, their role is a recognised part of the flows in the area. The kaya bolas manning the containers collect a dumping fee from other kaya bolas who bring the waste from the market. Once the container is full, it is collected and taken to a landfill outside of Accra. Collection may take a week or more, so the kaya bolas have to stop dumping on the containers. As a result, waste is dumped directly into the roads and drains, as well as on the lagoon.



y navigating through different scenarios, we explored the current situation in Old Fadama as well as the potential for the future development of UA and the benefits that would entail.

The Power of Associations Because of its informal status, Old Fadama does not rely on AMA for socioeconomic safeguards, infrastructure provision, and so on. Instead, the community operates around a close-knit network of associations. Ranging from neighbourhood savings groups to grassroots organisations with international ties like OFADA and PDG, Old Fadama’s resilience stems from its social fabric. In particular, OFADA, in partnership with PDG, has been responsible for all major improvement projects in the settlement, from setting drain pipes to orchestrating major reconstruction initiatives after disasters. Currently, OFADA has been devising a master plan to deal with the issue of waste.

71 TWELVE Spatial Stagnation Scenario Map: Business As Usual

ELEVEN The Power of Associations




The first scenario examined is one of spatial stagnation, where the settlement stays as it is. The condition of informality lingers, while the threat of eviction impedes significant improvements – both in terms of infrastructure and livelihoods – as residents and outside organisations remain hesitant about investing.

Waste management remains informal and disconnected from the rest of Accra – dependent on the kaya bolas working individually

Solid waste – form the settlement, the markets and parts of the city – and liquid waste from Old Fadama reach the Korle Lagoon

No space for expanding UA practices

Persistence of tense relations between OFADA and AMA

It is safe to assume that this scenario entails a deterioration of existing conditions since few upgrading projects are undertaken. Under this scenario, EJU cannot be achieved.


Identified flows continue to be unacknowledged by AMA and invisible to much of the city

SPATIAL NEGOTIATION: Our fieldwork revealed that there are negotiations underway between AMA and PDG. These follow two very different tangents: •

The relocation of Old Fadama to make way for the KLERP

The possibility of rehabilitation in situ with an improved solid waste management system organised by OFADA



As previously mentioned, AMA has vested interests in Old Fadama’s relocation: going forward with the KLERP has the potential to yield significant profit for the local government. A relocation site has already been identified outside the city, yet OFADA has found it to be unsuitable due to its location and size. Most importantly, it would break all ties with the markets and destroy the livelihoods of Old Fadama’s residents, while negatively impacting the area’s economy . Relocation would move away from EJU and RtC, and arguably even reverse all positive developments.

Logistics: •

20,000 residents would be compensated

Relocation would open way to KLERP

Waste management for the Korle Lagoon would be under the stewardship of AMA

No space for UA in the area

Flows of livelihoods and food would be permanently severed and the Agbogbloshie market would suffer (affecting the community and the Agbogbloshie market)

Open channel for negotiation between AMA and PDG

Why are OFADA and PDG negotiating for this scenario with AMA? By agreeing to the relocation, OFADA and PDG are allowing for some room for manoeuvre. Instead of opposing the prospect of relocation, thus guaranteeing their exclusion from the table of negotiations, they are complying with the political pressures of AMA in an attempt to acquire an active role in this decisionmaking, and place-making, process.

THIRTEEN Spatial Negotiation Scenario Map: Relocation

FOURTEEN Why are OFADA and PDG Negotiating Relocation?




To deal with waste accumulation on the shores of the Korle Lagoon, OFADA has been designing a waste management system for Old Fadama. While planned at the community level, this system will still be dependent on external private companies like Zoomlion to function properly.

Encompasses the mediation of the community’s boundaries and the use of the shores of the Korle Lagoon; in compliance with AMA’s agenda

Erection of wall along the lagoon’s shores to prevent illegal dumping

OFADA’s scenario is build around the clearing of 50 meters of land around the shore of the Korle Lagoon, after negotiations with AMA. It also partly complies with AMA’s vision of a waste free lagoon. However, a surprising finding has been the plan to erect a wall between the community and the lagoon as an integral part of this waste strategy.

Inside the wall •

Containers for the community to place their waste

Waste sorting areas for kaya bola

Outside the wall •

Access routes – access road for rubbish trucks and footpath for community

Community recreational space – i.e. football fields, social areas all maintained by Old Fadama

Beautification of the shores with trees and flowers

Solid waste management organised by OFADA:

1. Kaya bola collect waste from households then sort waste into specialised containers – different container for different waste (plastics, glass, organic, etc.) 2. Waste collected from containers by private waste collection companies i.e. Zoomlion 3. Partially funded by SDI1

See Appendix 10 for roles and responsibilities for the transformation of the shores of the Korle Lagoon. 1

FIFTEEN Spatial Negotiation Scenario Map: OFADA Waste Management

Grant pending.




is a citywide problem of waste management, the shores of the lagoon might still get polluted with There are inherent weaknesses in this scenario. waste from other parts of Accra. Moreover, the Solid waste management would still depend on wall would cause the already overcrowded Old companies like Zoomlion, which are ineffective Fadama to surrender additional space. Most in other areas – such as the Agbogbloshie market importantly, the perception of the community – while liquid waste, arguably the biggest issues will not change, but will rather be enforced in Accra, would continue to pollute. Since there through the creation of a physical barrier separating it from the rest of Accra – this Why are OFADA and PDG negotiating for this scenario with AMA? promotes the idea of Old Fadama as a ‘pocket’ of ‘bads’ and further isolates • Wall the community - Prevention of future dumping on the shores - ‘Protection’ of the community from tourist industry - Security posts


Improve relationship between Old Fadama and AMA through physical manifestation of spatial compromise

Demonstrate community’s capacity through maintenance of aforementioned infrastructure (wall, access roads, containers, etc.)

By agreeing to the wall, OFADA is allowing for some room for manoeuvre. By actively negotiating and compromising the use of space on the shores of the Korle Lagoon, OFADA ensures its participation in the planning of the space Old Fadama currently occupies, opening a dialogue between themselves and the government. OFADA is activating its potential to have a voice in the development of the Korle Lagoon area.

SIXTEEN Why are OFADA and PDG Negotiating the OFADA Waste Management Scenario?

In both of the aforementioned scenarios, the potential for transformative change is minimal. The issues are not reframed: the perception of Old Fadama remains that of a problem that needs to either be removed or contained and isolated. While OFADA’s waste management scenario opens new channels of negotiations with AMA, the ensuing transformation would only perpetuate existing patterns of EUU. While it could be argued that there would be more

EJ since the distribution of environmental bads to this community would be reduced, AMA still dictates the acceptable outcomes and the community is forced into undesirable compromises regarding their use of space.


SPATIAL TRANSFORMATION: SYNERGY WITHOUT WALLS Using the data from our research, we have devised a scenario aiming to achieve transformative change and EJU. In particular, we have identified certain contentious issues preventing EJ and RtC for Old Fadama and sought to remediate them. Our strategy is built around the idea that Old Fadama should not be constrained to build a wall; instead, the flood buffer zone can be productively utilised through UA. Furthermore, the waste

management system proposed by OFADA can be enhanced to be truly community-led, thus moving towards EJU. The settlement’s perception has also been identified as an obstacle to rehabilitation efforts and should therefore be actively combated through the recognition of the flows in and out of the settlement and its subsequent role within the city. See Appendix 11 for the internal and external effects of EJ on the Old Fadama community.


SEVENTEEN Spatial Transformation Scenario Map: Synergy Without Walls




Recognition and facilitation of ties between Old Fadama and surrounding areas – with an emphasis on markets –through the flows of food related livelihoods

Clean and healthy environment supported by a (sustainable) community-led waste management system

Productive use of the flood buffer zones on the shores of the Korle Lagoon through

Recognition and facilitation of Old Fadama as a productive part of Accra, leading to a change in discourse and greater EJU – a change in Accra’s planning discourse is achieved, AMA incorporates the community in the development of the city

This scenario can be achieved through 4 different strategies.





Rid the shores of the Korle Lagoon of waste by sorting and recycling, and profiting where possible from existing rubbish

Temporary security posts on the shores of the Korle Lagoon to limit further illegal dumping

Provision of infrastructure for system – containers, access roads, sorting areas, kaya bola maintenance areas and cooperation with outside waste collected for minimal nonreusable/recyclable material

EIGHTEEN Synergy Without Walls Timeline

Instill a waste sorting process which enables efficient reusing and recycling - from scrap metals to organic waste – within the community to create and preserve livelihoods. Sorting starts at the household

Unite the kaya bola under one association to provide them with safer working conditions, ease the sorting process, and better service for the community

Identify, establish, and reinforce links with surrounding areas through organic waste reuse or recycling. Two-way process where manure from livestock producers serves in farms like Abossey Okai or Korle Bu,

See appendix 12 for in depth information about these phases


and organic waste from farms and markets serve as feed for animals and composting materials •

Adopt a truly community run system by enabling all voices to be heard in the planning, ultimately further mobilising the community and displaying the settlement’s capacities to AMA

Strategy 2: Implementing and promoting UA in Old Fadama •

Identify existing flood buffer zone on shores of Korle Lagoon as UA production area – both farming and livestock rearing

Utilise the community’s wealthy knowledge of agriculture and their enthusiasm to develop UA in Old Fadama

Adopt a multi-stakeholder approach to managing the newly available land enabling an equal say, benefit from new livelihood, and additional mobilisation

Initiate support from MoFA for training for UA producers (hygiene, veterinary support)

Develop UA production on shores of Korle Lagoon as replacement to previously needed security posts to prevent illegal dumping on site

Create links with organic waste from community-led waste management

Create links with existing UA processing systems – chop bars, slaughter slab

Use newly created links to strengthen the community ties within Old Fadama and amongst its surroundings to increase the community’s resilience by shortening the food chains, encouraging better preservation of the lagoon, generating alternative employment, and improving livelihoods and living conditions

Strategy 3: Raising awareness of Old Fadama’s ties to Accra •

Create a community managed city-wide awareness campaign, through differing platforms of media – from posters to YouTube – to counteract negative press

Use connections with outside organisations (i.e. SDI) to disseminate information at a global level

While the actors involved in the flows are inevitably linked through livelihoods and UA processes, there is little or no communication about these ties between them. Uniting them and their associations in order to open communication is the first step in raising awareness of Old Fadama’s strong ties to the surrounding areas. These actors are highly dependent on one another, but these connections are not elaborated or utilised. The dissemination campaign should begin by creating links between organisations spanning across the settlement-market divide

Strategy 4: Improve Old Fadama-AMA relations through OFADA and PDG •

Achieve better cooperation



Display community initiatives in provision of infrastructure - sanitation, waste management, UA - to alter AMA’s perception of Old Fadama

Open dialogues on the impacts of and alternatives to present planning discourses in the area; instead of being excluded, the voice of OFADA and the residents of Old Fadama holds credibility and value




NINETEEN Synergy Without Walls: Linking Actors to Actions



ld Fadama can serve as either an example or a cautionary tale. The settlement’s formation is representative of the process of rapid and unplanned urbanisation in a framework of intense land competition. It is also a testimony to urban planning in much of the global South, where the urban poor are invisible in national and city statistics, and thus excluded from development programmes. At the same time, these marginalised populations are blamed for environmental degradation and constrained to live in less than desirable conditions. In this sense, Old Fadama can be seen as a cautionary tale for the perils of unplanned urbanisation.

Throughout our research, the community has time and again voiced their interest in both UA and having a role in waste management. By building on its internal organisation and demonstrating its willingness to improve its environment, Old Fadama can implement a truly community-led waste management system to then facilitate the promotion of UA within and throughout West Accra. There is therefore great potential, which can – and needs to – to be utilised in Old Fadama. The settlement can serve as an example of how to achieve EJU through community organisation and UA.

On the other hand, however, the community of Old Fadama has proven to be resilient in the face of minimal state intervention and insufficient resources. As examined in this report, the settlement’s ties to Accra through flows of food, livelihood, and waste are strong and critical . The community’s relocation would thus have considerable repercussions to the economic life of West Accra.


FUTURE RESEARCH Future research that would inform our scenario includes the collection and analysis of quantitative data. Specifically, what the real contribution of UA could be for the residents of Old Fadama based on the available space and the actual quantity of waste produced by Old Fadama in comparison with that of Accra. The composition of Old Fadama’s waste would also be needed to examine the proportion of organic waste.

Moreover, consultation would be needed on time frames to achieve the goals that would permit UA. These are: soil rehabilitation and clearing of waste from the lagoon. One final strand would be to explore the potential for Old Fadama’s residents to secure land tenure.



pon our return to London, we received distressing news from our local contacts in Accra. On Monday 21 May 2012, a fire ravaged Old Fadama. The Ghana National Fire Service responded swiftly - yet the fire spread across the wooden structures, consuming more than 1,000 dwellings. With no alternative housing options, the 3,500 people rendered homeless were left without shelter at the beginning of the fourmonth long rainy season.


The local authorities did little to assist with destruction mitigation, while the amount of aid the community was eligible to receive was uncertain and unreliable. The Ghanaian media severely downplayed the dimensions of the fire and blamed the dwellers for causing the tragedy instead of promoting a campaign to help them cope. With little external help, rebuilding efforts

started merely days after the fire, under the stewardship of OFADA and using funding from saving groups. Moreover, the new structures were made of concrete, proving once again the community’s resilience.

Fires are a too-often neglected peril for informal settlements, threatening hundreds of people around the world; in fact, another fire broke out in Old Fadama on the 29 May 2012. Despite the commonality of these events, there has been little research on fires at a global level. Yet urban dwellers continue to loose their homes and livelihoods. While community organisations can play a key role in dealing with, and preventing, fire outbreaks, research and further involvement of governments could be crucial for achieving environmental justice in informal settlements, including Old Fadama.


WORKS CITED Geleta, A. (2011) ‘From ‘Sodom’ to Old Fadama’, Journalists for Human Rights [online] (accessed 22 May 2012)

MCI. (n/a) Millennium Cities Initiative [online]. Available from: http://mci.ei.columbia. edu/ (accessed 22 May 2012)

Agyeman, J. (2005) Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice. New York and London: New York University Press

MacPherson, A. K. and C. Ziervogel (n/a) ‘Settlements Under Siege: Securing Rights to the City’ SDI - The Global Network of the Urban Poor [online] settlements-under-siege-securing-right-city/ (accessed 5 March 2012)

Grant, R. (2009) ‘Globalizing from below’ in Grant, R. (eds.) Globalizing city : the urban and economic transformation of Accra, Ghana, pp.111-135. New York: Syracuse University Press

81 Harvey, D. (2008) ‘The Right to the City’, The New Left Review (53) [online] http:// (accessed 5 March 2012)


APPENDICES APPENDIX 1: KORLE BU Korle Bu: A Success Story in the City



he Korle Bu farm is spread across 11 hectares of land, owned by the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. MoFA awarded it the Best Farm award in 2011. This award recognises the essential role farmers play in the socioeconomic development of Ghana. While the farms have been long-standing at the hospital, they have insecure land tenure. As the hospital expands, the farmers have to adapt, “the hospital pushes us, so we push the bush” (farmer). Currently, there are 120 farmers, one of which is a woman. The average farmer has 120 soil beds; this is more than the minimum 70 beds needed to make a living. Farmers stay as long as possible (30 or more years), and live in the Korle Bu area. As of 2010, there is a strong Farmers Association and savings group, with 70 of the 120 farmers being active members.

The Korle Bu farm supplies the Koala Supermarket, market women coming from Agbogbloshie, Makola, Kasoa and central region buying directly on site, and other farmers who run out of produce but want to retain their customer base. More than 70% of Korle Bu’s customers buy to resell. There are differences between Old Fadama and Korle Bu; land tenure, recognition & Associations, etc. However, this case study demonstrates the extent and reach of flows in the city. As a result from these flows, production, processing, sale, etc. is never an isolated part of the food chain. In this example, Korle Bu is not isolated from Agbogbloshie market and the market from the farmers; women buy produce from the farmers, to resell in the market.







1st May 2012

Transect walk and GPS mapping in Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market

Guided by facilitators

1st May 2012

Semi-structured 1 woman [chairman] and interview with 5 men [secretary, organiser, Exotic Vegetable treasurer, members] Market Association

Understand relations between the Agbogbloshie market and Old Fadama Examine current waste management system both in market and settlement

29th May 2012

Transect walk and GPS mapping in Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market

Guided by residents

1st May 2012

Semi-structured interview with OFADA

3 men [secretary, organiser committee task force]

1st May 2012

Participatory mapping with OFADA

4 men [secretary, organiser committee task force, member]

1st May 2012

Semi-structured interview with goat and sheep farmers

4 men

1st May 2012

Semi-structured interview with cattle farmers

2 men

First impressions of the area Understand structure of community Identify major concerns: waste management and sanitation, lack of infrastructure Unpack relations with AMA

Explore the flows of food and waste in and out of the Agbogbloshie market Investigate the relation between the market and Old Fadama Analyse the perception of UA grown vegetables Understand key problems in Old Fadama Discuss what OFADA is doing to remediate these Investigate the current plans for waste management Unpack relations with AMA

Uncover current sanitation facilities: toilet blocks, drain pipes, etc. Pinpoint open spaces in Old Fadama Delve into future plans for community-led waste management system Explore the flows of food and waste in and out of Old Fadama Investigate the current practices of UA in Old Fadama Explore the flows of food and waste in and out of Old Fadama Investigate the current practices of UA in Old Fadama



2nd May 2012


Semi-structured interview with Ngannuni Savings Group

12 women [treasurer, members] and 3 men [chairman, vice-chairman, secretary]

3rd May 2012 Transect walk and GPS mapping in Abossey Okai

Guided by farmers

Identify organisational power of community Examine motivation for savings Analyse potential for UA in Old Fadama Explore the flows of food and waste in and out of Old Fadama Examine existing UA practices and how they have been changing

3rd May 2012 Semi-structured interview with Abossey Okai farmers

7 men

Understand the potential for UA at the shores of the Korle Lagoon Explore the flows of food in Accra

3rd May 2012 Transect walk and GPS mapping in Korle Bu

Examine existing UA practices and how they have been changing

3rd May 2012 Semi-structured interview with Korle Bu Farmers Association

Guided by MoFA extension officer and farmers 15 men [chairman, organiser, members]

3rd May 2012 Semi-structured interview with Ablekuma South Sub-Metro Director

1 man

3rd May 2012 Transect walk and GPS mapping around the shores of the Korle Lagoon

Guided by facilitators

Unpack the relation of Old Fadama with AMA Explore the implications of the KLERP Investigate the current plans for waste management and sanitation in Accra Analyse the perception of UA in Accra

5th May 2012 Semi-structured interview with the Kaya Yei Youth Association

52 women [kaya yeis], 1 man [head of association]

5th May 2012 Participatory mapping with Kaya Yei

5 women

Explore the flows of food in Accra Analyse role of UA in Accra Understand the potential for UA in Accra and how it can be applied to Old Fadama

Understand the KLERP and explore its implications Investigate failure to implement KLERP so far Delve into existing UA practices: pig farm, livestock distribution point Explore the flows of food in and out of Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market Explore the flows of livelihoods Identify linkages between Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market

Map flows of food and livelihoods Identify living spaces and areas of work


5th May 2012 Semi-structured interview with Kaya Bola from the Agbogbloshie market

3 men

Explore the flows of waste in and out of the Agbogbloshie market and the Korle Lagoon Understand the current waste management system of Accra Uncover illegal dumping practices Analyse the reliability of private waste companies like Zoomlion Delve into the potential of improvement of waste management practices Investigate the role UA could play in waste management

5th May 2012 Participatory mapping with AMA Environmental Health and Sanitation Director

1 man

5th May 2012 Transect walk and GPS mapping in Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market

Guided by facilitators and kaya bola

5th May 2012 Semi-structured interview with a Kaya Bola from Old Fadama

1 man

5th May 2012 Participatory mapping with a Kaya Bola from Old Fadama

1 man

5th May 2012 Structured interview with OFADA

3 men [chairman, secretary, Investigate the current plans for organiser] waste management Unpack relations with AMA Deepen understanding or current waste management system and relations with AMA Delve into the role of kaya yei and kaya bola for Old Fadama

Explore actual waste management system around Agbogbloshie market Investigate illegal dumping practices Analyse potential of UA in Old Fadama with respect to health regulations

Examine physical flows of food, waste and livelihoods linking Old Fadama to the Agbogbloshie market Analyse current waste management system of Old Fadama and dumping practices around the Korle Lagoon Explore the flows of waste in and out of Old Fadama and the Korle Lagoon Understand the current waste management system of Old Fadama Delve into the potential of a community-led waste management system Explore current waste management system of Old Fadama Delve into the potential of a community-led waste management system



5th May 2012 Participatory mapping with OFADA

4 men

5th May 2012 Structured interview with goat and sheep farmers

2 men

5th May 2012 Structured interview with cattle farmers

2 men

5th May 2012 Structured interview with chop bar in Old Fadama

5 women


Current open spaces in Old Fadama Plans for future open spaces Cleared buffer zone around Old Fadama Explore the flows of livelihoods, food and waste in and out of Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market Analyse relation between Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market with respect to livestock Analyse potential consequences of relocation Delve into the role of kaya yei and kaya bola for Old Fadama Profiling of customers (both from within and outside Old Fadama Profiling of farmers Explore the flows of livelihoods, food and waste in and out of Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market Analyse relation between Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market with respect to livestock Analyse potential consequences of relocation Delve into the role of kaya yei and kaya bola Profiling of customers (both from within and outside Old Fadama Profiling of farmers Explore the flows of livelihoods, food and waste in and out of Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market Analyse relation between Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market with respect to livestock Analyse potential consequences of relocation Delve into the role of kaya yei and kaya bola for Old Fadama Profiling of customers (both from within and outside Old Fadama Profiling of chop bars


7th May 2012 Structured interview with slaughter slab

3 men

7th May 2012 Semi-structured interview with bathhouses and toilets

2 x 1 man 1 woman

8th May 2012 Focus group with OFADA

8th May 2012 Structured interview with the Agbogbloshie Market Chop Bars Association 9th May 2012 Focus group with Tungteeye Savings Group

Explore the flows of livelihoods, food and waste in and out of Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market Analyse relation between Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market with respect to meat Analyse potential consequences of relocation Delve into the role of kaya yei and kaya bola for Old Fadama Profiling of customers (both from within and outside Old Fadama)

Hone understanding of sanitation in Old Fadama Analyse flows of water: where it comes from, where it goes, etc.

3 men [chairman, secretary, Visioning exercise to test: organiser] • The details of a community-led waste management system • The potential of UA in Old Fadama • The potential of UA as part of a community-led waste management system • The future of relations with AMA 4 women [market queens]

3 women [treasurer, members] and 1 man [chairman]

Explore the flows of food in and out of Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie market Understand the relation between the market and Old Fadama Analyse potential of strengthening ties with Old Fadama Visioning exercise to test: • The potential of UA in Old Fadama • The potential of UA as part of a community-led waste management system



APPENDIX 3: LIVESTOCK FARMERS The animals are predominantly sheep and goats, followed by cattle. The average herd is 35 animals per farmer. There is a desire to form an association. In order to get help from MoFA, you need to be recognised as one. This is not assisted by the continued political recognition of community. In addition, major problems of theft within the community, taking place at night, have to be resolved between individual farmers, creating conflict between them. An association would be helpful in settling rivalries. Come evening, the livestock sleep in stables. Due to the ingestion of inorganic matter, farmers need to treat their animals, adding another cost affecting their livelihood and household income. The treatment of the livestock for disease is all done locally. During the period of Ramadan, the farmers have an increase in business. The manure is not sold as compost to other farmers as a possible business. Only live animals are sold; no secondary products (i.e. milk). 88


Where does young livestock come from: The market? Accra? Beyond?

Who are the primary customers who buy the live livestock?

Is there a middle-man between the farmer and the slaughter slab?

How many customers come to the farmer directly?

Could there be a market for selling animal manure for compost to other farmers?

APPENDIX 4: SLAUGHTER SLAB Slaughtering costs between 3 to 5 GHC, depending on animal. An average of 25 livestock are slaughtered per day.

During Ramadan, 30 to 50 sheep and/or goats are slaughtered per day. Slaughtering animals at the slaughter slab is cheaper than more formal abattoirs. The animals are brought from the road to the slaughter slab by carts, the customer pays for the slaughtering and kaya yeis to transport the meat out of the community. This is the main source of household income for the slaughter slab owners.


Where is the livestock coming from outside Old Fadama? Accra? The North?

Who brings the livestock to the slaughter slab from outside of Old Fadama? Farmers? A middle man?

APPENDIX 5: CHOP BAR The Agbogbloshie Market Chop Bar Association covers the market, but does not extend geographically to Old Fadama. However, the community is welcome to join this association as it is meant to be open to all. In general, the market is fairly expensive in comparison with prices outside of Accra, so some women try to save money by buying rotten produce or meat from informal slaughter slabs. The association is against this, as they pride themselves on their high standard of hygiene recognised by MoFA. In the Old Fadama chop bars, produce is bought on average once a week and either through the kaya yeis or by directly going to the market themselves. Agbogbloshie market is identified as their market. A lack of formal, household kitchens, means that most people cook in an exterior cooking area, which is difficult. RESEARCH GAP: Old Fadama •

How much of the food being used is brought by kaya yei?


Agbogbloshie market


Who are their customers?

Do kaya bolas take waste from chop bars to the containers?

Yei stands for women in the Ga language. The figures for the age range of the girls can conflict. On a good day, average income can be around 10-15 GHC. The kaya yei will make savings by investing in a susu - a traditional savings group. In addition, a portion of this money will be put forward towards a ‘hope chest’ in order to prepare for an arranged marriage in the North. There are several Kaya Yei Youth Associations in Ghana, compromising of 8, 500 members nationwide. The majority of the girls live in communal dormitories in Old Fadama, while a smaller percentage live with family or family-friends. Though they work 12 hour days, they are not always able to find work. To cope, some of the girls resort to prostitution in order to make ends meet, support themselves and save for their future. These girls are extremely vulnerable to abuse, systematically inflicted due to a lack of security - sleeping place, food, money.

APPENDIX 6: ABOSSEY OKAI Many of the farmers are related. There are currently 10 farmers, 4 of which have already relocated. Each has 10 beds, which is not sufficient. A farmer needs between 30 to 40 beds to have a proper business. The site chosen for relocation means going from 5-6 acres to an area of 20 acres; coupled with improved infrastructure, land and connections, the relocation is seen as favourable. The farmers believe in their strong links with market women: if they relocate, their customers will remain loyal. RESEARCH GAP: •

Do farmers have other sources of income?

With – or without - the relocation in mind, would the use of manure from livestock in Old Fadama be possible?

What is the percentage of input – their actual contribution - into the area’s economy?

Need to further quantify food flows from Abossey Okai.

Where are the market women coming from?

Where are their inputs (seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides) coming from?

Where does the waste go?


What is the total number of kaya yeis across Old Fadama and the Agbogbloshie area?

How will they be impacted by the relocation of either the market or the community?

APPENDIX 8: KAYA BOLA Kaya bolas working in Old Fadama do not necessarily reside in the community; in this scenario, their families do not know what they do because of the stigma around it. However, the appeal of the job is the regularity of pay – there is always work. There are new customers everyday due to the competition between kaya bolas - i.e. while customers are loyal, they can be persuaded to offer business to a different kaya bola if the price is much lower. They work a twelve-hour day. Prices charged by the kaya bolas depend on the distance travelled to the dumpsite and the weight of the load. A bag can take up to 60 kilos of waste.



During the dry season, a kaya bola will carry the waste on his head, but during the rainy season dumping becomes dangerous because of rising flood levels, and a cart is used to move across the community. More recently, certain people in the community have started charging the kaya bolas for dumping on the lagoon. These were identified as ‘area champions’. Dumping charges range between 20 to 50 pesewas.These additional charges are bad for the kaya bolas’ business as they have to bargain for higher prices to rid the customers of waste. Most of the waste is organic, and it was identified that separation at the household level was a possibility with some basic infrastrucure. Kaya bolas already receive additional income from some minimal waste sorting then sold to scraps: copper (1 lbs= 3.150 GHC), plastic (1kg= 50p), and aluminium (1lbs= 1GHC). There is a wish to create an association, but they are constrained by time and a lack of organisation.


In Agbogbloshie, with regard to the relocation of the market, the kaya bolas have little information or voice. From their understanding only the scarp, yam, tomato and onion markets are relocating. The relocation of the market should have no direct effect on the kaya bolas of Old Fadama. RESEARCH GAPS: •

Is it possible to form a kaya bola association in Old Fadama?

Will they be affected by the relocation of the market?

What are the initiatives undertaken by AMA for sorting the waste from the market?

How many kaya bolas are there in the Agbogbloshie market?


Livestock farmers

Owners and operators of slaughter slabs

Waste collectors (kaya bola)

Urban agriculturalists

Women •

Vehicles for produce (kaya yei)

Processing and selling of food (chop bars)

Harvesting season farmers in Northern Ghana (members of savings groups)

Owners and operators of shops (i.e. clothing,local medicine)

UA could span the existing gender divide. While men are the traditional urban agriculturalists in Accra, during our meetings and focus groups with savings groups, women voiced a clear interest in undertaking UA on the shores of the Korle Lagoon.










Chapter 3 RETHINKING SPACE THROUGH THE LENS OF SOCIAL RELATIONS: New dimensions of urban agriculture 95




Table of contents 3.1 Acknowledgements 3.2 Abbreviations 3.3 Executive Summary 3.4 Background 3.4.1 Assignment 3.4.2 Research objectives 3.4.3 Introduction to our area 3.4.4 Nima and Maamobi

3.5 Conceptual framework and hypothesis 3.5.1 Our mission 3.5.2 Definition 3.5.3 Conceptual framework and social relations 3.5.4 What are social relations? 3.5.5 Hypothesis

3.6 Methodology and limitations 3.6.1 Methodology 3.6.2 Limitations

3.7 Key findings 3.7.1 Area 1: Nima and Maamobi Social relations and access to assets Urban agriculture and gender relations Relations with authorities Conclusion Area 1

3.7.2 Area 2: Grazing land Social relations and access to assets Relations with authorities Conclusion Area 2

3.7.3 Area 3: Plant Pool Social relations and access to assets Relations with authorities Conclusion Area 3

3.8 Scenarios and recommendations 3.9 Conclusion 4.0 References 5.0 Appendix







e would like to express our deepest gratitude to our facilitators Baba Musa Pachaka - Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor, and Sowah Ababio - Ministry of Food and Agriculture and our guide Charles Sablah, CEO of Ghana Nima Tours for their invaluable support and advice throughout our work.

of LC, TCPD, GWRC, MLGRD, MCI, Nima and Maamobi Associations and Representatives of Social Groups.

We are very grateful to all the farmers, livestock keepers and market traders in Alajo, Nima, Maamobi, Kotobabi and Accra New Town who kindly shared details of their occupation and personal lives with us, in particular: Sadat, Tahiru, Rabiu, Ibrahim Davis, Victoria, Abdulahi Musa, Ibrahim Bisa, Said Abubakar and Sule. We would like to thank Plant Pool Farmers’ Association in particular: Chairman Malamawudu, Yazid Muktair, David, Idirizu, and Kujo and all those who showed us around and kindly granted us their time. We would also like to extend our gratitude to CityVeg - Dzorwulu, Plant Pool and Roman Ridge Farmers Cooperatives, Berenice - Chairwoman of Novotel Market Association in Odowna, Evelyn Dadzie - Novotel Market Association in Odowna and all other association members, Charlotte Matti - Nima Market Queen, Chairman of the Butcher Youth Association in Nima Market, Bilkisu - Vegetable Trader at Mallam Atta Market, Helen - owner of the Kotobabi pig processing plant.

Thank you to Amadu Ibrahim Jebkle Chairman of Nima Fun Club, Miriam Saif President of the Mother’s Club Nima/Maamobi, and all other club members, Friend’s Rest Society, Nsuwa Women’s Group.

Our special thanks to all the local authorities, particularly Mallam Baba Isa - Chief of Wangara, Hon. Hafiz Abubakar - Maamobi East Assemblyman, Hon. Umar Sanda Mohammed Nima West Assemblyman, Abdul Aziz Sununu - Alajo Assemblyman, Haji Ibrahim Abulai Baro - Chief of the Kardor Tribe. Our thanks also to Imam Shuaibu Ali - Head of a Nima Mosque and Yusuf Abdel Rahman Ali - Imam of Nima Mosque. We would also like to thank representatives

Our special gratitude to representatives from People’s Dialogue, IWMI, ILGS, Land for Life, and AWGUPA.

Our warmest gratitude to all DPU staff: Adriana Allen, Alex Apsan Frediani, Rita Lambert, Etienne von Bertrab, Vanesa CastanBroto, Caren Levy and Matthew A. Wood-Hill. 99





Accra Metropolitan Assembly


Accra Working Group on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture


Development Planning Unit


From Seed to Table


Greater Accra Metropolitan Area


Geographic Information Systems


The Ghana Grid Company Limited


Ghana Water Resource Commission


Institute for Local Government Studies


International Water Management Institute


Land Administration Project


Lands Commission


Land for life


Millennium City Initiative


Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development


Ministry of Food and Agriculture


People’s Dialogue


Plant Pool


Resource Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security


Town and Country Planning Department


Urban Market Gardens


Volta River Authority



n the past decades, the development of Accra has been driven by high rates of urbanization, which has put pressure on land availability and created increasing strain on the practice of urban agriculture throughout the city. Nonetheless, many residents continue practicing urban agriculture as a source of livelihoods and income, particularly among the urban poor. By looking at environmentally just urbanization through the lens of urban agriculture, our research aimed to explore the different relationships between urban agriculture and other dimensions of urban life in Nima and its surroundings. Our research found that agricultural activities in this urban context are made possible by a number of important preconditions, including access to land, access to water, access to markets and economic viability. However, these are largely challenged by economic deprivation, population density and land insecurity, and therefore their provision is supplemented by a network of social relations. We analyzed three different areas of social dynamics, including the relationship with authorities, using an analytical framework to further understand how social relations support different functions (anchorage, relational strain or support) and interact with spatial characteristics to determine how urban agriculture takes place. This analysis is embedded within the framework of environmentally just urbanization by highlighting how governance impacts on flows of urban life. Who is currently shaping the city and in what way? In our first area, Nima-Maamobi, we found that livestock rearers rely on arrangements such as selling to neighbours at preferential prices to secure their business, entering agreements with landlords to keep animals on their land, sharing information with other animal keepers and obtaining food scraps from market traders. However, tensions can arise when these practices are disapproved by neighbours and authorities because of the nuisance to the public. Nevertheless, livestock keeping is strongly ingrained in the area’s traditions and customs and is recognized as an important source of income and gratification. In contrast, our second area has necessary environmental conditions in place and is characterized by cattle-grazing along drains, but the conflicting interests of herders, farmers and city authorities

create a situation of strain. Finally, our analysis of Plant Pool demonstrates how the strong collaboration among farmers, and the establishment of an association, has significantly improved the access to loans, seeds, and training; thus strengthening urban agriculture through social support based on reciprocity, sharing and cooperation despite a situation of insecure land tenure and conflict with authorities. Furthermore, we discovered that the gender-based hierarchies in landownership and urban agriculture can be altered through social arrangements and in turn allow more women to participate in these activites. Based on these findings, we have elaborated a list of scenarios and recommendations, briefly summarized as following: Ensuring community participation to create environmentally just processes in future redevelopment of Nima Propose reconstruction of drains in order to enable practices of urban agriculture Improving land security to ensure a productive use of space through appropriate negotiations and agreements between relevant stakeholders Our findings present a nuanced picture of the multiple social relations that shape urban communities; enabling and strenghtening the livelihood opportunities for the urban poor. Understanding and incorporating social relations in development planning can ensure an environmentally just urbanization that is based on real community needs and participation.







he objective of this assignment is to uncover the potentials of environmentally just urbanization through the lens of urban and peri-urban agriculture in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA). Our aim was to expand on the research carried out by DPU students from 2008 to 2011; moving away from a site-specific analysis of urban and peri-urban agriculture to encompass wider study areas.This has allowed us to uncover the dynamics of urban agriculture in a more integrated manner, assess the current and future contribution of urban agriculture to the functioning of the city and to provide recommendations accordingly. 102

ur study area consisted of several neighbourhoods within GAMA; Nima, Maamobi, Kotobabi, Abelemkpe, Alajo, Accra New Town, and Kokomlemle, which span across the following Sub-Metro districts: Ayawaso East, Ayawaso Central, Ayawaso West (c.f. Map 1).


To understand how urban agricultural practices take place in specific locations;

To uncover the conditions that have allowed urban agriculture to exist in different urban landscapes;

To explore how practices of urban agriculture in one area are influenced and linked to other agricultural practices in the city;

To analyze how urban agriculture is conditioned by changing trends of urbanization and how strategies can be elaborated for different scenarios

Map 1: Location of our area


ima was our main area of focus because of its particular characteristics as a densely populated low-income area with a widespread presence of urban agriculture in the form of livestock-keeping. Additionally we traveled to areas beyond the designated boundaries to explore the agricultural linkages between Nima and other important sites of urban agriculture related to our research goals. These will be presented in detail later in our report.


3.4 NIMA Located just outside Accra city center, Nima is a dense, vibrant and ethnically diverse area populated predominantly by Muslim migrants from northern Ghana and neighbouring countries. It is often referred to as place of despair because of overcrowding, poor environmental conditions, land scarcity and reputedly a crime-ridden area. These issues have led to a stigmatization of Nima and its residents. External perceptions have also created prejudice and cultural barriers. Nima has therefore evolved into a city within a city – largely possessing its own rules, authorities and policing,

and has undergone its own development, driven and enforced by its inhabitants. It serves as home to multiple generations of earlier settlers and newcomers, and is a place of opportunity and acceptance. Nima boasts strong networks of support, drawing many new residents into the area. The affordability and formal/ informal economic opportunities make Nima an attractive area composed of small businesses, street vendors, markets and financial services. Nima’s historical progression underwent several distinct phases with different implications for urban planning:




3.5 Conceptual Framework and Hypothesis 3.5.1 OUR MISSION To explore the relationship between urban agriculture and other dimensions of urban life in Nima and surroundings. This will allow us to identify entry points for strategic policy decisions for the community, local government and city institutions to improve livelihoods in Nima in the short and long term. This process should ensure environmentally just urbanisation.

3.5.2 DEFINITIONS Urban agriculture is the production of food in the city through livestock rearing, cultivation, and the linking of producers and consumers through the market.


Environmentally just urbanisation is the process through which people have the opportunity to influence and take part in fair decision-making that impacts their lives. It is the right to income and livelihood opportunities that meet basic needs, and the right to a fair distribution of environmental goods and services.

3.5.3 ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK: SOCIAL RELATIONS AND ENVIRONMENTALLY JUST URBANIZATION From our study we have identified that physical and financial assets are important preconditions for the realization of urban agriculture. However, in an area like Nima where these assets are restricted or over-exploited, where high density means limited space for expansion of urban agriculture, there is a large reliance on social relations that allow urban agriculture to exist in complex ways in the city.

3.5.4 WHAT ARE SOCIAL RELATIONS? Social relations can be defined as the ‘linkages between individuals or groups of individuals’ (O’Reilly 1988 in Due et al. 1999). A web of social relations amounts to a social network (O’Reilly 1988 in Due et al. 1999). They act as a means to govern the activities that take place at the local level, while being influenced by other governance structures dictated by the regulations, permissions, and omissions of official authorities. Social relations, as referred to in this study, are broken down according to their function (c.f Graph 2). The function of social relations can be defined as what is “provided through the behaviours or actions of members of a network”(O’Reilly 1988 in Due et al. 1999). Functions include social support, relational strain and social anchorage (c.f Graph 4).



These functions serve as our analytical framework. In our areas of study we will: a Describe the area and its spatial characteristics b. Describe social relations and access to assets; detail the dynamics between actors when it comes to access to assets needed to pursue agricultural activities (land, water, skills, markets, start-up capital, economic viability) and describe the nature of these realtions (cooperation, conflict, reciprocity, solidarity) c. Detail relationships with local and city level authorities d. Relate social relations to spatial issues through defining the role of social relations in urban agriculture in specific geographical areas with distinct characteristics Furthermore, we examine gender relations because to only observe those already engaged in urban agriculture (primarily men) will not give a complete picture of the situation. We also need to look at whether women do not engage in urban agriculture because of gender related issues.

Social relations - network, support and relational strain� The variety of social relations is shaped by long-standing customs and traditions dictating the norms and practices in the area, influencing and re-interpreting the established rules and policies. Social relations also enable or prevent access to certain assets, primarily the access to land, markets, water, skills, start-up capital and economic viability, which we have identified as essential for urban agriculture.





This analysis inserts itself within the framework of environmentally just urbanization because it emphasizes the issue of production of space. It highlights how governance impacts on flows of urban life and raises the question of who are the drivers behind the production and reshaping of urban space. The analysis of flows of social relations reveals power structures on multiple levels and tells us more about how these structures shape the distribution of environmental goods and services. This deconstruction of social relations allows us to identify entry points for action where networks that could challenge the current power structure exist, but have not yet been developed to their full potential.


3.5.5 HYPOTHESIS Social relations shape the dynamics of urban agriculture practices of livestock-rearing in Nima. They also dictate how interactions occur in relation to other practices of urban agriculture, such as cultivation and food trade through the city. Our study reveals how social relations have shaped the development of urban agriculture within three different spaces: livestock rearing in Nima, cattle-grazing along drains, and cultivation in Plant Pool.

3.6 Methodology and Limitations 3.6.1 METHODOLOGY Research was undertaken in three stages between January and June, 2012. STAGE 1 AND 2: Preliminary diagnosis and fieldwork 1. Desk-based research was conducted in London to identify the drivers and patterns of change shaping urban agricultural practices in Accra 2. Research was carried out in the field upon arrival in Accra

STAGE 3: POST-FIELDWORK The data gathered was analysed and strategic recommendations were prepared. A video was produced to communicate findings to all research stakeholders.



3.6.2 LIMITATIONS Time constraints limited the number of interviews conducted with farmers, livestock owners, community leaders and community groups, hindering the process of unpacking of social arrangements within the community. Our research was focused on specific geographical areas, hence we were unable to comprehensively explore the linkages with other urban agricultural practices in the city. Language barriers made communication difficult and some relevant elements could have been lost in translation. Issues with language also limited full participation during focus groups. Our initial research focus was slightly modified during the fieldwork, resulting in last minute alterations of plans and change of methodology for data collection.





Livestock-rearing is a distinguishing characteristic of Nima. Dating back to the area’s origins, urban agriculture has been shaped by social relations developed through common identities and solidarity. When the Fulani bought the land from the Ga tribe in the early 1900s, they brought with them their traditions of livestock-rearing, which still exist today. The main types of livestock are poultry, goats, sheep and occasionally cattle. In some instances, livestock rearing takes place within domestic spaces such as courtyards and housing compounds, where food is brought directly to the animals. In other cases, livestock roam in open spaces such as streets, roads, waste-dumping sites and drains (c.f. Maps 2, 3, 4).







3.7.2 SOCIAL RELATIONS AND ACCESS TO ASSETS Access to Land: Land ownership in Nima is complex because multiple types of ownership co-exist, primarily in the form of customary, private and institutional land. However, family ties and inheritance represent the main way to obtain access to land. Those who who rent a house or land need an agreement with their landlord in order to keep animals. For example, a tenant can give his landlord a few animals in exchange for the permission to keep them on his property; creating a bond of reciprocity. Furthermore, relations can be problematic if animals cause nuisance to the community in terms of noise, damage and waste. In the absence of by-law enforcements or formal regulation of livestock-keeping in the area, people are left to rely on social arrangements for the continued practice of this activity. These arrangements can take different forms; livestock is tolerated in solidarity with the rearers because it is recognised as a vital activity for the local community. The reciprocal benefits to other community members comes from livestock being a source of food, especially during festivities. Nevertheless, situations of occasionally unresolved conflict might arise. Consequently, the access to land and livelihood activities in Nima are regulated through mutual agreements. The absence of governament regulations combined with limited available space leaves the community to self-governance. In a way, this can be seen as the collective power of citizens to shape their city, which in this case has arisen out of necessity rather than a deliberate urban planning policy. Access to Water: Water is often accessed through communal water points that are shared between several households. This arrangement requires an agreement between neighbours regarding the use, and payment, of water. In other cases, water is bought from a water point for a fixed price per bucket., or less frequently, water is obtained from drains. Access to Market: Those who keep livestock sell their animals directly to consumers resident in the community rather than, to merchants in the markets. There is an increased demand during festivities such as naming day, weddings and other religious ceremonies. During these occasions, social relations based on friendship and solidarity can result in lower prices paid for animals. Furthermore, animals are not just kept for profit; they are also kept for personal consumption, or as offerings of support to community members. See the case of poultry farmer Ibrahim Davis (c.f. Appendix 6.8), who keeps chickens in order to help widows or families in need within his community (i.e. solidarity). Hence mutual benefits from livestock-keeping are still recognized despite the inconvenience arising from keeping animals in densely populated areas. Rearing Skills and Start-up Capital: Even though there are exceptions, such as Ibrahim Davis who started his chicken-rearing activity independently (c.f. Appendix 6.8), livestock-rearing skills and animals needed to start a business are usually acquired and passed down within families.



Economic Viability: Although some livestock keepers are happy to pass their trade on to their children or to friends, many are concerned with its future economic viability due to high investment costs and uncertain revenues. Still, livestock-rearing can be a profitable activity, as in the example of Sadat, (c.f. Appendix 6.5), who inherited both the trade and the land from his father. Since it was already an established family business, it was easier for Sadat to gain access to markets, customers, food for his animals and to maintain community support. The economic viability of livestock-keeping depends on good relations with its main market: the community. This can be further secured through strengthening mutually beneficial relations; for instance giving favorable prices as a token of support during hardships. If a seller donates animals to community members in difficult times, he is more likely to have the favour returned in future purchases. Social relations can also improve economic viability through reciprocal arrangements; livestock keepers can obtain cheap food for their animals by collecting organic waste from restaurants and markets, thus improving the environmental and hygeinic situation by disposing food waste.



Traditionally, land and livestock are kept, and passed on, by men. Because the livestock trade is male dominated, solidarity among men is high and has led to the exclusion of many women. Women can, and do, have a role in livestock rearing, but tend to be constrained to taking care of domestic issues because of traditions and norms. Women are further disadvantaged in accessing livelihoods because of less education, weaker property rights and less access to land and start-up capital than men. Access to assets: When talking to the Women’s Group in Nima, some of the expressed constraints against engaging in urban agriculture were the roles of social organization and gender relations. City households often show a broader diversification of income, and gender roles are less traditional in urban environments than in the countryside. Many members in the Women’s Group said that their husbands would in fact welcome a second income generated by their wives. Nevertheless, it is often taken for granted that women will stay at home to take care of children and household chores, which prevents them from engaging in commercial agriculture. When asked about livestock keeping, the women replied it was their sons who kept animals due to the arduous nature of the task, further underpinning the male dominance in urban agriculture in Nima. In the cases where women have been able to access this male-dominated practice, it has contributed to improving women’s social situation in the community and within the household, as well as functioning as a safety-net in times of economic hardship. Insecurity around land tenure and ownership in customary patriarchal traditions, as in Nima, is another constraint faced by women. When only men inherit land, women are left landless and dependent on their husbands for land access and housing. Furthermore, there are issues regarding access to initial funding and start-up capital. Without owning any financial assets it is difficult to obtain a loan, but in some cases this can be addressed by collective action and relationships of solidarity. For instance, the Women’s Group has a savings group that assists women with start-up loans for small scale businesses. Women are thus often excluded from engaging in urban agriculture because they have less access to land and financial resources than men, but they can improve their situation through social networking and collective savings groups.


3.7.4 RELATIONS WITH AUTHORITIES Local: The Chief of Nima and Mamobi views livestock-rearing favourably and has solidarity with the livestock keepers while simultaneously recognizing the existing challenges such as the lack of space, grazing land and water. The lack of funds and government support is yet another problem. The Chief sees livestock rearing as a good employment opportunity, especially for youth, as long as the activity has positive branding, and adequate training is provided. (For relationship with the assemblyman c.f. City level: AMA dictates the by-laws on livestock-keeping which regulate hygiene conditions, number of animals and the presence and transit in public spaces. However, many by-laws are not respected, leaving livestock keepers in a potentially conflictual position with AMA, even though there is no strict enforcement. MOFA extension officers often visit the animal keepers and provide advice on how to meet AMA requirements. Still, if these requirements are not met there are no official sanctions, meaning that MOFA is engaging in a supportive and solidarity role. MOFA also issues licenses for those who fulfill the necessary criteria, and provides subsidised local veterinary support.

113 CONCLUSION AREA 1: SPACE AND SOCIAL RELATIONS Despite the complexities in the area, social relations are the reason why urban agriculture has survived as a widespread livelihood activity despite urbanization trends. Social relations have allowed for urban agriculture practices to remain engrained in the social, economic and cultural tissue of the area, and conflict has not been significant enough to overthrow this longstanding tradition.


3.7.4 AREA 2: GRAZING LAND SOCIAL RELATIONS AND ACCESS TO ASSETS Access to Land: Cattle owners in Nima have limited grazing space for their animals, so cattle is brought to graze along wide waterways. Some follow the gutter out of Nima towards the East, while other livestock keepers bring their cattle north to Alajo, where it grazes towards Plant Pool or in other cultivated areas (c.f. Maps 6 and 7). Access to water: grazing along drains is convenient because water is easily available Economic viability: There is no financial cost associated with animals grazing along waterways - as long as the laws that prohibit such practice are not enforced by MetroWorks. 114

When accessing the above-mentioned assets, livestock keepers encounter difficulties when they arrive at Plant Pool, where the situation is more problematic. David is a Plant Pool farmer that has been cultivating for 16 years and is part of the Plant Pool Farmers Association. He described the relationship between the cattle owners and farmers as one of coexistence and conflict. The cattle tend to ruin the crops, causing loss to farmers. No compensation is given, and David claims that cattle owners do not care about causing damage. The cattle owners come from outside the Pool area (most of them live in Alajo or the Ebony neighbourhood in Kotobabi), and according to David, this creates a condition of distrust where agreements cannot be reached. For this reason, the lack of social relations is spatially embedded and is a significant factor behind the absence of mutually beneficial agreements.


NIMA ACCRA RELATIONS WITH AUTHORITIES Local: Cattle are the animals least tolerated by local authorities in Nima and Maamobi mainly because of their size, their disruption to traffic, the waste generated andthe implications for public health. Thus relationships between the community and the local authorities are contentious. The Assemblyman of Maamobi East does not support livestock keeping in the city: in particular the movement of the cattle toward grazing fields. However, he does recognize that it is a livelihood strategy and that he would upset many people if he enforced the by-laws prohibiting cattle keeping. He believes the implementation of by-laws is the responsibility of AMA. Still, since the Assemblyman disproves of the practice, herders have to move their cattle either early or late in the day to avoid any confrontations. On the other hand, the Head Chief supports urban agriculture, demonstrating solidarity towards cattle owners, and has not expressed hostility towards cattle crossing the city and grazing City Level: The government has authority over cattle-grazing activities because they take place on institutional land. Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD) authorities are unhappy with cattle grazing because this area has been designated for drainage. Ghana Water Resource Commission (GWRC) is responsible for licensing water extraction and waste-water discharge and claim that the presence of grazing and cultivation along the drains interferes with its original functions. MetroWorks is responsible for the enforcement of zoning policies, but without the capacity to enforce these policies in all areas of the city, this issue remains unresolved. CONCLUSION AREA 2: SPACE AND SOCIAL RELATIONS Cattle-grazing takes place in a context of hostility and conflict, creating a situation of emotional and functional strain because the herders face the disapproval of farmers and authorities despite being in an area that otherwise has the ideal availability of assets for urban agriculture. Therefore, this example demonstrates that although physical and financial assets play an important role in making cattle grazing possible, these can be easily challenged if a web of positive and supportive social relations is absent.



3.7.7 AREA 3: PLANT POOL Our analysis will concentrate on Plant Pool as the prime site for cultivation in the area




NIMA ACCRA SOCIAL RELATIONS AND ACCESS TO ASSETS Access to land: Plant Pool is situated under high tension lines on land owned by The Volta River Authority (VRA). VRA has made an informal agreement with Plant Pool farmers which allows them to use the land for agriculture purposes. Social relations such as family ties, having friends at Plant Pool or being an apprentice to one of the farmers, have enabled many farmers to gain access to agricultural land in Plant Pool. However, accessing land through mutual social arrangements might limit the opportunities for farmers who do not have any existing contacts. Nevertheless, even those with guaranteed access to land encounter problems when their farming is under threat of encroachment by kiosks owners. The local assembly man explained to us that the encroachment is done with the help of traditional stool members from whom the Plant Pool land was originally acquired. They allow certain members of their community to move onto the land, and hire “macho men” to protect the kiosks. This has led to the displacement of some farmers and created conflicts with the traditional authorities, the “macho men” and the newcomers. Access to water: Through collaboration and social organization, farmers can manage their water resources efficiently: when the water is available each farmer uses his own water pipe. They each pay a monthly flat rate of approximately 300 GHC. In case of limited water supply, farmers collaborate to store water in a central reservoir. Farming/ rearing skills and start-up capital: Interviews revealed three main ways through which farmers gain their farming skills and knowledge (a) Farming skills are passed down through generations within families (b) Knowledge and skills are transferred from farmers working on other urban agriculture sites: Idirizu started as a bicycle repairman, but decided to pursue cultivation as an additional activity in order to support his family. Idrizu gained access to land and farming skills through a friend who was farming in Plant Pool (c) Collaboration with external agencies such as MOFA, IWMI and other NGOs, that conduct training in farming skills. Farming skills and knowledge are an important precondition for entering urban agriculture. Furthermore, family ties, friendship and networks can support existing- and new farmers in several ways: i.e. through financial support, access to customers and markets. Thus, social relations based on reciprocity and solidarity go beyond mere family ties and still enable the transfer of knowledge, skills and support through various social networks. Physical access to the market: Products from Plant Pool are mainly sold to individuals, restaurants, hotels and market traders in Nima, Madina, Mallam Atta, Mamobi and Alajo. Still, Plant Pool farmers identified access to the market, and low prices as their main challenge because their products have to compete with those supplied from nearby farming areas. There have been efforts to improve access to markets through internal collaborative and mutually beneficial arrangements among farmers, like growing different crops to reduce competition and ensure equal access to the market for everyone. Furthermore, RUAF’s “From Seed to Table” program facilitated Plant Pool Farmers’ Association to partner with a selling point at Legon.



However, because only one association member decides which farmer the Legon middleman should buy vegetables from -as the middleman then purchases vegetables from Plant Pool twice a week at a favorable price - this kind of partnership does not bring equal benefits to all farmers. Economic Viability: Continuous cultivation requires adequate access to inputs such as seeds and fertilizers. Through a collaborative agreement with MOFA, farmers receive subsidized seeds and fertilizers for three months every year. In addition, farmers engage in specific social arrangements based on trust and reciprocity by exchanging seedlings and sometimes they rotate crops in order to enrich the soil. Access to funds through the Association’s savings group is another key to economic viability, making it easier for farmers to obtain a loan from the bank for the purchase of farming inputs. However, to qualify for a loan also needs some level of collaboration as members have to demonstrate a certain level of commitment to the association and follow its requirements. Favorable environmental conditions: There are favorable environmental conditions for farming in Plant Pool because of sufficient amounts of rainfall. However, annual floods usually spoil the crops. Plant Pool farmers manage the waste produced at the farming site collectively by designating a spot where waste is piled up and burnt. Additionally, waste is reused as manure to improve soil fertility. RELATIONS WITH AUTORITIES 118

Local Authorities: Social relations with authorities support farmers by providing management and coping skills for their agricultural activities. In many neighbourhoods, local Chiefs support the farmers. In one instance, several members of the farmers association withdrew from the association for unknown reasons, and the remaining farmers turned to the Chief for advice. The Chief recommended sharing goods such as fertilizers without expecting anything in return. This principle of solidarity helped bring back the members who withdrew and even encouraged new members to join. City Authorities: Relations are conflictual with TCP because the land has been zoned for government use, and agreements over land use are difficult to reach because of health risks involved in using land below high tension lines. Nonetheless, Plant Pool Farmers still receive training and support from MOFA. MOFA encouraged the creation of the Association and provided training in various fields. For example, Plant Pool farmers were taught to manage the waste produced at the farming site collectively by designating an area for waste to be disposed of and burnt. CONCLUSION AREA 3: SPACE AND SOCIAL RELATIONS Collaborative relations based on reciprocity, solidarity, and sharing are vital for Plant Pool farmers, and consequently, can determine land use. Although conflicts might still arise among farmers (for instance when certain farmers refuse to join the association and a situation of distrust and separation is created in thecultivation area), members recognize that coming together enables more than just the use of space for cultivation. In fact, it serves the function of providing support in obtaining resources to further their development. It also translates into a form of anchorage as they develop a sense of belonging and rootedness through the association.




or each key finding we identified two type of scenarios: remaining at status quo or facing significant redevelopment in the area. Due to the limited scope of the report, we only included the scenario which is more likely to occur. For other scenarios, please see Appendix 6.2.

3.8.1 AREA 1: NIMA AND MAAMOBI SCENARIO 1: REDEVELOPMENT Key issue: Strengthen public community participation for sustainable development. Development plans for Nima are forthcoming. Based on the information available, the plans involve restructuring the area into high-rise buildings, expanding road infrastructure and restructuring drains. This would change spatial arrangements, which could strongly affect the feasibility of urban agriculture. Many livestock rearers, in particular cattle owners, would have to find an alternative solution, relocate or even abandon their activity. Objective: Ensure that redevelopment occurs through an environmentally just process.




3.8.2 AREA 2: GRAZING LAND SCENARIO 1: REDEVELOPMENT: RECONSTRUCTION OF DRAINS THROUGH ACCRA RAILWAY AND DRAINGS PROJECTS AND MILLENIUM CITY INITIATIVE Key issue: Restructuring of drains could disrupt animal grazing. Plans to restructure the drains in Accra have been approved. If drains are cemented, cattlegrazing practices would be disrupted. In addition, the GWRC is currently drafting a document to secure buffer zones along the drains to avoid soil erosion and flooding. One of the strategies proposed by GWRC is to plant mango trees so that roots can ensure soil retention. This would enable one form of urban agriculture, but wipe out another. We propose another alternative. Objective: Restructuring drains while enabling practices of urban agriculture





Key issue: Insecure land tenure Although Plant Pool farmers have used this land for many years and their prospects of an immediate eviction are unlikely, their position is in a perpetual state of insecurity with the lack of protection necessary to work under the high tension wires and the authority needed to ward off encroachers. Land Administration Project (LAP) should recognise, scale-up and address the existing forms of informal agreements in order to solve the issue of land insecurity and threats to the agricultural activity. Objective: Improve land security to ensure productive use of cultivation fields




3.8.4 CITYWIDE: CLOSING THE ECOLOGICAL LOOP Key Issue: Unexploited potential collaborations at neighbourhood and city-wide scale A network of exchanges between farmers, market traders and livestock rearers currently exists on a small scale, as we have found during our research. Vegetable farmers sold food to market traders and the excess was given to animal rearers. The latter sold or gave the manure to farmers and obtained food scraps from markets, who in turn benefited from having their organic waste collected so as to avoid disposing of it themselves. However, these collaborations happen between individuals and could be further enabled and enhanced through stronger networks and organisation among associations to optimize and encourage these exchanges on a larger scale. Objective: Reinforce existing networks to increase inputs available to practitioners of urban agriculture while decreasing costs, and to gradually expand to a greater scale.




If followed, these recommendations for action could close an ecological loop, where waste outputs are transformed into inputs; providing important environmental services and improving urban sustainability through the flows and exchange of food, foodscraps, animal waste and fertiliser within the system through mutually beneficient arrangements. This is important in areas with poor infrastructure, and echoes the idea of urban metabolism where urban dynamics are optimized by mimicking natural systems where energy flows are constantly transformed, so that waste is recycled into new inputs (Girardet, 2008). Furthermore, this would promote environmentally just urbanisation where people themselves could have the power to shape and improve their local environment based on their traditions, social ties and lifestyles. MAP 9: ECOLOGICAL LOOP



3.9 Monitoring and evaluation 3.9.1 AREA 1: NIMA AND MAAMOBI SCENARIO 2: REDEVELOPMENT Key issue: Â Strengthen public community participation for sustainable development. Objective: Ensure that redevelopment occurs through an environmentally just process.





Key issue: Restructuring of drains could disrupt grazing. Objective: Restructuring drains while enabling practices of urban agriculture




3.9.3 AREA 3: PLANT POOL SCENARIO 1: STATUS QUO REMAINS Key issue: Insecure land tenure Objective: Improve land tenure security to ensure productive use of land






he aim of our project was to investigate the practice of urban agriculture in Nima and its surroundings in order to identify entry points for strategic action that can improve the livelihoods of the urban poor.

Through our analysis of the conditions that enable urban agriculture, we conclude that social capital is effectively an integral part of urban agriculture and a precondition for its well-functioning. Social capital provides anchorage in areas where the cultural identity centers to a high degree around urban agriculture. It is exactly the social arrangements that allow farming and rearing to exist in areas that do not necessarily have the physical preconditions in place for the development of such activities. Although it may at times lead to conflict, social capital can also allow for the resolution of such tensions and several studies have highlighted that urban agriculture is itself a vehicle for social cohesion (Mougeot, 2005). If favorable conditions are in place, social relations and urban agriculture could reinforce each other and further the potential for mobilisation around common social and environmental issues. This scenario is not necessarily location specific and can have value outside of our own research areas. The creation of networks can improve farmer’s opportunities to engage with stakeholders that influence the future of their livelihoods. In addition, social organization can lay a foundation for the provision of ecological services, as explained in the ecological loop.

Through evaluating current and future scenarios, we deepened our understanding of how urban agriculture is subject to urbanisation trends, and how these interact with long-standing traditions and social networks. Even though our case

studies are area-specific, the nature of our analysis should serve to inform the conception of space for urban development beyond the boundaries of our area. Furthermore, it is important for planning to acknowledge social structures; although different places might share similar geographical or infrastructural characteristics, the social composition and relations with authorities might differ, resulting in different results.

Understanding the complex and multi-faceted dimensions of social relations, norms and traditions can help development planners and city authorities to elaborate strategies based on people’s real needs. When working for transformative change, one needs to understand both internal and external drivers and pressures shaping urban agriculture. Urban planners can devise policies that promote environmentally just urbanisation, not just in Nima, but in the city as a whole. In Nima, the various functions of social realtions have been an important part of creating identity and possibilities for people to engage in urban agriculture. Over the years, the social dynamics have created functioning communities, through cooperative, conflicting and reciprocal relations. These internal factors are important in supporting and activating livelihood opportunities for the urban poor of Accra.



REFERENCES Annorbah-Sarpei A.J., (1998), Urban market gardens Accra, Ghana [WWW] Mega Cities Projects, Available from [Accessed 22/5/12] Due P, Holstein B, Lund R, Modvig J, Avlund K.1999, Social relations: network, support and relational strain, Social Science & Medicine, Vol 48, Issue 5, March 1999, pp. 661–673,, URL: http://www. Field Trip 2011 to Accra: Plant Pool Group, 2011, A Case Study for Analyzing Well-being through Sustainable Urban Agriculture, University College London, Development Planning Unit, London. Girardet, H., 2008. Cities, People, Planet: Urban Development and Climate Change 2nd ed., Chichester: John Wiley. International Water Management Institute (IWMI), 2010, Promoting Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Accra, Ghana, Case Study: Plant Pool and Roman Ridge, Development Planning Unit, Accra, Ghana. 128

Mougeot, L, 2005, Agropolis: The Social, Political and Environmental Dimensions of Urban Agriculture. Canada: International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Owusu G., Agyei-Mensah S. and Lund R., (2008), Slums of hope and slums of despair: Mobility and livelihoods in Nima, Accra, Norwegian Journal of Geography, (September), pp. 180-190, URL: Verlet, M., 2005, Grandir à Nima (Ghana): les figures du travail dans un faubourg populaire d’Accra, Paris: Karthala: IRD






2.     Field trip schedule 3.      Stakeholder information 4.      Stakeholder analysis for livestock keeping 5.      Information to underpin findings 5.1   Detailed Nima historical evolution 5.2   Scenarios 5.2.1 Nima-Maamobi 5.2.2 Grazing land 5.2.3 Plant pool 6.      Selected interview results 6.1   The story about Nima Market: Interview with Charlotte Matti, the Market Queen


6.2 Interview with “Friends Rest Society” Youth Association 6.3   Interview with Bilkisu, a female trader in Mallam Atta Market 6.4   Interview with Evelyn Dadzie, a member of the Novotel Market Association/Odowna Market 6.5   Interview with Sadat, young livestock rearer 6.6   Interview with Helen, pig farm owner 6.7   Interview with Ann, female livestock rearer 6.8   Interview with Ibrahim Davis, poultry keeper 7.     Interview outline 7.1   Semi-structured interview 7.1.1 Interviewees: Livestock keeper 7.1.2 Interviewees:  Traders (market traders, street vendors) 7.1.3 Interviewees: Plant Pool farmers 7.1.4 Interviewees:  Nima/Maamobi Mother’s Club 7.1.5 Interviewee: Assemblymen (Nima West/Maamobi East/Alajo) 7.1.6 Interviewee: Head Chief 7.2  Focus Groups 7.2.1 Focus group: Nima/Maamobi Mother’s Club                  7.2.2 Focus group: Friends Rest Society Acknowledgements



Civil Society Coalition on Land City Farming for the Future Civil Society Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor Ghana Water Company Limited Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research


Ministry for Local Government Non-Governmental Organisation















3. Stakeholder Information













4. Stakeholders analysis for livestock rearing





5. Information to underpin findings

5.1 DETAILED HISTORY OF NIMA (source: Grandir a Nima)


S 144

ince the early settlement, the area been characterised by agricultural activities. When cattle was banned from the city in 1908, after the bovine plague, the cattle-owning Fulani had to find new lands outside central Accra. After obtaining the consent of the Osu Ga to occupy vacant lands, they moved from Hausa Zongo, Zongo Lane and Cow Lane to a settlement called Ruga. The new Fulani settlement was formally established in 1931 when the area was bought by Alhadji Futa, a respected Fulani from Mali. The community grew as more newcomers from the North settled, creating a village on the outskirts of the city. The settlers used the area as pasture in addition to cultivating maize and cassava. The majority of the migrants were men from rural areas who settled temporarily in order to gain additional income during the low agricultural season, and would return to their village in times of abundance. As time passed, people were settling down more permanently, marriages were arranged with women from the North, and the area gradually became a community with families.

THE “BLESSED LAND'' The name Nima means “the blessed land” for the Muslim communities of Fulani, Dogon, Zabarima, Hausa, Wangara. The community is predominantely Muslim, while the rest of Accra has a Christian majority. In Nima, the Muslims

could feel protected from the vigilance of authorities and missionary groups. Nima became a safe haven in a city where Muslims felt alienated, and separated them from the ‘temptations’ of the city. Nima has been termed the ‘Anti-City’, the ‘Strangers City’, the ‘Urban Village’; a place in opposition to Accra’s main Ga identity with its own norms and rules.

THE SLUM 1940-1981 Urbanization: With the outbreak of war, the area underwent important transformations. Agricultural activities were outnumbered by unskilled and semi-skilled labour that served the new emerging economy of the nearby military camp. The area offered numerous job opportunities in building, construction, domestic work, security guards and even prostitution. The following densification of the area combined with no planning or infrastructure turned Nima into a slum. The densification and rising population continued in the post-war period when soliders settled down to become semi-skilled workers. They took up professions as drivers, mechanics, topographers or started their own business; contributing to the growth of the informal economy. Some attempted to build more sturdy houses, but most remained in poor shacks. In 1951, Nima was included in the city boundaries.


ETHNIC DIVERSIFICATION Eventually, the area became more ethnically diverse; with populations originating from Builsa, Kasena, Grunsi, Konkomba and Frafra. Others arrived from the East and from the Volta region. This diversification resulted in a fragmentation of job occupation along ethnic lines.

REDEVELOPMENT After independence in 1964, Nima was radically reshaped by government planning and policies. Ruga was destroyed, despite the strong Fulani and Hausa opposition. In 1968, a plan was drafted to restructure and integrate Nima into the city center. This was done by prolonging commercial routes and building residential areas for wealthier citizens, thus expelling 60 % of the original population. Furthermore, the 1969 Alien Compliance Act lead to decimation of the area and many foreigners were forced out of the country, in particular the Zabarima (Niger), Gao (Mali) and Yoruba (Nigeria), although many returned in the following years. However, the Hausa were not expelled because of their religious status, and Dogons and Mossi were too important for the local economy in terms of labour supply. Nevertheless, the area was bulldozed in 1977 by the Accra Slum Clearance Committee. The population was partially resettled in Madina, but the arrangement proved to be inadequate and many moved back. Many cattle-owners found their way to Ashaiman slum, which became the main market for cattle. The restructuring of Nima was a step towards imposing the imprint of the modern, metropolitan city onto an underdeveloped and traditional area; symbolized by the construction of Nima Highway which runs right through Nima and connects the area to the rest of Accra. Operation “Help Nima” was founded in the sixties by middle class students to fight against displacement of Nima’s inhabitants, and to create

local development and collective infrastructure. Although achievements were limited, this initiative did ignite social and political mobilization; like the creation of the Committee for the Development and Welfare of Nima-Mamoobi and Nima-Mamoobi Housing Corporation.


Nima was affected by the recession that hit Ghana in the early 1980s. Average income dropped by 30%, infrastructure was not maintained and transport routes were disrupted. Eventually, the IMF stepped in, and Structural Adjustment Programs regulated the Ghanaian economy from 1984 to 1990. In the 1990s the social costs of structural adjustments hit Nima; employment, health and social provision declined and community networks were weakened. 145 REDENSIFICATION The government was less occupied with urban planning after the financial crisis, and left parts of the city, including Nima, to its own development.

ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENT The economy improved from year 2000, but Nima remains scarred by the hits to the economic and social structure of the area.


5.2.1 NIMA-MAAMOBI: SCENARIO 2: STATUS QUO REMAINS Key Issue: Waste management and sanitation. Strengthening community-based initiatives. Since the 1980s, government plans for Nima have been limited, leaving the area to its own development. This has lead to the creation of different community initiatives such as the community-based waste management. Livestock rearing remains a livelihood strategy for some residents in Nima, but disorder, disease and waste from animals has lead to a negative perception of urban agriculture among neighbours as well as authorities. Research shows that reinforcing laws on hygiene and sanitation is not an easy or straightforward process because of different interests and complex social relations. Therefore, community-based waste management should be recognized as an alternative solution to official waste collection. This could better the sanitary and hygienic conditions in the community, improve the image of livestock keeping and inspire collective action and cooperation. Strategy: Local authorities can organise awareness campaigns and train local residents in hygiene and sanitation. Furthermore, waste collection points for organic waste should be designated in proximity to markets, which are natural gathering spaces, so that food waste can be used as animal feed, and the manure can be composted and reused as fertilizer for crop cultivation. Objective: Closing the loop and scaling-up waste management in Nima, and in the city as a whole. 146



5.2.2 GRAZING LAND Key issue: Lack of communication between herders and farmers Strategy: Establish a common point of contact between the parties Our social relation analysis highlighted that the main cause behind poor communication is linked to the absence of a common identity. This is determined by the geographic separation of their area of residence. It is therefore important to establish a point of contact that could breach the gap between these two groups in order to identify solutions. Objective: Create opportunity for negotiation RECOMMENDATIONS



5.2.3 PLANT POOL: SCENARIO 2: REDEVELOPMENT AND DISPLACEMENT OF FARMERS Key Issue: Loss of cultivation land In the future, there might be a reason for the VRA to effectively reclaim the lands, for example if cables are moved underground. In addition, according to the Accra Railway and Drain Project, the railway is to be re-activated, which could mean the displacement of farmers along the train tracks. If reactivated, high tension wires become underground cables, or AMA simply decides to enforce eviction Strategy: Negotiate terms of relocation through UMG initiative Objective: Resume cultivation on currently unproductive lands




6. SELECTED INTERVIEW RESULTS The following selected stories are important to understand details of the practices and dynamics around urban agriculture in the area, and how it is experienced by those who engage in these activities on a daily basis.

6.1 THE NIMA MARKET: INTERVIEW WITH CHARLOTTE MATTI, THE MARKET QUEEN Location: Nima market The market of Nima was established by the mother of Charlotte Matti (from Ga), the Market Queen of Nima. She has been a queen for 4 years. There are currently about 1000 people selling in the market. According to Charlotte, the whole land of Nima and the Nima market belongs to the Ni Odukwa family. Ni Odukwa family gave the market land to the mother of the market queen, Kamansa who lives in Nima. The latter established the Nima market. According to Charlotte, the family of Odukwa lives in Osu and has close relations with the family of the market queen and the latter meets the family every day. The Odukwa wants to give the land to the government to rebuild the market. Then the government will give money and other benefits to the market queen and the Odukwa family. Kamansa is old now and she has transferred her work to her daughter. The market queen does not trade herself but her children do. If someone wants to sell in the market they have to rent a place there. She is there just to resolve any issues arising in the market. Most of the people in Nima market are from Nima but also from other places. There is no source of water in Nima and the sellers bring water from the nearby houses. Nima market has a market association but it does not do much. The waste-pickers come individually and collect the waste from the market. Representatives from AMA as well as the mayor have given many promises to rebuild the market, build a toilet, etc. but they have not done anything. Because there is lack of space inside the market people appropriate other spaces around it to sell their products. Often they sell on the floor and the quality of products is not good on the roadside. Customers prefer to buy from the roadside.



6.2 INTERVIEW CONDUCTED WITH “FRIENDS REST SOCIETY” YOUTH ASSOCIATION Location: Nima, office of “Friends Rest Society” The youth association called “Friends Rest Society” is in the process of re-registering and re-naming itself into “Friends Welfare Society”. The society has overall 25 members with 7 members overseas. The largest number of members that the group has ever had is 32. Fund-raising is always an issue and that is the reason why the Society keeps the number of members to 25. The society has 42 ideal places in Nima where they meet for their activities as well as for advocating governmental plans. The youth group has a welfare fund which all members should join and each gives 10 GHC a month. Every month the youth group spends 30 GHC for a certain purpose. The meetings of the group are based on the group’s constitution. The executive committee meets, makes decisions, and the secretary informs the members about it. Several members of the group now live far from Nima but before they used to live here. Those who want to become part of the society must first submit an application in a written form, pay 24 GHC for processing the forms, the cards and the pictures. After that they are given a 6 months of probation. Thereafter, they qualify for any benefit given to other members. Elections take place every 3 years. Normally issues discussed concern the youth of the community. Previously they had women members but the latter would impede the work of the group. For instance, during the meeting a woman’s family member would call and ask for something. Thus, the women members quitted and currently the group is dominated merely by men. 150

The Relation of “Friends Rest Society” towards UA: At the end of the Islamic calendar, the Society slaughters cows and gives meat to the recognized underprivileged members. Mostly the cows are bought from outside of the community. There are cases when community members seek assistance from the group regarding livestock issues, but this is usually beyond the financial reach of the group. They have only assisted two members of their own group in getting livestock but not anyone outside the community. The members of the “Friends Rest Society” had a negative opinion about livestock rearing and urban agriculture in general. However, they prefer livestock rearing to cultivation. The constraints they mentioned were the following: 1.     Livestock defecation is always an issue. Neither the tenant nor the landlord are willing to do the cleaning as the former is paying rent and the latter might live somewhere else and might not undertake anything. 2.      There is no land available in Accra for UA and the community does not have extra space for it either.  They would like to have land for UA outside the city. 3.      Cultivation is a tedious work and the young people are more attracted to livestock keeping as it can provide quick income. They can just sell the livestock and get the money. Whereas in terms of cultivation, growing vegetables requires hard labor and is not profitable. Even if they had enough space in Nima they would rather use it for livestock rearing than cultivation.


6.3 INTERVIEW CONDUCTED WITH BILKISU, A FEMALE TRADER IN MALLAM ATTA MARKET Location: Mallam Atta Market Bilkisu sells vegetables at the market. But as an additional activity she is also engaged in selling jewelry. She mentioned that if she got another business, e.g. selling in a grocery shop, she would leave the market trade. The land is given for trade by AMA, but she has to pay 20 pesos for it each day. Once the trader does not come to sell in the market she does not have to pay for the specific day. Â She sells carrots, potatoes, onion, green pepper, cucumber, green beans, cauliflower, green leaves, green beans, amarantos, cabbage, lettuce at the market. Among these vegetables, green pepper, lettuce, spring onion, cucumber, green leaves, cauliflower come from Plant Pool. The other crops come from Kumasi, Togo, Agbogbloshie markets. She usually sells on Monday and Thursday. She brings the crops from the farm to the market, sells some of them to other female traders and the rest sells herself. She cuts the vegetables into pieces as it increases the value and sale. There is no one checking the quality of the vegetables. To ensure security of the place, the traders used to pay 50 pesos to someone to guard it but then they stopped as theft still went on. However, she mentioned that the main factors impeding the trade can be the rain and flood. The mud does not let the customers come inside the market. Thus, many customers park near the roadside and buy goods from there, and therefore the sellers near the roadside make more profit. She mentioned that a better parking space for the customers, market restoration and a market association defending their interests would largely improve the market trade. To the question of what they do with the compost, Bilkisu responded that the compost is given to the people for free for the livestock such as sheep, goat and cattle. As far as the water is concerned, the sellers use piped water in the market having several pipe points.



6.4 INTERVIEW WITH EVELYN DADZIE, MEMBER OF THE NOVOTEL MARKET ASSOCIATION Location: Odowna Market Evelyn is a member of the Novotel Market Association/Odowna Market and is the Onion Leader for the market. She primarily sells onions and tilapia, and has been a market seller for over 15 years.  She joined the association six years ago through a friend – before Odawna Market, Evelyn was selling at Tana station until she was kicked out.  Her friend invited her to sell at the market and join the association – she has been at Odowna since. There are 10 leaders in the association in charge of various produce.   As Onion Leader, Evelyn works with the Onion Leaders at other markets and organizes all the traders selling onions in the market; they bring their problems to her and those problems are then brought to the association.  There are more than 1000 members in the association.  The association provides support, but not monetary support.  The association received a 7-day training workshop in the past on how to trade, invest and sell to customers (conducted by Busa organization).  Evelyn said they would like more training on business issues and how to meet customers. AMA owns the land, and Evelyn paid 50 GHC to the association for the space, which AMA gave her.  But the association has problems with AMA.  They refuse to pay the tax to AMA (a tax that Evelyn says continuously changes) until they address the issue of the roadside sellers who compete with the sellers inside the market.  Because of the strength of the association, AMA has been unable to do anything. 152

The Odowna market is a central market where other community markets come to buy and sell. There are no male sellers, and men act as just monitors. If Evelyn had more money she would expand her business and sell other types of produce or open her own shop to sell non-produce items.  She is educated but wants to sell at the market because it is a profitable business.  She has relationships with customers from Agbogbloshie market who give her a good price and also give her credit, which helps her financially, since she mentioned that obtaining loans are difficult. She has three children – one girl and two boys.  Her daughter is the eldest and goes to school in Italy.  Her boys, both teenagers, are in school.  She pays their tuition out of her own pocket.


6.5 INTERVIEW WITH SADAT, A YOUNG LIVESTOCK REARER Location: Maamobi, residential area Sadat is a 23 year old livestock keeper in Maamobi. He started his business 5 years ago thanks to his family -- he acquired the land and rearing skills from his father. He believes he is the only young livestock farmer of the area. This activity is quite profitable for him since he created a good network: he sells animals to the community members and some markets, though he keeps some for personal consumption.  He buys food mainly from Plant Pool and Agbogbloshie Market, and farmers from Plant Pool, Roman Ridge and Dzorwulu come to collect animal manure to use as fertiliser.  However, profit is not the only reason why he practices livestock-rearing, it is also because he loves animals and sees this activity as a blessing. Because of increasing livestock numbers he might need to relocate the activity and move outside the city, but he would prefer not to because he can obtain different kind of food for his animals here. Additionally, he also has access to veterinary services such as vaccinations in the city, which are sometimes free.

6.6 INTERVIEW WITH HELEN, PIG FARM OWNER Location: Kotobabi Helen is the owner of the pig farm and has had the business for over 40 years. It was a family business that was passed down to her from her grandmother.  She runs the pig farm on her own and doesn’t belong to any association.  They also have their own pig-rearing farms – they used to have one on the property but it had to be relocated because of development – part of it has now been moved to Ashaiman, the other part to Bukwasi.  It has been more than 20 years since the farm had to be relocated, and no compensation was received for the forced relocation. In addition to their own pig farms, the slaughterhouse gets their animals from various places.  And though men are the ones who buy the animals, women are the ones who do all the slaughtering and cooking at the farm. The farm mostly sells and slaughters about 4 or 5 of their own pigs a day.  Before slaughter, an AMA health officer comes and inspects the animals on the premises, and permits are required to accompany the animals stating where they have been bought to certify them for slaughtering. Customers come from within and outside the community, from Osu and Tema markets, and also from food joints.  The farm sells cooked food on site, and Helen’s daughters also sell cooked meat at the road junction.  The pig farm has relationships with many of these customers, and as the only slaughterhouse in the area, people come with their own pigs for the farm to slaughter, especially during special occasions.  There was another slaughterhouse in the area but it closed 5 years ago and the only other one that exists is far away in Ashaiman. Linkages: The farm buys animal feed from Tema, and workers in both pig farms have used the manure from the farm for cultivation purposes.  The farm gets their seasoning and cooking ingredients from Nima market.



6.7 INTERVIEW WITH ANN, FEMALE LIVESTOCK REARER Location: Alajo Ann is a female livestock rearer. She keeps the animals in a shelter which is located on institutional land, under the electrical cables next to some urban agriculture plots. Her house, which she owns, is just next to it. She started the rearing activity 12 years ago thanks to financial support of her husband who got for her the land and provided the money to buy the first animals. He helps Ann also now buying the food for the animals, mainly from Alajo Market, and transporting it to the shelter. She does not have any problems in running her activity. In fact she usually sells the animals during special occasions to the neighbourhood and community and she disposes the animals’ manure burning it or giving it to the neighbour farmers with whom she has now a good relationship. In the past she had some complaints from the farmers because her animals used to eat their crops, but she solved the problem hiring a boy who watches the animals when they graze. This usually happens during the late afternoon because AMA advised to not let animals roam during the day.


6.8 INTERVIEW WITH IBRAHIM DAVIS, POULTRY KEEPER Location: Maamobi Ibrahim has been a poultry keeper for the last four years. He has about 70 chickens. He raises them for meat and not to lay eggs. He does not own the land which he is on, but has an agreement with the landlord whereby he receives some hens in exchange for the permission to keep the animals on his property. Instead of rearing animals for sale or solely for self-consumption, his main objective is to have something valuable to give to the community because of his religious beliefs. In fact, this is a way for him to make a good deed and offer charity to the less fortunate, which is part of the principles of the Muslim faith. For example, he donated a chicken to a woman that had recently become a widow. When she told him the chicken had been stolen, he gave her two more. Ibrahim is illiterate, but he says God has given him another gift: that of being able to ‘do things’: to repair, to build, to transport just about anything. For example, he built the henhouse with a friend. Through these activities, Ibrahim is able to finance his poultry keeping activities. He spends a lot of money in taken care of the hens, and doesn’t get revenue in return. For example, he is very concern about not disturbing the neighbours. He therefore preferred purchasing the exotic chicken which are more expensive to purchase and to maintain as they need special food, but generate less noise and can be kept in the their henhouse. The exotic types are generally more profitable as they are larger, but Ibrahim does not reap these benefits as they are not sold. He generally gets the food from Nima or Mallam Atta market (maize, fried fish, grinded millet), and occasionally buys prepared food from Labadi when he has sufficient income. Ibrahim strongly encourages other people to take up this activity, as he thinks it is gratifying and useful. In fact, he offers help and training to others who want to start up their own hen houses. Nonetheless, he believes there is little future for livestock keeping in Nima because of space scarcity. He claimed that if he had the opportunity, he would happily relocate to a more spacious area beyond the boundaries of Nima. There he would have the opportunity to have many more chicken, and as he said, ‘to help many more people’.


7. Interview outline 7.1 Semi-Structured Interview: 7.1.1 Interviewees: Livestock Keeper 1.     How long have you been in the livestock-rearing business? 2.      How did you get into the business? 3.      Is it a family business? 4.      Do you own the land? 5.      Do you raise animals for personal consumption or to sell? 6.      Is livestock-rearing your main source of income? 7.     Who are your main customers and where do they come from? 8.      Are they regular customers? 9.      Where do you source water? 10.    Where do you get your animal feed? 11.     What do you do with the animal manure? 12.     Do you face any problems with livestock-rearing as a business? 13.     Do you have any support from the government? 14.     What do you think of urban agriculture in general? 15.     Do you think urban agriculture has a future? 16.     Would you pass this business down to your kids?



7.1.2 INTERVIEWEES: TRADERS (MARKET TRADERS, STREET VENDORS) 1.        Personal Details: a.         Gender b.        Age c.         Ethnicity d.         Religion* e.         Household size 2.       What do you do as your main activity? 3.      Do you have alternative source of income? If yes, what is it? 4.      How many members of your household earn an income? 5.      Where do you buy the food items you sell? 6.      How far do you travel to get the food items? 156

7.     What information do you have about the food production site? 8.      Do you directly receive the goods or is there an intermediary? 9.      How is the price established? 10.     How does the price change based on seasonality? 11.     Do you wash the food items before selling them?  If yes, what is the source of water used? 12.      Who are your main customers and where do they come from?


7.1.3 INTERVIEWEES: PLANT POOL FARMERS 1.     Where do you live? 2.      How long have you been engaged in farming in Plant Pool? 3.      Is cultivation your main activity for income? 4.     How did you gain your farming skills? 5.     Are there any ways that help you to improve your skills? 6.     What do you usually grow based on seasonal variations? 7.     Where do you receive your seeds from? 8.     What kind of water do you use for farming? 9.     Have you experienced any water-related health issues throughout your experience in urban agriculture? 10.      Do you use any fertilizers? If yes, how do you obtain them? 11.      What problems do you face related to land? 12.      Do you face any competition in terms of selling crops? 13.      How do you dispose of your waste? 14.      Where do you sell the crops? 15.      Who are your customers? 16.      Is there a middleman supporting your farming activities? If yes, please explain how. 17.      Are you a member of the farmers association of Plant Pool? 18.      How often do you attend the meetings? 19.      Do you interact with other farmers associations? If yes, are they supporting your farming activities? Please, explain how. 20.      Are there any ways that could improve your farming activity?



7.1.4 NIMA/MAAMOBI MOTHER’S CLUB Can you tell me about how the Mother’s Club started and what it does? Do you have savings groups? Why? How does it influence your group? Where are the members from? Do you cooperate with other associations? What are the main issues that concern your members? How much power do you have to influence decision making in the area? How is your relation with the local Assemblymen? Do any of your members have livestock or cultivation as their source of income? What kind of agricultural activities? And where? Do any of your members work at the markets? Where do most of the traders of the Nima market come from? How do you get access and space to trade the goods in the market? 158

Are there any groups that dominate the production/trade? How is the labour division between men and women? What kind of food you buy most? Where do you buy your food? How do you prepare it? Do you know where it comes from? What is your view on food produced locally in Nima/Maamobi? How do you choose where to buy your food? Do you trust the hygienic conditions of vegetables and meat products sold in local market? Why? Do you know of any measures to ensure at least a minimum quality of the food items sold in the market? - If yes, what kind of measures?


7.1.5 ASSEMBLYMEN (NIMA WEST/MAAMOBI EAST/ALAJO) 1.   Which communities are under your jurisdiction? 2.    How many assembly men are there in Central Accra? 3.    What do you think of urban agriculture in the city? How does it impact the livelihoods of the people? 4.    What are the agricultural activities in and around Nima/Maamobi/Alajo? 5.    Do residents of Nima engage in urban agriculture in and outside Nima? 6.   What are the policy opportunities and constraints/barriers for urban agriculture in and around Nima? This include cultivation and livestock rearing 7.    What kind of problems do people in your community bring up to you? 8.    What kind of policy mechanisms do you use to address these issues? 9.    Do you have any strategy or development plan to improve the livelihoods of the people of (Nima/Maamobi/Alajo)? 10.  Do you build partnerships with any groups or associations for your strategies for community (Nima/Maamobi/Alajo)? 11.  Is there any association concerned with food production in Nima? 12.  What could you do to improve urban agriculture so that it could improve livelihood of people?



7.1.6 INTERVIEWEE: HEAD CHIEF Could you describe us your role in the community? What is the type of interaction/relationship with people? What are the types of complaints that people usually bring? Do they voice their concerns individually or through a group or a representative? What is your relationship with city authorities? What is your relationship with local authorities such as the Assembly men? What do you think about being engaged in livestock rearing? Why do you think people engage in this activity? How do you think it contributed to people's livelihood? Do you think it is a good way to make a living? Why? How do people perceive livestock rearing? How do you think it impacts the area? 160

Do the neighbours complain about the presence of animals? Are you personally concerned with the environmental and health consequences of this activity? Are animals subject to health checks? If no, do you think it is a problem? How do people have the economic capacity to purchase and maintain livestock? How do they raise funds?



7.2.1 NIMA/MAAMOBI MOTHER’S CLUB What are your aspirations for Nima/Maamobi? How could livelihood opportunities for the residents of Nima and Maamobi be improved? What do you think of urban agriculture in terms of providing livelihoods to the residents of Nima? Could it be a future for your children?- Why? Optional: Is there any experience in Nima of creating compost through organic waste and animal waste to provide livelihood to the residents of Nima?

7.2.2 FRIENDS REST SOCIETY Which are the positive and negative aspects of urban agriculture? Why should and should not practice urban agriculture? Why would you engage as main activity and as a side activity?


Chapter 4 SECURING LIVELIHOODS AND GREEN OPEN SPACES: The potential of urban agriculture towards an environmentally just urbanisation 163




Table of contents 4.1 Aknowledgements 4.2 Abbreviations 4.3 Executive Summary 4.4 Background 4.5 Methodology 4.6 Hypotheses and Analytical Framework Research Questions

4.7 Key Findings 4.8 Strategies 4.9 Conclusions 4.10 References 4.11 Appendices



Appendix Appendix 1. Strategy 1. Enhancing collective practices Appendix 1.1 Formal organisation and community-led mapping and enumeration Appendix 1.2 Initiate farmers’ savings groups at CSIR and GAEC locations and strengthen existing savings groups across all sites Appendix 1.3 Promote knowledge exchanges

Appendix 2. Strategy 2, Actions and Impact Asessment and Monitoring Appendix 2.1 Strategy 2: Recognising Land Use for Farming Practices Appendix 2.2 Strategic Actions 166

Appendix 2.3 Impact Assessment and Monitoring

Appendix 3. Web of Institutionalization Appendix 4. Research Sites Profile Appendix 5. Research methods used in each site Appendix 6. Final Time Table Appendix 7. Interviews Appendix 8. Maps Appendix 8.1 Preliminary map after participatory mapping in CSIR Appendix 8.2 GIS layers of preliminary map of plots in CSIR Appendix 8.3 GIS preliminary map of plots in CSIR Appendix 8.4 GIS final map of farmers’ plots in CSIR

Appendix 3. Cultivating Change, Accra, Ghana-Legon Area (Infography)


4.1 Acknowledgements Our team would like to pay special thanks to Charles and Charity, whose encouragement, experience and support in the field enabled us to carry out the research presented in this report. We would also like to express our gratitude to all those that participated in our research study, especially the farmers of Legon who were a pleasure to work with and enormously generous in donating so much of their time. Lastly to our teaching staff at the DPU. We are most grateful for the continued support that you provided throughout the months leading up to our study, during our time in Ghana and on returning to the UK.



4.2 List of Abbreviations



Accra Metropolitan Assembly Appendix Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Development Planning Unit Dzorwulu Farming Site MSc Environment and Sustainable Development Farmer’s Association From Seed to Table programme Ghana Atomic Energy Commission Ghana Atomic Energy Farmers’Assosiation Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor Ghana Cedi Ghana Grid Company Limited International Water Management Institute Ghana Land Administration Project Ministry of Food and Agriculture Ministry of Land and Forestry Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development National Bureau of Investigation Non-governmental Organisation People’s Dialogue Plant Pool Farming Site Right to the City Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security Slum Dwellers International Town and Country Planning Urban Agriculture


4.3 Executive Summary:


ccra is a fast-growing city that is currently facing an unplanned and uncontrolled urbanisation process. As a result, urban agriculture (UA) is being pushed outside the boundaries of the city towards the peri-urban. Current urbanisation trends show that this situation is likely to continue, therefore threatening its sustainability in the future. However, many farmers still practice UA within the city, showing a high level of resilience to such changes. The aim of this research is to explore the actual and potential contribution of UA towards an environmentally just urbanisation process in Accra, as well as to assess the benefits that could be triggered by UA both in terms of providing secure livelihoods to people and preserving green areas within the city. The report focuses on the Legon area, situated in the Northern part of Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA), and its surroundings. Five sites where UA is taking place have been selected and they provide an opportunity to understand how agricultural practices operate under different situations in the urban realm. The research focuses on one area of Accra. However strategies have been identified that are relevant for and have the potential to benefit the

whole city. Above all they aim to strengthen the voice of farmers whilst at the same time advocating for the recognition of farmers and the formalisation of their practices in the city. The strategies presented go beyond the scope of solely UA. By linking the successes and struggles of urban farmers to the way the city is conceived, perceived and lived, this report questions the present and future urbanisation process in Accra from an environmental justice perspective.





4.4 Background


hana is currently undergoing rapid urbanisation. More than half of the Ghanaian population resides in urban areas and the capital, Accra, is one of the fastest growing cities in the whole West African region with a population expected to double by 2017. Projections show that the urbanisation process in Accra is unlikely to slow down until after 2030, when approximately two thirds of the Ghanaian population will live in urban centres (ESD, 2012). The recent discovery of offshore oil in Ghana will also open up many economic opportunities in the city, thus further increasing the rate of rural to urban migration, especially in the two largest cities, Accra and Kumasi. Government institutions are currently facing enormous difficulties in coping with these rapid changes. It is widely recognised that the urbanisation process in Accra is taking place in an unplanned and uncontrolled fashion. Although the Land Use Planning Bill is in the process of being ratified by Parliament1, Ghana lacks a comprehensive urban policy which guides the growth and development of its urban centres. Moreover, city planning authorities are over-stretched financially and lack the resources, personnel and capacity to enforce legislative procedures. Such agencies also lack institutional coordination and harmonisation of development initiatives, thus further compounding the unplanned and uncontrolled nature of urbanisation in Accra (MoLGRD, 2010). Accra is considered the centre of economic growth in Ghana. Urban development and land use have been influenced by neo-liberal trends that promote economic activities within the city and encourage foreign investment, the benefits of which reach only a minority of the urban population. Furthermore, these trends have considerably increased the already high competition for land in Accra. Market forces determine the use of 1 On May 22, a land use planning bill has been presented to Parliament by the Ministry of Environment and Science and Technology. It seeks to harmonise all laws and Acts that had been in existence in Ghana to ensure effective planning and construction of towns and cities.

available space and real estate development seems to be by far the most profitable land use activity. It is evident that the city is changing rapidly. Such change is caused by various factors, including urbanisation, globalisation and the notion that cities need to focus exclusively on economic growth. In this context, UA is viewed both by policy makers and planners as a practice that does not belong to the urban sphere but rather to the peri-urban and rural areas. It is considered as an obstacle to economic growth as it occupies large areas of land that could be used to generate larger profits from other activities. The value that UA holds for a city that is rapidly growing without considering the mal-effects of excess development and impending threats of climate change is underappreciated. Nevertheless, UA has been practiced for many decades and continues to exist, supporting the livelihoods of around 1,000 farmers, granting them a reliable source of income, enabling them to provide education for their children, health care for their families and a higher standard of living than that of the urban poor (Cofie et al., 2005). These changes were particularly evident in the research area for this study, namely Legon and its surroundings, which is located in the Northern part of AMA. The region consists of large areas of institutional land, high-value real estate as well as dense low-income settlements, protected sites such as the Achimota Forest and many locations where open areas have been developed and built upon in recent years. Amongst this struggle for competing land use, numerous sites of UA continue to operate in Legon. They have been subjected to the changing nature of urbanisation in Accra and have had to develop ways of coping with these pressures in order for UA to remain in the city. This relationship forms the basis of our research, which aims to explore the actual and potential role of UA in contributing towards an environmentally just urbanisation process in Accra.



RESEARCH OBJECTIVES: This report builds upon research produced by ESD students in the previous three years and fits into an ongoing city-wide initiative supported by Cities Alliance and led by Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and People’s Dialogue. The aim of the research is to explore the actual/ potential role of UA for environmentally just urbanisation in Accra. The goal is not only to produce a comprehensive analysis of the current urbanisation process in Accra, but also to provide strategic recommendations on how to strengthen the voice of the urban poor in negotiating for environmental justice and over their role in the future development of the city. To address this task, the research focused on one area of the city – Legon and the surroundings. Within this area, five case studies have been chosen to draw lessons and contribute to a better understanding of how to promote transformative change for the Accra Metropolictan Area (AMA). 172

1. Dzorwulu and Roman Ridge 2. Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) agricultural site 3. Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) agricultural site 4. The University of Ghana 5. Christian Village and the surroundings


4.5 Methodology and Limitations METHODOLOGY


The analysis and data collection process was conducted in three stages:

Research during the Field Trip Stage focussed on five main UA sites that were identified in Legon. Please refer to Appendix 4 for a profile and site description of each of these locations. Research methods included structured and semi-structured interviews, transect walks, participatory mapping and focus groups (see appendix 5 for details on methods used at each site). The Time Table in Appendix 6 displays the dates for when each technique was applied. A summary of the outputs from the interviews and participatory mapping can also be found in Appendix 7.

1. Pre Field Trip: 4 months of desk-research of secondary data 2. Field Trip: 2 weeks spent collecting and interpreting data in Accra. 3. Post Field Trip: 2 weeks data analysis after returning to the UK

PRE FIELD TRIP: LONDON A detailed analysis of secondary data drew upon previous DPU reports and a literature review of UA in Accra. A list of all identifiable stakeholders engaged in UA was compiled and drawn up into a Web of Institutionalization that can be found in the Appendix 3 at the end of the report.

Map 1 provides a spatial representation of the combination of techniques used at each site. Transect walks and semi structured interviews were carried out at each location. The most successful combination of techniques was the use of participatory mapping, semi-structured interviews and transect walks at CSIR, as the farmers responded particularly well to our research methods and became actively engaged in producing valuable data. It should be noted

MAP 1. SOURCE: “ACCRA, GHANA”. 5°37’49.05” N AND 0°12’14.49” W. GOOGLE EARTH. DECEMBER 1ST, 2010. MAY 17, 2012.



that the use of semi-structured interviews was particularly successful across all five sites as farmers were happy to engage with us under such informal conditions. Unfortunately, due to the size of GAEC and the University locations, participatory mapping proved difficult and transect walks provided only limited benefits.



he Field Trip stage was limited to a period of two weeks. This restricted the amount of time that we had to prepare a fieldwork plan and collect data across all five sites. We had to make trade-offs between what was desirable and what was feasible given not only the time we had but also the size of our research area. Legon is significantly large and this occasionally presented us with logistical complications.


In the original Time Table, the plan was to map the boundaries to the University of Ghana and GAEC. However, due to the time constraints mentioned, the size of these plots and the resources at our disposal, it was decided that this was unrealistic and our plan was adjusted. Furthermore, technology constraints presented certain limitations. During the participatory mapping, a GPS camera was used to collect plot coordinates. Due to poor signal in the area, the GPS device proved to be unreliable. A GPS smartphone application was used instead, however the new technology functioned at a considerably slower rate thus reducing the amount of time that could be spent collecting other data in the field.


4.6 Hypothesis and Analytical Framework UA systems in Legon area have evolved and adapted over time along with their knowledge systems, organizational capacity and land use in a way that makes them resilient to the rapid and unplanned process of urbanisation.



he hypothesis is set around the notion that UA is a practice deeply embedded in the history of the city. Therefore, there should be a recognition of the identity and culture of the farmers and the historical rights of their practices. This relates to recognising their ‘rights to the city’ (RTTC). As argued by Lefebvre and Harvey (UNESCO, 2011), the right to the city

is a critique of the capitalist model of accumulation, which transforms the relationship between the state, the private sector and civil society, and prioritizes profit-driven initiatives rather than a collective usufruct of space and just distribution of environmental goods. Scholars agree that the notion of RTTC is crucial to achieve social and environmental justice in a context of urbanisation in the Global South and thus it is essential to be considered in the future development of Accra. 175



UA SYSTEMS HAVE “EVOLVED AND ADAPTED” OVER TIME “Evolved and adapted” relates to the way in which UA systems and the farmers themselves have resisted pressures derived from changes at the city scale by developing different types of coping strategies related to their knowledge systems, organisational capacity and land use. This has enabled them to withstand a number of threats created by the rapid and unplanned process of urbanisation.

“RESILIENT” TO THE RAPID AND UNPLANNED PROCESS OF URBANISATION Resilience in this context is understood as “resisting or changing in order to reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning and structure” (UNISDR, 2009).



n order to test the hypothesis, the field research focuses on five case studies in the Legon area (see appendix 4 for description of each case study) so as to draw out certain themes and provide a better understanding of how UA can contribute to environmentally just urbanisation in Accra. The research aims to analyse and compare the different coping strategies of UA practices related to their knowledge systems, organizational capacity and land use, in order to identify which elements contribute to the resilience of urban farmers to the negative processes of urbanisation, modernisation and globalisation (as explained in the Background section).


4.7 Key Findings


hrough an exploration of the three variables at each site, our research demonstrated that UA takes place in very different ways; each one dependent on the history and current context of each site. Through defining these stories of UA practices, we have identified which elements have and continue to contribute to the resilience of the urban farmer (see table 1). The following diagrams illustrate the level of resilience of each site according to the three variables - organisational capacity, knowledge systems and land use. Dzorwulu and Roman Ridge were found to have the highest resilience in relation to organisational capacity and knowledge systems, while GAEC has been most successful in increasing the resilience of farmers through higher security of land use. Christian Village has scored lowest in all aspects which proves that farmers are less resilient when they lack organisational capacity, knowledge production and exchange and security of land tenure. Several important conclusions can be drawn from these findings. First of all, organisational


capacity is a key determinant in increasing farmers’ resilience to the environmentally unjust process of urbanisation in Accra. Strong farmer associations enhance the recognition of farmers, strengthen their collective voice to engage with other groups and institutions, acquire land, receive training, access loans and improve and scale up their farming practices. The field research has demonstrated that resilience increases alongside the organisational capacity of farmers. This is reflected by an increase in the their capacity to demand their rights to the city and the preservation of their livelihoods and cultural identity. Thus, it is not only about resisting the negative forces of urbanisation but also being empowered within a group and as an individual. Furthermore, knowledge systems of UA in the Legon area and Accra as a whole hold great potential for improving the sustainability of the practice. Inherited knowledge and innovation of farming practices, despite limited external training and support, has helped farmers to adapt to the decreasing availability of land and water for farming practices and enabled them still to



contribute to the provision of fresh vegetables in the city. However, the research has identified a gap between research/science institutions and UA farmers with regards to knowledge sharing and access to training. Knowledge is often produced in a top-down fashion and is transferred in a one-way flow from the institution to the farmer. There is also a lack of communication and coordination between institutions. Therefore, enhancing linkages and reframing existing knowledge exchange channels is necessary to achieve a more robust and resilient UA in Accra.




Lastly, a key finding of our research showed that resilience of farmers is greater when there is a higher security of land tenure. What is particularly important is that UA systems have evolved and adapted over time to a very uncontrolled and competitive land use system. Moreover, farmers have managed to find a gap in this system and adopt a new role as “guardians� of the land where they protect the land from encroachment in return for being able to use it for farming. However, such arrangements with institutions or private owners have been rather informal, therefore putting the farmers in an insecure and vulnerable position as they may be evicted at any time without receiving notice or compensation. The GAEC case study demonstrates an unprecedented case where these issues have been addressed through a registration of land use and farming practices. This can be considered as a first step towards a formal and legal arrangement between institutions and farmers that will lead not only to registering their land use, but also to recongising their practice and resolving one of the greater challenges for farmers in Accra - security of land tenure. An illustrative description of these findings can be found in the infography in appendix 9.


X Land ownership is not clear for farmers (owned by Lands Commission and Ghana Railway Company) X Informal land use arrangements: farmers are in an insecure and vulnerable position X Experiencing encroachment X Lack of formal recognition of their land use X Lack of Institutional support

Roman Ridge:  Farmers as “guardians” of institutional land

X Hazards due to the proximity to electricity poles X Informal land use arrangements: farmers are in an insecure and vulnerable position X Experiencing encroachment X Lack of formal recognition of their land use X Lack of Institutional support

X Lack of awareness by farmers of new technologies X Limited access to training for small farmers due to high costs 2 Dzorwulu:  Farming near high tension electricity poles has given relative security to farmers  Farmers as “guardians” of institutional land  Clear ownership of the land (GRIDCO electricity company)

Between farmers and institutions:  Training and technology transfer (primarily at Dzorwulu)

X Knowledge sharing is ad hoc and irregular

Between groups:  Knowledge sharing between Roman RIdge, Dzorwulu and CSIR

Roman Ridge:  Strong organisational capacity  Ability to contest and not to participate in interventions  Well-established structure of the group  Savings group 5 Within the group:  Inherited knowledge  Detailed spatial collective knowledge  Innovation of farming practices (e.g. on site water purification systems)

5 Dzowrulu:  Strong organisational capacity  Ability to negotiate with various institutions  Well-established structure of the group  Savings group  Access to small loans

2 Farmers are employed workers

X Informal land use arrangements: farmers are in an insecure and vulnerable position X Lack of formal recognition of their land use X Lack of Institutional support

2  Farmers as “guardians” of institutional land  Clear ownership of the land (CSIR)

X Lack of training and technology transfer by institutions

X Informal land use arrangements: farmers are in an insecure and vulnerable position X Lack of formal recognition of their land use X Lack of Institutional support X University is not willing to designate vacant open space for farming purposes

2  Seasonal farming is tolerated to protect the land from encroachment  Large open spaces and clear ownership of the land (University of Ghana)

X Lacks dissemination to small farmers due to lack of finances

X Knowledge sharing with other groups is ad hoc and irregular

X Lack of FA

3  Provides Training  Generates knowledge and new technologies

4 In the process of establishing a formal FA Well-established structure of the group

University of Ghana

3  Inherited knowledge  Detailed spatial collective knowledge

 



Land use

Knowledge Systems

Organisational Capacity

Dzorwulu/ Roman Ridge

X There are no clear terms and conditions X No compensation offered in case of terminating the contract

4  Large open spaces and clear ownership of the land (GAEC)  Farmers as “guardians” of institutional land  Registration of land use for famers including one-year rolling membership and three moths eviction notice  Farmers feel more secure and are able to invest in better practices

X Farming practices may become heavily controlled by GAEC

X Lack of gov. funds leads to a business-oriented approach X Research may become mainly export-oriented

3  Provides Training  Generates knowledge and new technologies  Two-way knowledge transfer: GAEC uses farmers to test new technologies; Farmers receive training and are first to benefit from innovations

X GAFA founded and controlled by GAEC X Excludes farmers at the site

2  FA present: Ghana Atomic Energy Farmers Association(GAFA)


X Informal land use arrangements: farmers are in an insecure and vulnerable position X Very transient and short-term arrangements X Very rapid and uncontrolled residential development leads to decrease in green spaces and land for farming

2  Farmers as “guardians” of private land

X Lack of data of production and spatial distribution

1 X UA is for own consumption and therefore practiced individually (limited knowledge transfer)

1 X Lack of FA X Dispersed, small- scale and transient practices

Christian Village






4.8 Strategies and Action Plan


he following chapter will present the strategies based on our findings. These strategies aim to go beyond the resilience of farmers and

bring actual transformative change for the farmers and the city of Accra (see diagram 5)






he Strategy unfolds two components derived from the farmers pre-existing rituals of organisation, shared knowledge, perception of space and enumeration: formalising the group of farmers through an association (or enhancing its collective voice when an association already exists), and documenting their own information through the processes of community-led mapping and enumeration. These will reinforce their collective practices as they are brought together to determine their collective needs and to make decisions on issues such as eviction, climate change hazards and misrecognition. Previous DPU reports show that farmers from Roman Ridge, Dzorwulu and CSIR are spatially aware of: the land they use, its landscape and its physical and agreed boundaries; who is farming each plot; the number of beds they have on their sites; and which products they are growing. However, the representation of this spatial knowledge and its tabulated information differ in each site depending on their organisational capacity, and is not evenly shared among the members of the association or group. Evidence indicates that the Roman Ridge and Dzorwulu associations have a higher level of shared knowledge than farmers at GAEC and CSIR. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the former sites have been mapped with GIS techniques by RUAF and the Switch Programme, the members of the associations do not own the information equally. With the current will to mobilise themselves, GAEC and CSIR could start documenting and collecting their own information and get more formally organised.

ADOPTING THE STRATEGY: Through the exercise conducted at CSIR it can be shown how spatial awareness can be represented with the simplest tracing techniques and basic organisation. Once the farmers are organised, the groups can collect their own information through a minimum level of training and guidance that can assure that the process of enumeration and mapping can be led by the farmers. Appendix 1.1 contains the detailed plan that this strategy could follow to achieve the necessary mapping and enumeration. It is through the exchange of knowledge and experiences from members of other associations—both local and international—that farmers in the Legon and surrounding area could learn the benefits derived from this collective practice. Having as a common goal the appropriation of their information, the group strengthens its collective bonds, assumes responsibilities and identifies the specific actions they need undertake in order to better their conditions and livelihoods. Moreover, the farmers can assume ownership of the information when the process of mapping involves manual techniques that they can modify and update themselves. This notion of ownership needs to be addressed throughout the process so as to prevent misuse or co-option of information. It also ensures that the group can effectively use their shared information as leverage when negotiating with city authorities and policy makers by presenting the information they have gathered (Livengood and Kunte, 2012).

CASE STUDY A participatory mapping exercise was carried out with the farmers at CSIR. This proved to be a particularly powerful activity that generated a


lot of engagement and enthusiasm among the farmers. It demonstrated the potential that mapping possesses as a tool to trigger collective action and it supported the claim that farmers are spatially aware of their surroundings.

GPS coordinates were taken to mark out individual plot boundaries and the output map was presented to the farmers with the aim of it being their information – to be used as a tool to engage more formally with the CSIR institute and ultimately assist them in their mission to form an association. The outputs of this exercise are displayed in Figures 8, 9 and also in appendix 8.





Finally, the farmers guided the research group along the whole site to take GPS coordinates and mark out individual plot boundaries and reference points such as natural and built streams, water ponds, and electricity poles. The results revealed that even though the plots sizes varied significantly from the first abstract representation, their locations, neighbouring and boundaries were accurate. The output map was presented in public to the farmers with the aim of it being their information under constant update to be used as a tool to engage more formally with the CSIR institute and ultimately to recognise their willingness to form an association.


The surrounding institutional land of the CSIR has been used for farming in the last 40 years keeping the site from encroachment. A group of 21 senior farmers representing more than 120 farmers are willing to create an association to recognise their practice which might help them to contest displacement and empower their voice to claim their individual and community rights. Researching the potential of urban agriculture in social and environmentally just planning of the city, a group of UCL students carried out a participatory mapping exercise with the farmers and a member of People’s Dialogue to enhance the collective rituals of the group by producing their own information as a step towards the association.



Displacement of farmers t o periu rban area s

Secured open spaces

Pressure on open-spaces

Farmers are allowed to farm on institutional land to avoid encroachment but they are not entitled with rights of property and compensation after resettlement.

The pressure of the city growth is pushing farm-lands outside of the city without a delimited green belt.

Urban expansion


PERIURBAN Urban expansion

Resource depletion

The city is undergoing an accelerated process of urbanisation overtaking open spaces and rapidly consuming the green areas and natural resources while turning farming land into informal settlements and real estate developments; thus, the potential of urban agriculture for an environmentally just process of urbanisation is undermined.


Ordóñez González, Alejandro; Bancheva, Silviya; Brandt, Fernanda; Crawshay Jones, Chris; Doria, Nicola; Ferro, Pamela; Segura, Clarisa.





Un-controlled growth


Environmental degradation

In the urban planning agenda, unattended land issues and environmental problems reveal the lack of focus on the needs of the city’s metabolism and the balance between the natural and the built environment.








Ghana Atomic Energy Commission SITE (GAEC)


Reduction of open spaces

Real estate, private land and embassies

Golf Club

Protected area

Irrigated land


University Land

Migration trend

Open spaces


LEGON CHARLES NGO facilitator from People’s Dialogue on Human Settlements-Ghana with experience on savings groups, collection of data and community-led ennumerations.

UCL UC L RE RESE RESEARCH SEAR ARC CH GROUP Planning Development Pl lanning Unit students performing mapping techniques and analysis of power relations embedded on the processes of representation.










Following a discussion with the senior members regarding the group’s needs, the farmers gathered at the customary meeting point under a big tree. Once the goal to trace the plots on the ground was explained, the power of mapping manifested. Farmers were mobilised by the exercise revealing the nature of their social dynamics. Soon, more farmers surrounded the sketches on the soil as everyone wanted to be part of and be represented on it. The process ran chaotic with everyone speaking at the same time disagreeing on locations an sizes; arguments even heated between seniors and junior farmers, especially with those who just wanted to be acknowledge in the map but have never attended the group meetings.


Through the facilitator’s experience on collecting people, the group self-organised and one of the seniors with the best spatial awareness stood up and led the sketching of the boundaries. With their names written on paper, each farmer located his plot omplete order, and neighbours, one by one, in complete silence and profound attention. After an hour, all esult and the farmers were satisfied with the result unanimously approved the sketched map.


Using the same dynamic, the students replicated the map and began documenting each plot by interviewing the identified owners of the plots. Farmers showed to have a precise knowledge of the number of beds they own on each plot the specific type of crops they grow, its productivity and places at risk of flooding or contestation.



CSIR FARMERS GROUP Organisational capacity and collective knowledge expressed among the rituals and bonds of the group.

IBRAHIM Farmer and senior member with deep knowledge of farmers’ background, group history, dynamics and profile.

AMADU Senior, leader farmer with high spatial awareness of the land and relational location of the members’ plots and boundaries.

In sum, it is the actual process and not the output of mapping the one that can reveal valuable information when engaging with communities. Thus, mapping can trigger transformative change as it is a powerful tool to interfere the trend of planning and to demand justice for the most vulnerable.

Despite the challenges of linking rituals and collective practice to city planning to promote social and environmental justice in the city are present, information stands as the key tool to negotiate. Therefore, it has to be asked what kind information is being collected when mapping and who will be responsible for using it to leverage change?

The project showed how strong collective knowledge and organisational capacity could be even when no formal organisation exists. By documenting their own information through community-led mapping and enumeration, farmers reinforced their collective practices when they were brought together to determine their needs and to make decisions. Through this participative process, each individual found its own needs reflected by the needs of the group on issues such as eviction, climate change hazards and misrecognition.


CSIR community-led spatial representation of plots and terrain

Data collection and enumeration per farmer’s plot and transect walks guided by farmers

Abstract representation of community-led mapping exercise




With the collected data, the students delivered livered and abstract map to the group supported by the mation importance of producing their own information and self-organising towards common goals ement: explained by the facilitator under the statement: information is power. As mapping served as a tool lized they that triggered collective action, farmers realized were spatially aware of their surroundings, the land they use, its landscape and its physical and agreed boundaries, who is farming each plot, the number of beds they have on their sites, and the products they are growing.




COMMUNITY PROFILE Qualitative information can provide data of the history and identity of the group as a community that shares values, norms, experiences and rituals. This creates a profile which defines them and could help them to find similar problems to forecast and prevent hazards, and to avoid mal-practices. On the other hand, the accuracy that quantitative data from the enumeration can achieve provides precise knowledge of the community’s assets to trace the trends, fluctuations and changes in its activities. Overall, both data sets will help the farmers to identify the needs they have as a group, their problems and their opportunities. Plus, through this participative process, each individual finds his own needs reflected by the needs of the group – and often individual needs can be satisfied through collective action (Muller and Mbanga, 2012).


COLLECTIVE VOICE THAT CANNOT BE IGNORED As enumeration and mapping exhibit the relationships between figures, the voice of the group and the capabilities of each individual, accurate and updated information cannot be ignored. Thus, the recognition of the group, its practices and its rights, are promoted while the community of farmers reinforces its identity and forms a political constituency hard to suppress (Patel et al., 2012).

Accra, emphasized their willingness to organise and to own their own data. The act of receiving in public the printed GIS maps, enhanced and legitimised the voice of the group and was a positive step towards forming an association.

NEGOTIATION AND CONTESTATION As land use can be described as a political element of city planning (Patel and Baptist, 2012), the information available to the public regarding how much vacant space is available can be contested with the mapping outputs produced by farmers who are practicing UA within the institutional area that is supposed to be running out of such areas. Then, with the final outputs the group is empowered to negotiate with reliable data of their own and contest any inaccurate official information that may be determining the planning of the city. Furthermore, this strategy can locate the indirect economic activities derived from farming to determine how many livelihoods are involved in the process from seed to table. This will provide figures on the economic contribution of UA for the city of Accra, the people dependant on it and the amount of food that is produced. Thus, food security, malnutrition alleviation and employment activities that relate to UA, can contest claims made by the Millennium City Initiative that UA is not significant for the city when it only contributes to 3% of the food production in Accra (2012).

Furthermore, taking as an example the enumeration where Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor have gathered people from GAMA, NGOs and international federations, it can be highlighted that sharing experiences helps to find the proper techniques to use for each context and not only replicating formulas. Aside from the sharing of knowledge, this brings international attention to the process that the local authorities cannot ignore (Farouk and Owusu, 2012).


In the case of the CSIR farmers, their presence at the presentation of research findings held in

With data regarding organic farming techniques, information on UA’S contribution to the

The process considers partnerships with NGOs such as People’s Dialogue that may participate in the digitalisation of the information in order to legitimise the collected data. This can serve as a tool for advocacy when scholars, NGOs and external institutions could use the information led by the community instead of more formal, official data (Muller and Mbanga, 2012).


environment and the natural cycles that they maintain; the amount of waste that is absorbed and the natural resources that are being optimised (e.g. water) becomes available. Furthermore, if NGOs participate by supporting the compilation of data, the process becomes more transparent and accountable to the community, the partners and the authorities that could also derive observations to interpret the data (Livengood and Kunte, 2012).



armers at the CSIR and GAEC sites currently do not save as a collective group. Conversely, the farmers’ associations at DZ and RR have well established and well organised savings groups that are run by the farmers themselves. This collective practice has benefited them financially, but also strengthened social bonds, generated perceptions of collective identity and increased their ability to defend their right to practice UA in the city. Following the formation of associations as suggested under Strategy 1.1, the second component of the strategy outlines how savings groups at CSIR and GAEC might be formed and how the position of savings groups in Legon might be strengthened overall.

ADOPTING THE STRATEGY: At a basic level, saving money provides increased security for farmers as they are provided with access to cheap loans. In doing so they are more financially secure in the long term and less likely to be forced out of farming as a result of economic stresses, thus encouraging the continuity of the practice. Importantly, the urban poor are normally excluded from formal financial markets and are often forced to borrow from moneylenders who

charge particularly high interest rates, thus leading to vicious cycles of debt and self-perpetuating poverty (SDI, 2012). Savings groups offering cheap credit are therefore critical for urban poor farmers and offer an important entry point into building united communities.

COLLECTING MONEY FOR COLLECTING PEOPLE The more intangible but equally important benefit to be realised through adopting the strategy is the notion of collecting people through collecting money. This concept stems from interventions carried out by Slum Dwellers International (SDI) in many locations around the world, including Old Fadama in Accra. SDI was successful as it managed to highlight a collective practice that was already taking place (collective saving) and promote it and use it as a vehicle to drive a common cause. Though savings groups, SDI joined people together and created social bonds that resulted in a collective identity. This proved to be invaluable in the federating process and established a collective voice that challenged the status quo of marginalisation and suppression of the urban poor. Thus Strategy 1.2 aims to ‘collect’ farmers through encouraging them to form savings groups. It draws on the lessons learnt from SDI whilst also remaining aware of the need to adapt saving practices to the needs of farmers at each research site, the actors involved with UA and the drivers at the city scale which farmers have resisting and building resilience against over the years. A detailed plan for Strategy 1.2 can be found in the Appendix 1.2. It provides a set of sequential actions, specific objectives, methods, actors, time scales and limitations, and draws linkages between strategic action and transformative change.





nowledge exchange is a collective practice that already exists. This is particularly true between individual farmers. The research demonstrated that farmers share knowledge about all elements of their farming practices; their crop types, their plot locations, their farming techniques and so on. Research revealed that knowledge exchange even takes place between farmer groups. For example DZ farmers have met with CSIR farmers to advise them on organising themselves into an association. The problem is that these trends in knowledge transfer are rather intangible and fragmented. Hence Strategy 1.3 aims to address this problematic by not only strengthening and uniting knowledge exchange practices but also redefining the way that knowledge is produced and transferred between actors at all levels.


ADOPTING THE STRATEGY: The strategy seeks to promote knowledge exchanges at three observable levels; between individual farmers, between farmers’ associations and between associations and farmers. A detailed step by step plan for this cause of action is presented in Appendix 1.3. It outlines specific objectives that can be achieved by executing various actions and also draws linkages between action and transformative change. The overarching goal of Strategy 1.3 is to reframe the way that knowledge is exchanged. In doing so, it becomes a tool that enables farmers to challenge the urbanisation process that is forcing them out of the city by disrupting the status quo and delivering a new narrative.


Strategy 2.1: Recognising Land Use for Farming Practices


ince 2010 Accra has been part of the MCI which aims at addressing the city’s most pressing issues including flooding, water security, sanitation, rapid population growth, unplanned settlements and pollution (Earth Institute and Columbia University, 2010). However, the city has not been successful in dealing with these challenges. Therefore, it becomes evident that a change in the view of planners regarding urban development is required. UA could potentially play a crucial role in solving such challenges. For example, green spaces destined for UA could reduce water run-off in the city and thereby reduce the risk of flooding which is likely to increase with climate change. Moreover, by using organic, solid and liquid waste as a fertilizer UA practices could close the nutrient cycle and reduce considerably the quantity of waste produced, thus improving sanitation in the city (ESD, 2012). Another important role for UA in Accra is that food is produced close to where it is consumed, therefore considerably reducing the food footprint of the city (DPU, 2012). Furthermore, UA can preserve the production of local vegetables and fruits and hence help protect biodiversity. Finally, climate scenarios have indicated that average temperatures in Accra are expected to increase in years to come (Ayensu, 2004). For this reason, UA can play a key role in regulating temperature and reducing the “heat island effect” that may occur if current urbanization trends continue. Nevertheless, our research has shown that government officials often lack awareness of these benefits and thus have failed to exploit the potential that UA holds for the city of Accra. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana, maintains that “the State shall take all necessary action to (…) provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable

employment (...) to the needy” (Government of Ghana, 1992). Moreover, Ghana’s National Land Policy (Section 1.0) states that “land (…) is the basis of [Ghana’s] wealth (…) and the source of its sustainable livelihood and very survival” (Chapter Six, Section 36.1, MoLF, 1999). Accordingly, land plays a fundamental role in providing a means of livelihood and its use through UA practices in Accra should be recognised. In fact, UA provides a source of livelihood and employment, partly contributing to food security in Accra, and therefore it can be argued that UA could help in fulfilling the duties mentioned above. These legal statements, however, are broad and in practice there is a lack of specific legislation that sets out the procedures for the recognition of UA in Accra. It is a common view among planners that in order to protect green areas, the State should acquire land to preserve them. In areas of private and customary land ownership, green areas are rapidly being sold off for real estate development. However, according to the Mayor of AMA, Hon. Alfred Vanderpuije, between 23% and 30% of land in Accra is institutional land owned by the government (Al Khalifa et al., 2010). This challenges the common perception that land in Accra is no longer available. From an UA perspective, land is available. Open green spaces on institutional land present a very real opportunity for UA to take place. As the findings have shown, there is a general lack of awareness of the benefits of UA as well as a formal recognition of UA practices in Accra. Therefore, Strategy 2 builds upon the benefits of UA mentioned above and aims to respond to the current requirements of the Millennium City Initiative for Accra.



ADOPTING THE STRATEGY Strategy 2 comprises of three strategic actions:

RAISE AWARENESS MoFA Extension Officers should raise awareness among different farmers’ associations about the innovative agreement between GAEC and the farmers using their land for UA. The objective is to facilitate more voluntary contractual agreements in the short term. This could be aided by introducing incentives for institutions that cooperate with farmers. For example, an incentive based on positive reputation at the city scale – an image that communicates their willingness to support environmental justice in Accra, support of local livelihoods etc.


Another incentive might be tax or council tax reductions (or other fiscal measures). However this would require a more in depth research into fiscal policy and budget allocations in Accra. Budgets are already overstretched so identifying a suitable way of allocating funds would require a more in depth study.

DESIGNATE LAND USED FOR UA AS “PASSIVE” The Land Use Planning Mechanism opens a window for farmers’ associations to apply for the land they use to be designated as “passive”. Once land is designated as “passive”, it means that it cannot be built upon, even if it is institutional land. TCP is the institution responsible for determining whether land should be classified as “active” or “passive”. Formal recognition of passive land is likely to provide more tenure security to farmers and it allows them to use and enjoy the land and revenues (usufruct) without the need of owning it. The recognition of land use provides security to the farmers without jeopardizing the landowners’ property rights. Nevertheless, the recognition of land as passive does not guarantee that land will be used for UA purposes.

Propose a by-law in order to register the land use and establish a contractual agreement between institutions and farmers The purpose of the Registry is to publicly recognize current farming practices. The Registry should be managed by a governmental authority (e.g. the Lands Commission). The obligation of having a contract will allow farmers to establish mutually agreed terms and conditions with the institution regarding their practices and use of the land (including its renewal). Specifically, the contract will allow them to set up any compensation that they should receive in case the land owner decides to use the land for different purposes. In this way, the strategy aims to recognize formally the practice of UA on institutional land in Accra and develop a standard for contracts to secure compensation when required. This strategy may promote transformative change in two ways: 1) Current farming practices would go from being misrecognised to formally recognised 2) Compensation for farmers in case of eviction will be established in a binding document.




he findings of the research have revealed the ways in which farmers have adapted their practices to resist the uncontrolled and unplanned nature of urbanisation that has continuously threatened their livelihoods and rights to exist as farmers in Accra. There is strong evidence to suggest that certain UA systems have been more successful than others at developing resilience to negative drivers operating at the city scale. One significant finding is the fact that the perception that land is no longer available in the city for UA is widespread. However our research demonstrated that this is arguably a misconception. The considerable amount of institutional land present in Legon which contains open green spaces sheds optimistic light on the future of UA’s continued existence. Institutional land holds potential for UA to be recognised. However this depends on the ability of farmers to organise themselves and formalise their practices with institutions. GAEC provides an unprecedented example in this regard. According to the research UA might succeed only where farmers are able to secure their tenure and be part of an association. Without a strong organisational capacity and insecure land tenure and given the current urbanisation trends, the risk for farmers of being overwhelmed by the pressures of the city and pushed to the peri-urban is high. By enhancing collective practices, farmers will be able to contest and shape the process of urbanisation. Moreover, securing their land tenure will assert their right to the city. Only in this way, UA can continue providing fresh food and livelihoods for the people of Accra and play a crucial role in protecting open spaces for a greener urban environment.





4.10 References Al-Khalifa, A., Brinenberg, S., Chi, X., Exborge, E., Jeffery, T., Nwogu, A., Solomon, V., Song, J., Tao, Y., 2010, “Case Study: Plant Pool and Roman Ridge, Accra, Ghana”, Development Planning Unit, UCL, London Allen, A., 30th of May 2012, Interview at DPU, London Ayensu, A., 2004, “Assessment of Climate Change and Vulnerability of Coastal Zone of Ghana Using Trends in Temperature and Rainfall”, Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Vol.9, No.1&2, pp.21-27 Braimah, F.R., 2012, “Report of SDI Visit to Accra, Ghana”, SDI Link: a_ farouk_braimah_accra.pdf [accessed: 24/05/2012] Cofie, O. Larbi, T., Danso,G. Abraham,E. Kufogbe, S.K., Henseler, M., Schuetz, T., and Obiri‐Opareh, N., 2005, “A Narrative on Urban Agriculture in Accra Metropolis”, IWMI DPU, 2012, “Cultivating Change in Accra”, Development Planning Unit, UCL, London Link: [accessed: 28/05/2012] Earth Institute and University of Columbia, 2010, “Millennium City Initiative: Accra, Ghana” ESD, 2012, “Terms of Reference: Environmentally Just Urbanisation through the Lens of Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture in Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA), Ghana”, Development Planning Unit, UCL, London Government of Ghana, 1992, “The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana” Link: [accessed: 27/05/2012] Farouk, B. and Owusu, M., 2012, “’If in Doubt, Count’: The Role of Community-Driven Enumerations in Blocking Eviction in Old Fadama, Accra”, Environment & Urbanisation, Vol.24, No.1, pp. 47-58. Livengood, A. and Kunte, K., 2012, “Enabling Participatory Planning with GIS: A Case Study of Settlement Mapping in Cuttack, India”, Environment & Urbanisation, Vol.24, No.1, pp. 77-98. MoLF, 1999, “National Land Policy” Link: [accessed: 28/05/2012] MoLGRD, 2010, “National Urban Policy: Action Plan”, Government of Ghana Muller, A. and Mbanga, E., 2012, “Participatory Enumerations at the National Level in Namibia: The Community Land Information Programme (CLIP)”, Environment & Urbanisation, Vol.24, No.1, pp. 67-76. Patel, S. and Baptist, C., 2012, “Documenting by the Undocumented”, Environment & Urbanisation, Vol.24 No.1, pp. 3-12 Patel, S., Baptist, C., d’Cruz, C., 2012. Knowledge is power – informal communities assert their right to the city through SDI and community-led enumerations. Environment & Urbanisation, 24 (1), pp. 13-26. SDI Netherlands, n.d., “It’s about Collecting People” Link: [accessed: 24/05/2012] UNESCO, 2011, “Urban Policies and the Right to the City in India” Link: [accessed: 29/052012] UNISDR, 2009, “Terminology on Disaster Risk Reduction”, UNISDR, Geneva



Appendix 1. Strategy 1. Enhancing collective practices Appendix 1. 1 Formal organisation and community-led mapping and enumeration


Strategic action


Specific objectives


Actors Involved


1.1.1 Group organisation

a. Organising to acquire internal structure

-To Create a participatory time-line. -To Build the history of the farmers group: tracing its origin and transformation over time.

-Workshop to trace the origin and transformation of the group, its particular needs and concerns (individual and collective).

3 days. One for each specific objective

-To locate hierarchic roles -To identify trough focus group how power is being shared (who is included, who is excluded) -To identify rituals where knowledge is share and where information is collected

-Dividing into groups by site to build matrix of activities and responsibilities of every member in the group.

-People’s Dialogue and GHAFUP (facilitators) -Farmers’ representatives from each site. -Guests from external federations or associations (local and international)

-Dividing into mixed groups to identify preexisting rituals, activities, communication strategies, problem solving procedures and methods of participation and sharing of rituals

Link to Transformativ e Change A more structured body can protect their individual and collective rights along with a strong identity definition for the group The process will identify the members of the group to include the most vulnerable and to empower and build capacities on them. Farmers will understand the importance of their rituals to enhance their collective capacity as well as how the needs of the group underlie its own concerns

Risks and limitations Unjust conditions of exclusion must not be replicated during the process of empowering the group. The interests of women and men needs to be fairly represented In GAEC and CSIR the lack of member registration could compromise the allocation of responsibilities Cultural differences may compromise the identification of rituals

1.1.2 Mapping and enumeration

-To digitalise and tabulate data -To verify the accountability and transparency -To share results and experiences -To let the community verify the

-To create a profile for the group of farmers i. c -To perform Enumeration and survey -To develop Mapping

b. Developing Mapping and Enumeration

c. Validating the information

-To understand the potential of mapping and enumeration to claim rights, protect from eviction and negotiate with government -To learn the basic tools for performing community-led mapping and enumeration

-To understand the process each group has been through to become an Association -To find out the challenges and constraints they share

a. Learning mapping and enumeration techniques

b. Forming an association/ Reinforcing the association

Presentation and public event

Work meetings

-Participatory mapping -GIS mapping Work meetings

-Survey and enumeration

Workshop -Resources that will be needed -Spare roles and procedures for the process of mapping -Tools needed -Information preservation -Survey

Forum of shared experiences

Stakeholder approach -Dividing into groups by site and identifying the main steps to associate -To explore the goals in common, shared challenges and opportunities

-Community of farmers -Farmers’ association -Other groups of farmers

1 day

1 day

4 days

Groups that took part on the project working with NGOs and Federations

NGOs participate as observers and supporters for the compilation of data, the process becomes more transparent and accountable to the community

Community documents their own information with accuracy

1 day

1 week per site

-The community of farmers acquire the basic tools to perform their own process of mapping and enumeration

1 day

-Farmers’ association -Other groups of farmers -SDI -People’s Dialogue -GHAFUP -External NGOs and Federations

-Farmer associations -Farmer groups -Facilitators (People´s Dialogue, SDI)

-Common challenges and opportunities will be identified to find the commonalities towards a federation -Official recognition of their rights and practices could be obtained -Lessons can be learnt from the experiences of other groups that can inspire them

3 day workshop

-MOFA representative -Farmers’ association -Other groups of farmers -SDI -People’s Dialogue -GHAFUP

Technology for GIS and GPS can have bias Will and commitment of the NGOs

Information can be co-opted or misused

Coordination and involvement of the associations require incentives and require high level of coordination Commitment and will must be assured

Differences and current issues between the groups could undermine the efforts to consolidate a common voice that could represent them equally



-SDI -People’s Dialogue -GHAFUP -External NGOs and Federations


1.2.1 Create saving groups at CSIR and GAEC

Strategic action

* It is presumed that associations at CSIR & GAEC have already been formed as a result of Strategic Action 1

- To assess the current state of collective action or if individual farmers are already saving

Engage with farmers to highlight shared practices, raise awareness and introduce the issue of savings groups

-Assign farmers their roles

- To identify individuals and leaders within famers’ associations* that are willing/have the skills to fill organisational roles e.g. treasurer, secretary of savings group, book keeper

- To bring those that already save together in order to encourage other farmers to contribute savings also.

Specific objectives


- Assessment of farmer’s skill level to ensure capability

- Assigning roles

- Voting

- Initiated though voluntary action, farmers putting themselves forward for various roles

Focus group discussions held with farmers and facilitators at both CSIR and GAEC



CSIR & GAEC farmers’ associations

Representatives from DZ & RR who have experience with savings groups

Members from Dzorwulu and Roman Ridge (DZ & RR) farmers’ association

Representative from institution (CSIR/GAEC)

Inclusion of all farmers at CSIR & GAEC

People’s Dialogue (PD),

Actors: Who is involved?

1-2 days

1-2 days

To start immediately


- Empowerment: It ensures that farmer-based savings groups are run and maintained by the farmers - Breaks the cycle of loans being available only from informal and expensive external channels e.g. moneylenders

Knowledge and ideas about collective saving circulate at the community level until the philosophy behind the ritual become grounded in the community itself.

How does it lead to transformative change?

- Farmers must be motivated to organise the savings themselves

- Navigation of internal social hierarchies - More influential members perhaps overshadowing more submissive (but perhaps more suitable) candidates for organisational roles. - Abuse of power for personal gain



Appendix 1. 2 Initiate farmers’ savings groups at CSIR and GAEC locations and strengthen existing savings groups across all sites



Collect money

Train farmers with the skills needed to manage savings group, knowledge of practices (saving schemes, credit, exchange, repayments etc.)

Explore how other savings schemes put in place in Accra, eg in Old Fadama relate to the conditions and requirements at CSIR/GAEC.

To collect savings from farmers so that cheap credit is available, thus enabling access to crisis, consumption and income generation loans.

- To learn from successes of SDI in Accra: How do people save in Old Fadama compared to DZ & RR? - What are the needs of farmers compared to residents saving in urban settlements and how should CSIR/GAEC adapt these lessons when forming their own savings groups? To establish a selfsustaining savings group run by knowledgeable farmers that are capable of fulfilling their responsibilities within the group

- To define the nature of how and why savings groups function in different situations so that lessons can be transferred.

- Agree on structure of saving: amount to be added by each member, what they can afford depending on time of year/time left to next harvest - Assign date when farmers meet to contribute savings - Collect funds in public with all farmers present so as to ensure accountability/trust in early stages

- Collective workshops - Scenario/role playing - Interim period where a facilitator is available to assist and resolve problems. - Exchange of experiences/lessons learnt with DZ and RR farmers - Assistance/training from MOFA

- Workshops between farmers’ associations and stakeholders involved in previous savings groups. - Research - Sharing of knowledge

1-2 days (simultaneou sly)

2-5 days (immediately after previous stages) - Repeated periods of training/kno wledge exchange (i.e. an ongoing process) 1 day (per month)

- PD - Ghana Federation for the Urban Poor - Old Fadama Development association, (OFADA) - DZ,RR,CSIR, GAEC farmers’ associations.

- CSIR/GAEC representatives - PD - Senior members of DZ and RR savings group - MOFA

- Chairman of savings group and treasurer for CSIR & GAEC associations

- Breaks cycle of debt incurred from borrowing from highinterest money lenders - Decisions are made internally, debates are settled by the farmers: These actions encourage organisation and mobilisation – important characteristics for negotiating rights, challenging evictions and resisting aforementioned patterns of urbanisation at the city scale. - Farmers devise their own safety net thus increasing their resilience to shocks and stresses. - Reduces the poverty level of urban farmers as a collective

- Farmers are empowered and equipped with the capacity to mobilise themselves and save without being dependent on high-interest moneylenders

- Provides trust and commonality amongst farmers they are saving together and savings are organised by trained friends and co-workers.

Avoids a ‘one size fits all’ approach to replicating savings groups and instead encourages savings groups that are grounded in local practices and local needs by farmers themselves.

- Misuse of savings by individuals and group as a whole - Going into debt is still a risk despite low interest repayments. - Inequalities in repayment conditions (e.g. through favouritism/nepotism) - Ensuring consistent book keeping (of high quality) - Deciding who should be entitled to loans when savings are low

- Farmers must demonstrate an adequate level of willingness, literacy, education, numeracy

- Inadequate/ad hoc training that is forgotten in the long term - Quality assurance

- Links between styles of saving practices may be tenuous and hard to identify - It may be presumed that certain approaches are transferrable when in fact they are not



1.2.2 Strengthen savings groups

Engage with the University of Ghana Cooperative Credit Union

Peer exchanges with Dzorwulu and Roman Ridge farmers

- To learn from lessons of large scale, advanced cooperative savings group - To determine if a similar

1. To attract more and more farmers into the savings group by collecting money and sharing a common cause. 2. To maximise the contact that farmers have with each other. 3. To enable strong bonds to form around their collective identity. 4. To encourage shared expressions of solidarity, commonality and communication through sustaining the ritual of saving money. 5. To collect people in a way that unites savings groups with savings groups, associations with associations; thus driving the “federating process” (the end goal of which is the creation of a Federation of Urban Farmers 1. For CSIR/GAEC farmers to benefit from the savings group experiences of DZ and RR (both are mature in terms of strength of savings groups)

- Training camp/day to disseminate knowledge, skills and techniques that improve efficiency of

- Hold a workshop where representatives from all new and emerging associations can come and meet wit DZ and RR farmers for Q&A. - DZ & RR farmers can share their experiences on forming and running savings groups and highlight the challenges and pitfalls that must be navigated around.

- Encourage famers to talk about savings with their co-workers, spread the incentive to join. - Hold community/farmer-based meetings to promote social benefits. - Facilitate a joint meeting between all associations so as to demonstrate the power/size of UA and farmers in Legon. - Meeting would allow for knowledge exchange, development of relationships between associations, strengthening of bonds.

University of Ghana Cooperative Credit Union

- PD & MOFA could assist and use the space to communicate their mandates with farmers associations

- CSIR, GAEC, DZ and RR farmers’ associations

- PD



- Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor

- CSIR, GAEC, DZ and RR farmers’ associations


Collect people

A series of training days (amount and frequency to

Less regularly once savings groups at CSIR & GAEC have developed

Regularly during early stages (e.g. once every week/ fortnight)

- Meeting location could rotate between each location (CSIR/GAEC/ DZ/RR)

- 1 day meetings (BUT regularly e.g. bi-monthly)

- Continuous process

- Provides a unique space that doesn’t currently exist, for all associations, new and emerging, to meet and strengthen not only their knowledge and skill base, but also develop another platform from which to strengthen their collective presence. - Provides a channel for MOFA to also engage with associations collectively and integrate them with their official mandate of strengthening and promoting farmer associations. - Forms linkages and relationships between research bodies, government institutions and farmer associations

group, thus changing public perception of UA - Strengthens the role of UA as a business model and not merely a subsistence activity - Continues the “federating” process and will assist in forming a Federation of Urban Farmers - Provides a collective voice for farmers by uniting them through a collective practice - Collecting people from collecting money (as shown by advances made by SDI) can increase political voice, power to negotiate with policy makers, contest evictions, receive compensation etc - The preservation of collective rituals provides an entry point to challenge the processes of urbanisation and land use that have marginalised UA thus far.

- Incentivising the University to assist in training and knowledge sharing

- Organising and initiating the workshops and encouraging all actors to take part

- Incentivising DZ and RR farmers to give up their time and share their experiences

- Language barriers

- Lots of different actors therefore coordination may prove to be challenging

- Socio-cultural barriers preventing farmers from joining together (Interview with MOFA revealed differences in ethnicity, religion, language were preventative characteristics among associations)

- Maintaining momentum and inspiring farmers to join.


savings scheme to the university (which includes salaried employees of the institution as well as farmers) could be replicated at GAEC, and if there would be additional benefits in doing so. - To negotiate the possibility of allowing organised farmers (not employed by the university) to be allowed to farm on university land. Create channel for - To ensure that there is a cooperation between platform for continued People’s Dialogue dialoguing and and farmer communicating into the associations future ii.- To provide a support mechanism that continues to assist and advise emerging and growing farmer associations - To create a network of farmers’ associations that communicate with each other and use (when necessary) PD to assist them in their mobilisation - To establish a Federation - Develop a system whereby farmers can contact PD if they are in need of advice or support e.g. informal application procedure - Appoint representatives for each association and engage them collectively with PD and SDI and their channels of support

- Focus group with the university and nonuniversity farmers where they can discuss the possibility of farming on university land, attempt to enter into a mutual agreement, discuss terms and conditions

saving practices

Network of all existing farmers’ associations


CSIR, GAEC, DZ and RR farmers’ associations

College of Agriculture and Consumer Science

Long term

be determined by stakeholders )

- Brings together all the strengths developed though harnessing collective practices. - Uniting farmers as a collective group led by representatives from each association (as a Federation) maximises their ability to defend their right to the city and challenge the city system that has progressively marginalised UA thus far.

- Demonstrates that there is potential for institutions and those involved in UA to cooperate and negotiate thus strengthening the image of UA in Accra and its right to be practiced.

- The next challenge is how the Federation attempts to engage with policy makers at the city scale and encourage them to include their rights/practices in the future plan for the city.

- Encouraging farmers’ associations to organise themselves and not rely on assistance from PD

- Getting the University to consider the possibility of allowing external farmers to farm on their land



- Hold regular meetings and social occasions where representatives from each famers’ association are able to attend and exchange knowledge on behalf of their group

- Promote cases where institutions have cooperated with farmers e.g. GAEC - Encourage

1.3.3 Promote knowledge exchanges between institutions

- Exchange knowledge about business and market approaches

- Farmer meetings held at communal points at each site designed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge with regards to farming techniques, seed varieties, best practices, pesticides, irrigation, yield maximisation etc.


- To ensure that skills and experience gained by individuals that have undertaken training/ events/workshops led by research institutes are disseminated amongst the group - To increase capacity to negotiate prices and maximise profits at market - For farmers to become aware of who the most reliable buyers are - To strengthen the bonds between associations - To ensure that knowledge transfer takes place across a large area, benefiting from techniques at different UA locations with different UA systems - To share knowledge between associations in a way that strengthens the notion of collective identity - To scale-up the benefits of farmers talking to farmers through associations talking to associations. - To identify and promote the mutual benefits that can be achieved through mutual knowledge sharing - To strengthen the rights of

- To ensure that farmers are able to share their own innovations in farming practices

- To maximise both the quantity and quality of food produced at each site

Specific objectives

- Establish channels of communication between each association - Hold regular meetings at each site location with representatives from each association present for the specific purpose of exchanging knowledge - Rotate the location of each meeting so that all associations visit each other, see their fellow farmers’ practices first hand and develop close ties. - Present the case of GAEC (their knowledge sharing/contractual agreements) with other farmers associations and

- Create and maintain communal areas that are designed to promote socialisation, communication between farmers and a space for transferring knowledge



1.3.2 Promote knowledge exchanges between farmers’ associations

1.3.1 Promote knowledge exchanges between individual farmers

Strategic action

Appendix 1. 3 Promote knowledge exchanges


- CSIR, GAEC, University of Ghana


CSIR, GAEC, DZ and RR farmers’ associations

CSIR, GAEC, DZ and RR farmers

Actors: Who is involved?

Continuous process

Continuous process

Continuous process


- Reaching a stage where farmers are engaged in two-way exchanges of knowledge with the (research) institutions that own their farmland not only improves

- Contributes significantly in the “Federating” process - Exchanging knowledge between associations becomes a mutually beneficial ritual that instils trust and collective action. These become key characteristics in developing resistance to the negative drivers at the city scale that are threatening the practice of UA.

- Strengthening the role of farmers and establishing resilience begins with exchanges of knowledge between farmers

- Contributions are made to food security as knowledge about best practices results in high quality local produce

How does it lead to transformative change?

- Research institutions might be willing to share their knowledge regarding innovative farming practices only with the

- Making the step between sharing knowledge between associations and influencing policy

- Internal hierarchies and social structures might result in certain farmers influencing the transfer of knowledge more than others

- Language, ethnic and religious differences

- Internal hierarchies and social structures might result in certain farmers influencing the transfer of knowledge more than others

- Differing ethnicities and religions may present social barriers

- Language barriers between farmers

- Efficiency of social interaction and transfer of knowledge is difficult to measure

Risks /limitations


institutions, especially research institutions, to share and receive knowledge with farmers

- Actively engage MOFA with research institutions

- Create a more mutual system of knowledge production and exchange across all levels.

and farmers

1.3.4 Enhance linkages between MOFA and the research institutions

1.3.5 Redefine the way knowledge is produced and exchanged

- For MOFA to communicate their mandate for research/training/knowled ge transfer with institutions so that synergies can be identified and promoted together - Also, to consider how farmers can receive the information that is generated by topdown/centralised research institutes - Link MOFA’s Agricultural Extension Services to training carried out at university and GAEC - To create alternate avenues of knowledge production and exchange - For farmers to be able to transfer their knowledge experiences to - For farmers to own the information they produce and for them to use it to engage more deeply with institutions, MOFA, policy makers, city planning

farmers by encouraging the (research) institutions that own the land they farm on to share knowledge and recognise them - To maximise the quality/quantity of food and efficiency of food production - To channel knowledge from research institutions to all farmers’ associations

- Training farmers to carry out their own data collection on-site – e.g. mapping of plots, enumerating beds, locating water points, recording how land, water etc is used (See strategy 1.1) - Workshops for training

- Identify the gaps and barriers that prevent knowledge transfer from the top down.

- Consultation with farmers’ associations

- Facilitate a formal meeting between MOFA and the main research institutes (GAEC, University of Ghana)

institutions. - Inform farmers of their ability to negotiate with institutions - Hold focus group meetings at GAEC and the University where farmers from any association can come and engage in knowledge sharing discussions.


- CSIR, GAEC, DZ and RR farmers’ associations

- PD (key role in the process of training and transferring skills)

- CSIR, GAEC, DZ and RR farmers’ associations

- University of Ghana




and RR farmers’ associations

Continuous process

Continuous process

- The needs of the farmers can be expressed from their own data collection and through transferring this knowledge between themselves, the associations and the city

- By exchanging knowledge between MOFA and research institutions, UA can be advanced and farmers can defend the right to continue practicing it as it becomes more formalised and its links to the city and its processes of urbanisation become better understood. - The way that knowledge is produced can act as a tool to challenge the current mode of knowledge/information delivery which is typically very top-down.

farming techniques but also improves the level of recognition that farmers receive – recognition of their right to practice UA and rights to be included in decision making. - More formalised arrangements between institutions and farmers can emerge due to case studies such as GAEC setting the precedent. - Engaging all farmers’ associations with knowledge transferral from research institutions will increase the productivity of UA, thus benefiting the city as a whole. It also provides another collective practice that strengthens the bargaining power of associations and their organisational capacity. - Linking the rights, practices, skills and knowledge of farmers associations into the higher structures of the city (such as MOFA, institutions, research bodies) will attempt to fill a gap that currently exists.

- Some farmers might not be able to afford training programmes offered by the research institutions

farmers using their land

- Financing the training and workshops

- The exchange of knowledge between research institutions and farmers might become top-down




authorities. Together with a strengthened collective presence, farmers are able to demand certain rights and challenge the urbanisation process that is forcing them out of the city by disrupting the status quo and delivering a new narrative.



- Encourage the farmers to engage in advocating for land use registartion The land is registered as “passive” and it cannot be built upon

- Recognise formally the practice of UA on

Engage with farmers to introduce, raise awareness and share practices of the GAEC experience

Farmers’ Associations apply for registering the land they farm on as passive land

- Set up a Registry for land use of farmers on

2.1 Raise Farmers’ awareness of the GAEC experience

2.2 Change land use as farming on passive land

2.3 Introduce a Bylaw for registering land use

- Farmers become aware of the formal land use arrangement at GAEC


Strategic action

Specific objectives

By-law under the new land use policy for Accra

Apply to Town and Country Planning through the land use planning mechanism

Focus group discussions held with farmers


- Lands Commission

- Town and Country Planning

- Farmers’ Associations


Start immediately (medium/longterm)

Start immediately (short-term)

- MOFA extension officer - Farmers


Actors: Who is involved?

Appendix 2. 1 Strategy 2: Recognising Land Use for Farming Practices

Appendix 2.

- Legal recognition of farmers and their practices

Provides farmers with increased security and usufruct rights over the land

GAEC experience can set a precendent that can be replicated and scaled up

How does it lead to transformative change?

- Might be a long and complex process - Lack of political will to propose or ratify the by- law

- Little awareness about the land use planning mechanism

- Recognising land as passive does not guarantee that land will be used for UA purposes

MOFA is not willing to engage




Table: Strategic Actions - Strategy 2

Farmers’ associations can apply for registering their land use as farming on passive land through the land use planning mechanism (short/mediumterm)

(long-term strategy)

agreement between landowners and the farmers.

- Entering into a contractual

- Registering the land use of farmers on institutional land.

(short-term strategy)

Strategic Action 2

Enactment of By-law under the new land use policy for Accra.

MoFA Extension Officers should raise farmers’ awareness of the GAEC experience

- Institutions owning the land

- Farmer Associations

Strategic Action 3

- Develop a standard for contracts with mutually agreed terms and conditions on use of land, renewal and compensation

institutional land in Accra


Strategic Action 1

Appendix 2. 2 Strategic Actions

- Set up a contractual agreement between institutions and farmers

institutional land - The right to receive compensation in case of eviction

- Might be a long and complex process

- - Risk of by-law being put on “stand-by”, if pressure by farmings’ associations is not constantly exercised


By-law in order to register the land use and establishing a contractual agreement between institutions and farmers

Designate land used for UA as passive

Strategic Action Raise awareness

Actions Create a “knowledge sharing platform”: Workshops with farmers’ associations to share GAEC’s experience Farmers’ associations apply for designation of the land they use as “passive” to the TCP Draft of the by-law prepared by MoFA and sent to the Parliament of Ghana

Appendix 2. 3 Impact Assessment and Monitoring Monitoring Bodies be MoFA


Registry for land use is created Number of contracts being stipulated between farmers and institutions

Farmers’ Associations

By-law is ratified

Number of UA sites offically PD recognised as “passive” by TCP

Indicators GAEC’s model starts to replicated in other UA sites




Appendix 3. Web of Institutionalization



Appendix 4. Research Sites Profile Site

Description Irrigated vegetable agriculture site located near high-tension Dzorwulu electricity poles. 40 farmers, most of them men (37 men, 3 women). Producing fresh vegetable crops for sales at local markets. Farmers have been farming for more than 40 years. Farmers are well-organised, and thus the site has been the focus of many projects (e.g. by IWMI, RUAF and MOFA) for improving their farming practices. Farmers use a mix of piped water and irrigated water from the nearby stream. There is an on-site water purification system (i.e. boreholes) The land is institutional (owned by GRIDCO electricity company), however in recent years there has been some encroachment of land as customary owners have claimed the land back. Irrigated vegetable agriculture site. 43 farmers, all of which are Roman Ridge men from the North of Ghana. Producing fresh vegetable crops for sales at local markets. Farmers are well-organised, but have received less support from government officials or research institutions. Farmers use piped and irrigated water from the nearby stream. They use boreholes to store the water. The land is institutional, owned by Lands Commission and Ghana Railway Authority (leased from the Osu traditional authority). In recent years the farmers have experiences significant encroachment by illegal residential building near the railway tracks. Irrigated vegetable agriculture site. 18 farmers, all of which are CSIR men from North of Ghana. Some farmers have been farming on the site for more the 30 years. Producing fresh vegetable crops for sales at local markets. Farmers are in the process of establishing a formal association. Farmers use piped and irrigated water from the nearby stream. They use boreholes to store the water. The land is institutional, owned by CSIR and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) The university has a College of Agriculture. Farmers at the University of Ghana university land are employed workers. Farming is done for research and demonstration purposes. The agricultural research focuses on new technologies to improve farming. The University also offers training but it lack finances, thus training is accessible to large farmers who can afford the costs. The University has large amount of land, including open and green spaces. Seasonal farming on the boundaries of the land is tolerated as it protects the land from encroachment. Ghana Atomic Energy GAEC is involved in biotech and nuclear agricultural research.



Commission (GAEC)

Christian Village


It focuses on new technologies including duplication of seeds and improving farming practices. 200 farmers are registered to farm on its land (although 1000 applied). They participate in research and apply new technology. GAEC offers the first of its kind formal registration of the land use for farming. However, due to lack of finances (90% of its budget has been recently cut by the government), it is starting to implement a business-oriented approach. At the moment farming is under the control of farmers and they receive all the profit. However, GAEC may gain more control if they opt for an export-oriented approach. An area that was previously part of the Achimota Forest. The land is owned by the Achimota Primary School, however in recent years it has undergone a fast and uncontrolled development for residential purposes. It is a wealthy and desirable area, still small pockets of UA can be found. UA is in the form of backyard farming for own consumption of poor families. They are mostly caretakers of the land and protect it from encroachment. UA is very dispersed and transient, and families are in a very insecure and vulnerable position.

Source: Based on interviews during the field work in Accra - May 2012 (see appendix )


Appendix 5. Research methods used in each site

Dzorwulu and Roman Ridge


University of Ghana

•Semi-structured interviews: 25 farmers and 2 market women •Transect walks: 2 in each site •Participatory mapping: coordinates of encroached land and water sources. •Focus group: 8 farmers

•Structured and semi-structured interviews: 20 farmers •Transect walks: 2 •Participatory mapping: boundaries of the farmers' plots, coordinates of water sources and the encroached land.

•Semi-structured interviews: 5 people including researchers and farmers •Transect walks: 1 209


•Semi-structured interviews: 1 meeting and 2 more interviews with farmers and employees. •Transect walks: 1

Christian Village

•Semi-structured interviews: 8 people including farmers •Transect walks: 1











































20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1








9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 1





Appendix 6 . Final Time Table Part 1 2







MARCH 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31















































Final Time Table Part 2 4






9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1








MAY 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28




Appendix 7. Interviews Interviews in Dzorwulu:

1 2 3

4 5 6

Questions for chairman and farmers What is the area of the site? Who is the owner of the land? What kinds of crops are grown here?

Do you keep records of what you produce? What kind of pesticides do you use? What are the main problems that you have to face?


Answers The area is 2.5 acres from which 1 acre is cultivated. Electricity Company (GRIDCO). The power plant has been here since the 1950’s. Spring onions Lettuce (which has the highest demand) Spinach Sweet pepper Cauliflower Cucumber Cabbage Some of us do, but not everyone. We use chemical pesticides. Organic pesticides are unaffordable. The encroachment of the land is an issue. For example, someone is building houses in the space that is open for farming. The builder claims to be the son of the owner. The city authority has tried to stop him without success. Now, we are approaching IWMI but have not been successful in interrupting the development so far. We have also contacted the metropolitan director of MOFA but they don’t have power to take any actions.


What are the sources of water used to grow the crops?

We use the stream because it is free. We also use rainwater, but mostly rely on the stream. When the stream is low or it has not rained, we rely on tap water in tap but the service is not continuous and faces constant interruptions. They started farming only with the river, then the government erected 3 pipes.


Are you organised in an association?

Yes, we all agree on the benefits of being organized in one. (The association started in 1980).


Have you been a farmer your whole life?

Yes. Most of us started farming at the age of 15. We learned traditional practices from our fathers. They have also received series of trainings. For example to use composting and organic manure for safer food


How do you improve your farming practices?


How are the prices of the crops you sell established? Who are you regular buyers/clients? Do you have access to loans?

We have received some training from MoFA and other institutions. For example, training has been related to composting and organic manure for safer food We don’t have a fixed price. The price is market led. The demand is high, especially for lettuce. We sell directly, through women resellers, the “Eden Tree Project” and CitiVeg. Abologushi is the main market.



Do you have a saving group? Do you manage

We have access to loans since we are part of a project for micro financing. Through our association, we can access loans collectively and then distribute them individually. Right now they pay 5% per month of interest rate. Yes. The needs are decided collectively. For example, we buy seeds and keep them throughout the year.



money collectively? For what purposes? Have you been involved in projects with NGOs, governmental agencies or other institutions?

In 2000, RUAF started some projects and the first thing we worked on was building our organizational capacity. In 2009, the “Seed to Table” project aimed to revive the group through a programme called “Group Dynamics”. (E.g. providing small infrastructure like benches for meetings).

Interviews in Roman Ridge: 1

2 3


5 6 7 8

Questions to farmers Who owns the land you are farming on?

As a group, have you tried to find out who is the owner of the land? How have farming practices changed as a result of organisational capacity and the establishment of farmers’ associations? Have you seen improvements in the amount of food produced? Do you negotiate better prices? Where is the land that has been encroached? Do you know who is building in that area? What is the main water source for irrigation? How many ponds are in the area?

Answers Different governmental institutions, Lands Commission and MoFA, have claimed the land. The people from Osu have also claimed this land. We do not know the actual owner of this land, but we know the government owns it. This is institutional land, but we do not know which department owns it. No, we have not tried to find who is the owner of the land. There has been an improvement, since we have come together.

In terms of marketing and prices we have not become stronger because we are not dealing with an o2rganized market. The customer decides the price. In terms of food produced there has been an improvement, but the market represents the problem. Is next to the river and the railway line. A man that works in a water company has taken one part of the land to build his house. We don’t know who is building in the other part but it has been used for residential purposes too. The river and also the ponds. More than 20 ponds distributed in the middle and in the sides.

Interviews in CSIR: 1

2 3

Questions to farmers How many farmers are in the site?

Answers There are 18 farmers. Some of them have farmed here for more than 30 years.

Who is the owner of the land? What kind of crops is grown here?

The land is owned by CSIR and the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), so it is an institutional land. Spring onions Lettuce Spinach Sweet pepper Cauliflower Cucumber



Cabbage 4 5

What are the main problems that you have to face? What are the sources of water used to grow the crops?

The soil in the CSIR is too sandy which makes it hard to grow the crops. Also, there are pest problems. We use water from the stream and piped water. We also store water in boreholes.


Are you organised in an association?

No, but we have plans to do it in the near future. We have already spoken to the farmers in Dzorwulu to know about their experience. We hope the association facilitates the access to loans and deal with land tenure issues. “It is good to come together to have a voice”.


Is the area “open” for newcomers?


Have you been a farmer your whole life?

No, unless they know someone here. In this case, we would give the new farmer some beds so that he can start farming. Yes. Most of us started farming at a very early age and learned from our fathers. Most of the farmers here come from the Northern areas of Ghana.


Do you have another source of income?


How are the prices of the crops you sell established? Who are you regular buyers/clients? Do you have a saving group?

214 11 12

Would you like your children to be farmers as well?

No, farming is the only source of income we have. Also, it is difficult to get additional plots since it is expensive and negotiating for land becomes very difficult. If we could go somewhere else to farm (e.g. the peri urban areas) we would go. We don’t have a fixed price. The price is market led. We sell directly, through women resellers and in local markets.

Yes. We try to manage common problems through this mechanism. Yes. Farming has been a tradition for generations in our families so we would like our children receive our knowledge and continue doing it.

Interviews in GAEC:

1 2

Questions: Meeting with the Executive Board of GAEC How does the allocation of plots work on your land? Are there any requirements and rules that farmers have to follow when farming on your land?


How do you connect farmers to the market?


What is the role of GAFA and when was it set up?

Answers GAEC has allocated the plots to the farmers. Farmers prepare the plots for themselves, they manage the land themselves. We do not control what they plant, unless we have some crops we want to experiment. They are free to plant what they want. We also do not control what pesticides they use. We give farmers the options to farm organically or use chemicals. 90 percent of farmers in GAEC have decided to farm organically. Locally, their food goes to hotels and embassies because they are impressed by the freshness of the produce. Local buyers often do not pay the farmers regularly, that is when we come in. We establish a contact between farmers and exporters and the price of the product is agreed before the selling. For this reason the income of farmers is secured. GAFA was set up in 2010. It tries to bring farmers together and it is independent from GAEC. The participants are all farmers from



If a farmer does not have the means to cultivate the land, what happens?


How much land available for agriculture do you have? Is the land able to satisfy the demand of the 1000 farmers that are part of GAFA and that have applied to farm on your land? What are the conditions that are unique to this place that have attracted farmers?




2 3 4

How long has farming taken place on land owned by GAEC? Questions to an employee of GAEC What is GAEC?

How many farmers are in GAEC? Who owns the land? Do you have any buffer zones?


How do you aim to articulate partnership between the farmers and the investors?


Are the farmers registered as an association? Could you explain an example of an imported crop? What is the benefit of urban agriculture for the city of Accra?

7 8


Do you have issues of

different areas in Accra. We want to bring farmers together and increase their number farming on our land to improve the transfer of technology from us to them. The farmer simply loses his land; he cannot occupy land without farming anything. If a farmer is sick, he can call a relative or a friend to farm on his land. By so doing he would avoid losing his plot. The food production of farmers should be monitored; GAEC does not want to waste training. The land available for farmers is already taken. There is no more land left. Farmers who are part of GAFA but have no plots can attend training sessions, since every member of GAFA pays an annual membership fee of around $15.

GAEC is a technology transfer institute. Farmers can benefit directly from our training activities. There is a river, which provides a large supply of water to farmers. A formal agreement between us and the farmers is signed with a three months eviction notice. No development is planned in this area, so that we believe that farmers are likely to use the land for the next 20 years, or even more. There is a buffer zone around the nuclear site and every type of development is strictly forbidden. Farmers enjoy a secure land tenure. The site was established in 1964. Farming was practiced already at that point. Answers It is an institute dedicated to research where farmers are trained. We give them the knowledge and train them in agriculture, including organic agriculture, in any particular crop they want to be dedicated. We transfer the technology. 200 farmers are allocated to this land. The vegetables are sold in the local market and some are exported to international market. This institution owns the land. This river is a buffer zone. Samples are taken from the buffer zone area and they are analysed each year to see if there is an impact. Even in dry season there is a limited quantity of water fluing here. It doesn't dry completely so farmers take advantage of this to produce their crops. Right now the farmers are doing their own crop activities and most of the time there are engaged in the market. The market pays the prices assigned by the farmer. GAEC links the farmers with investors. The investors prefer to invest in urban agriculture rather than peri urban agriculture because they think is less risky. Urban agriculture represents an opportunity for them so they collaborate with the farmers. Sometimes they bring particular crops they want to produce and bring the technology. The farmers are registered under one umbrella, an association called Ghana Atomic Energy Farmers The ginger is from India and the buyer is in Germany. The investor wants a large quantity so he brought the ginger to multiply it. In terms of cost, urban agriculture takes away transportation costs and other risks such as breakdown of vehicle on the road. Also, the product is closer to the consumer, which decreases the price too. The price of the product is cheaper within the city in general. Yes, we have. Many times we have people that want to develop




10 11


Interview with Fusini, Farmer at GAEC and Dzorwulu Is there a difference between Dzorwulu and GAEC?


What are the challenges for UA?


What are the benefits of UA? What do you about exporting the production?



What is the role of the farmers in this encroachment? What else do farmers do for GAEC?

buildings or houses. The organization, together with the institute and the government of Ghana, we try to prevent the encroachment. Sometimes we have to destroy some constructions but we try to educate people on why is important to preserve the land. With the buffer zone we prevent encroachment too. The farmers inform the institution if there is any other activity in the land. They are our eyes for the land. GAEC wants to promote sustainable agricultural activities. We work with farmers to identify problems and to address them. When we have new research findings we transfer to them. The farmers are the first to benefit from research and the know-how. Answers In Dzorwulu, farming is less secure. GAEC is more secure but there must be some monitoring. That can be difficult for the farmers. For example, if you fail with the organic farming you can lose your crops. Urbanisation is taking the land for UA. Moving to other land is difficult (related also to quality of the water). Also, the media and the general public perception might be bad if irrigated water is used. It supports the food production and he creation of jobs. We are willing to produce food for export, as it can be beneficial. We are able to ask higher price for a better product.

Interviews in the University of Ghana:

1 2 3

4 5



Questions to farmer of the university Who owns the land? What is the main use of this garden? How is the land provided to the farmers? How do the farmers know what to grow? Is this a fair deal?

Questions to William Anang Axhirifie, a worker and member of the University of Ghana Cooperative Credit Union Who can join the University of Ghana Cooperative Credit Union and how? What




Answers The University of Ghana is the owner of the land. It is institutional land. This is a demonstration garden where we conduct research on post harvest technology. For example for botanicals to control insects. Land is provided free to farmers at the university but they have to be salaried employees of the university. They get paid less than 500 per month but the university takes the produced crops. These are sold through CitiVeg and the profits go back to the university. The university tells the farmers what to do, what to grow and which seeds to use. The farmers get paid a fixed rate for their service. The farmers are happy, as they don’t have a choice to farm in another location. They are not rich enough to buy their own farmland elsewhere and they are happy to be given land free to farm on. Answers

All employees of the university can join, including farmers. They pay a monthly fee, which is deducted from their salary. They also pay a joining fee but once they start adding to the fund, they can apply for a loan. For example, for covering school fees. The repayment is then taken from their salary, deducted bit by bit per month. This functions very well as a system. Farmers at the university can benefit from access to a credit.



advantage for farmers? Questions to Ampah Joseph: Professor at University of Ghana – College of Agriculture What is you objective in the university?


I am Senior Research Assistant of the Department Of Crop Science. My objective is teaching research and providing advice


Does the University provide training to farmers?

We provide training to farmers. Farmers come to us. For example, we provide information on which chemicals to use, how to use pesticides correctly


Can you give us some examples on how you train them?

If farmers overuse pesticides, insects become resistant to pesticides, which could potentially be a huge problem for farmers. We train them to avoid these problems.


Is agriculture practiced on land owned by the University of Ghana?

We have a demonstration garden and a research garden. They are used for teaching purposes, not to make money out of them, but rather to produce knowledge about positive farming practices.


Are farmers that receive training from the university more qualified than farmers that use inherited traditional practices? Is the training you provide only related to improving farming techniques, or also related to improving the organizational capacity of farmers, for example forming farmers’ associations?

Definitely yes. Farmers that receive training from us improve their farming practices, the quantity and quality of food they produce increases.


The Agricultural extension department focuses on this aspect, it adds an element of sociology to agriculture.


Interviews in Christian Village:

1 2


2 3

Questions to a farmer in Christian Village Why is backyard gardening good for the area? Are you saving money to buy a place where you can grow crops on your own? Questions to a pastor According to planning regulations, the Achimota Forest is a protected area and no development should take place in this area. How is it possible that the forest has decreased so rapidly in the last few years because of real estate development? Do you see it as a problem a city that has no green spaces? Do you know how many people practice backyard

Answers At night the area is very dark and dangerous. But also, it is a good business and people in the neighborhood buy the crops. Yes, I am saving money. Answers The Achimota Primary School owns the forest. The school divided the forest and decided to sell parts of it to private developers. The land here is quite expensive. That is the reason why the forest has decreased.

Ghana is a fast-growing country. We need more space to build houses. This is our main concern. There is great potential in this area. More than ten families practice backyard gardening in the area around the church. It helps them a lot and the land is fertile, too.


4 5


gardening in this area? How do you see this place in fifteen-twenty years? A construction has stop, is it because of lack of money or a dispute?

I see it as a hotspot of Accra. They just want to wait. But the area is still growing and there are more constructions.

Appendix 8. Maps Appendix 8.1 Preliminary map after participatory mapping in CSIR




Appendix 8.2 GIS Layers of preliminary map of plots in CSIR


Appendix 8.3 GIS Preliminary map of plots in CSIR




Appendix 8.4 GIS Final map of farmers’ plots in CSIR



Appendix 9. Cultivating Change, Accra, Ghana-Legon Area (Infography) Appendix 9




Set a precedent for farmers recognition Provides training Provides opportunity to use land  A business-oriented approach may lead to export oriented practices



Provides training Generates knowledge  Lacks dissemination of information

High rate of development UA as a transient small-scale activity High exposure to flooding ACHIMOTA FOREST RESERVE











DZORWULU AND ROMAN RIDGE Strong organisational capacity Ability to contest and negotiate Mature associations Insecurity in land tenure and ownership





Will to achieve formal organisation Detailed knowledge of terrain Gap exists between institution and farmers (co-operation, information sharing)

Open spaces University Land Previously open Irrigated land Protected area Golf Club Real State, private land and embassies Reduction of open spaces

RESEARCHERS Innovative technologies for UA Link theory to practice for policy makers Limited disclosure of information Relies on resources being sufficient



Ability to integrate environmental and social issues into the policy agenda Insitutional gap often exists which does not recognise the rights and practices of the urban farmer

Added-value programmes show potential Demand for food is greater than supply Limited information to push demand for food produced under new techniques Value of vacant land cannot compete with the value of residential land

LOOKING AHEAD... The current urbanisation process in Accra poses great challenges to UA. However, urban farmers have proved to be resilient to pressures and changes and at the same time adapt and improve their practices. This gives us hope that by strengthening their organisations to negotiate land, participate in knowledge production and improve their practices, urban farmers will continue to provide fresh food and livelihoods for the people of Accra. Urban Agriculture will continue protecting open spaces and contributing to a greener urban environment.


The potential of urban agriculture to support a just distribution of land, cultural recognition and meaningful participation




Table of contents 5.1 Acknowledgements 5.2 Executive Summary 5.3 Abbreviations 5.4 Maps, Diagrams & Tables 5.5 Introduction The Case of La Okra City: Whose City?

5.6 Theoretical & Analytical Framework

Theoretical Framework Defining EJU EJU in La Analytical Framework

5.9 UA & Place-Making 5.10 Land Use Planning Results & Analysis La as a Municipality No plans for UA in Master Plan Greenbelt in Kordojor LaTA and the Sub-Metro Customary Land Secretariats Relocation vs. Negotiation

5.11 Scenario Assessment 5.12 Visioning 5.13 Strategies

Areas of Analysis

Strategy 1

Scenario Thinking Analysis

Strategy 2


Strategy 3

5.7 Methodologies Limitations

5.8 UA & Urbanization Results & Analysis Land Food Ecological Well-being

Strategy 4

5.14 Monitoring & Evaluation 5.15 Conclusion 5.16 Bibliography 5.17 Appendix





his study would not have been possible without the tremendous support and continuous involvement of the La farmers and the women at La Market, and their generous sharing of information and knowledge. We would like to thank Enoch Mensah, Emmanuel Odoi Mensah, Emmanuel Ashirifie Namoale, Elisabeth Mensah, Patince Laryea, Bernice Laryea, Mary A. Sowah, Mr. Oko, Daina Nunoo, Ebernezer Tawiah Lamptey, Tawiah Lavysteu, Ama Quala, Ms. Dora, Berrukuso Maehatey, Esther Manyeyoo, Dora Anyeley Nai, Dora Akeyaa, Heko Kor Kor, Ciquety Anyorkor Adams, Florence Yemorkor Yemoh, Aye Tegoe, Faustina Yemorkor Yemoh, Esther Sowah, Okaikor Laryea, Rita A. Tetteh, Christiania Laree (La Market Queen Mother), the La Market retailers including Fofo Odor and Ajoko Sua and everyone else who supported us. We would also like to express our gratitude to Deborah, the MoFA Agricultural Extension Officer for La and Robert Adjetey, Chairman of the La Tebu Association (part of the Ghana

Federation for the Urban Poor) for having been such invaluable facilitators in the field. Thank you for having shared information with us and taken care of the logistics and the translations. Special thanks also to everyone else who gave their time to support this research study: Hon. Nii Amarh Ashitey - Chairman of La-Sub Metro of AMA; Alexander Ashirifi, Boadu - Chairman of La Farmers Association; Nii Yemo Yemofio La Citizens Network; Daniel Hammond - La Development Association; Nii Mensah NyekpeaEnehu - Secretary of the Trust, EDDT, Hon. Abdul Rashid Boi-Nai Finally, a very special thanks to Adriana Allen and Etienne von Bertrab for their academic supervision and continued valuable advice and support. Thanks, also to the extended DPU staff, Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Rita Lambert and Matthew Wood-Hill.



eparting from the contributions of the previous reports on the challenges that Urban Agriculture (UA) faces in La, Accra, this year’s report focuses on UA’s contributions to environmentally just urbanization in the light of the pressures of modernization such as economic liberalization, intense pressure on land, and fast growing city populations. This report examines UA’s potential to support the just distribution of land, and the cultural recognition and meaningful participation within decision-making processes of vulnerable groups. UA in La serves as a case study and an entry point to explore the actual contributions of UA to urbanization processes and the potential to increase and add to these contributions. The findings of this report demonstrate the importance of UA to those who practice it but also to those who benefit from it. Not only does UA contribute to food security, climate regulation, and other ecological benefits, it also has tremendous cultural value. It can bring a sense of place to the land that is farmed and give a cultural identity to the people farming the land, creating a sense of community and collectiveness. The report also identifies some of the challenges and opportunities that come with the recent local institutional changes in LA and the possibilities of incorporating more participatory and inclusive planning practices. Through scenario planning the report explores different options for policy-makers and elaborates strategies to collectively capture and share the benefits of UA. In conclusion, we argue for the enabling of greater participation of vulnerable groups so they can assert their right to the city in this crucial time of economic development for Accra and Ghana as a whole.





AMA - Accra Metropolitan Assembly AWGUPA - Accra Working Group on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture CFF - Cities Farming for the Future CICOL - Civil Society Coalition on Land Development Planning CSIR-STEPRI - Science and Technology Policy Research Institute EDDT - East Dadekotopon DevelopmentTrust EJU - Environmentally Just Urbanization EPA - Environmental Protection Agency FA - Farmers’ Association FEDUP - Federation of the Urban Poor GAMA - Greater Accra Metropolitan Area GHAFEDUP - Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor GID - Ghana Irrigation Development Authority IFPRI - International Food Policy Research Institute ILGS - Institute of Local Government Studies ISSER - Institute for Statistical Social and Economic Research IWMI - International Water Management Institute LACNET - La Citizens Network LAP - Land Administration Project LaTA - La Tebu Association LC - Land Commission LDA - La Development Authority LM - La Municipality MCI - Millenium City Initiative MDG - Millenium Development Goals MoFA - Ministry of Food and Agriculture MoLG - Ministry of Local Government MPC - Municipal Planning Committee NDPC - National Development Planning Commission NLP - National Land Policy PD - People’s Dialogue RUAF - Resource centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security SAPs - Structural Adjustment Programmes SD - Survey Department SDI - Shack and Slum Dwellers International TCP - Town and Country Planning UA - Urban Agriculture UoG - University of Ghana WRC - Water Resource Commission


5.4 MAPS, DIAGRAMS & TABLES Diagram 1: Benefits of Urban Agriculture Map 1: UA Site in La Map 2: UA in Accra Map 3: The Different Cities of La Diagram 2: Drivers, Patterns and Practices Diagram 3: Scenarios Diagram 4: All farmers in La (F/M) Diagram 5: Distribution of Farmers in Accra Diagram 6: Estimated crop production Diagram 7: Number of farmers in Accra engaged in crops Table 1: Average loss of land per farmer in La Map 4: Crop production Map 5: Gender Map Map 6: Toponomastic Discoveries Map 7: Seasonal agriculture practice before the urbanization of La Map 8: Ownership map Diagram 8: Local Institutional Change Diagram 9: Relocation vs Negotiation Document 1: Indenture Table 2: Scenario assessment Diagram 10: Visioning outcomes Diagram 11: Scenario rationale Map 9: The Okra City




Cultivating Environmentally Just Urbanization: Urban Agriculture in La 5.5.1 URBAN AGRICULTURE IN ACCRA

U 232

rban Agriculture (UA) in Accra is nearing the brink of extinction. Despite the multiple social, economic and ecological benefits offered by UA, capitalistic development trends are threatening its existence as the value of and demand for land continues to rise. This report attempts to examine the consequences of such trends by understanding how urban agriculture does and can contribute to the environmentally just urbanization (EJU) of Accra.


The contributions of UA set forth by the Resource Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF) are used as a starting point to assess the contributions of UA to EJU in La, one of the last large UA sites in Accra. With La as a case study, the report then looks at how these benefits could be better collectively captured and shared throughout Accra.


5.5.2 THE CASE OF LA It has been said that La is well known throughout Ghana for producing the best Okra in the country. This is why we refer to it as The Okra City. Currently, La represents one of the last large open spaces in Accra. With so much undeveloped land, La is an ideal site for urban agriculture within the metropolitan area. The majority of the undeveloped land in La is currently being used for cultivation, providing livelihoods for around 200 farmers – some of which have been farming here for generations – as well as a source of income for retailers and distributors throughout the city. In addition, this land, and the farmers that work here, supplies Accra with a significant amount of food on which its residents depend, thus contributing to food availability and security within the city. The farmers in La face several challenges including water supplies, the cost of agricultural inputs and changing climatic conditions. However, the most pressing issue that the farmers face is land. As with the rest of Accra, land in La is in high demand. Over the past several years La has experienced rapid development, which in turn has significantly reduced land for farming and has resulted in the eviction and displacement of countless farmers.


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Kpeshie Lagoon

Trade Fair International






5.5.3 OKRA CITY - WHOSE CITY? Building upon Lefebvre’s seminal “right to the city”(1968), we consider this Right to go beyond the mere access to the resources that the city embodies. It is, as Harvey (2012) maintains, “a collective right to change and reinvent the city”. To achieve this, a collective power over the process of urbanization is required. We believe that the freedom to make and remake our cities is one of the most precious of our human rights. However, this right is being neglected to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in La (the farmers being part of them). The representation of La as a city, does not solely depart from the upcoming local institutional change but from the purpose of unpacking the “right to city” broadly speaking and bring it into context, that is ‘localizing it”. As such, we assessed the Okra City as follows:










o better understand the relationship between environmental justice (EJ) and urbanization through the lens of urban agriculture, this report draws on the key elements of EJ: (i) recognition, (ii) participation, and (iii) distribution (Harvey, 1996, 2003; Young 1990; Fraser 1998; Agyeman 2005). These key elements represent the ’Right to the City’ whereby all groups are involved in the processes of urbanization that shape the way the city is “made or remade” (Harvey, 2012). For the purposes of this report, urbanization has been defined as “processes that do not operate in but actively construct space and time, and in so doing define distinctive scales for their development” (Harvey, 1996: 418). If recognition, participation, and equitable distribution for all groups are present within the political, cultural, social and economic processes of urbanization, EJ can be achieved.

ENVIRONMENTALLY JUST URBANIZATION IN LA Before an individual or group can successfully participate in the processes of urbanization, she/ he must be recognized. For this, focus should be placed on the political process as a way to address both the inequitable distribution of environmental goods and the conditions undermining recognition. In addition to hindering ones ability to participate in local processes, a lack of recognition can lead to the destruction of cultural identifies. In La, this is occurring through the displacement of farmers, whereby their cultural ties to the land

are uprooted upon being evicted from their farms. This has created a cultural injustice in which the value of urban agriculture as a way of life has been ignored. In order to assess the role of urban agriculture as a place-making practice with the capacity to promote social, ecological, economic and cultural wellbeing within the processes of urbanization, we have identified the following as the primary contributing factors to EJU: STYLE FOR HEADING 4 TEXT FJOIJER FIOJAIJ OJ IOJ IJ OIJ OI

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With the scenario thinking we attempt to understand and think systematically about the nature and impact of the driving forces affecting the future of Accra.

Analysing the case study in terms of drivers, patterns and practices provides a better understanding of the driving forces behind the urbanization processes and the resulting outcomes in La. Departing from here we have subjectively detailed four undesired and desired future scenarios that could follow this current urbanisation process. Before introducing our research questions and hypothesis we find it useful to present the broad spectrum of possible actions synoptically. They’re grouped into four, ranging from the ‘do nothing’ to the protection of targeted categories and finally to a long lasting structural and political solution (see 2.2.3).

The purpose is not to decide which scenario is correct, but rather to look at each future scenario and analyze how prepared different actors in Accra are and where possible room for manoeuver exists for potential transformative change. Based on the scenario thinking analysis we decided to elaborate the key questions to be answered by the analysis and to identify the stakeholders. We also examined the trends and driving forces, and further we found the key uncertainties and extremes. Then, we defined and assessed the scenarios. The visioning exercise together with our scenarios assessment led us to the design of the strategic actions (IIED, 2009).




SCENARIOS In the scenarios, we explored the different possible futures we see for UA, from the ‘do-nothing’ scenario to the complete integration of UA into policies and planning (see diagram 3). Do nothing is also acting by allowing open spaces for the citizens to disappear to individual use. The urbanisation process in La is happening through the total privatization of the area, Mongonno being the best worse example. The recognition and integration of UA as a land use may start a change towards the valorization of the place which, once recognized, may be captured in the form of conditioned permits for planning permissions, founding in turn the creation of further open spaces as in a chain reaction. Mainstreaming UA into the planning system will transform La from a specialized space

for residential which benefits (in their view at least) a few into a multifunctional space capable of supporting various social activities to the benefit of all citizens. The following chapters set to demonstrate how this may be achieved either by reforming the current systems or by transforming them. For each scenario, we examined the extent to which it makes use of the actual and potential contributions of UA to environmentally just urbanization.






he research needs were identified based on the scenarios. Qualitative methods were developed with the purpose to assess these scenarios and to help us to quantify the consequences/implications.


The research design was built on qualitative participant observations of the case of La, Accra, with a particular focus on the relationship between drivers, practices and patterns. A reflexive research attitude and a post-positivist and constructivist epistemology were adopted. Through literature survey and archival research, analysis of documents and materials (documentary reality), discourse analysis of existing legislation, and in-depth interviews (structured and semi-structured) the post-positivist observation of the La case was developed. Qualitative techniques, such as focus groups, questionnaires and transect walks were used.

5.7.2 LIMITATIONS The main limitations of working in the field didn’t solely come from the obvious risk of language barriers but also from the appreciation of a landscape which changes with seasons and the timely shifting of the latter. Climate change was first mentioned by the farmers to explain why we couldn’t see, unusually, much okra at the beginning of May. The lack of rain this year made our identification of urban agriculture more difficult as some plots weren’t cleared for use yet and easily confused with simple open spaces. The rain we brought – literally the same evening we first met the farmers - triggered a process of change in the landscape we could witness for the following two weeks.

Although we couldn’t talk to every single member of the farming community, the farmers involved in this research represent the four main areas, including two families in Kpeletso’s who own their land and engaged for the first time in the ongoing research of La. Visioning exercises and data collection produced slightly different results on the same items when conducted by separating women and men. The fact that the existing farming association hasn’t convened for the last two years was reflected by the farmers’ engagement at a more individual level then as a category. Lastly our understanding of the place rapidly improved with each visit so that this study is to be considered as a still frame in a dynamic learning process.




he trends of Accra’s urbanisation process clearly show that there are unbalanced power relations over the cities’ urbanisation process. Previous reports on La and research conducted have provided evidence that injustices, misrecognition and the disappearance of UA practices constitute major socio-environmental patterns within the urban developments. However, UA is important for both, the just distribution of land and food as well as for the ecological well being of the city and therefore we believe it to be an essential actual contributor to the distributional dimension of environmentally just urbanization that we aimed to test in the field. Accordingly, we elaborated the following:

Hypothesis 1: The current urbanization process in Accra excludes urban agriculture practices, creating disparities in the distribution of land and food and threatening the ecological wellbeing of the city. RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. How important is UA for the city of Accra? 2. What would be the social and economic implications for Accra if the practice of UA in La was lost? 3. Would women and men be impacted equally? 4. What ecological benefits does UA provide for La and Accra as a whole?

5.8.2 RESULTS & ANALYSIS LAND Farming land in La has been reducing fast over recent years to make room for new housing developments. If we keep on with business as usual, land in La will no longer be available for farming, as land tenure has changed from land use rights for farming to land use rights for urbanisation that allows communal lands to be converted into individual property rights. Customary land owners (chiefs) allocate land for urban land demands from the private and public sector as well as from individuals. Land is thus distributed according to the logic of accumulation and growth rather than in following the logic of justice, in which everyone agrees on the rules of the distribution. La currently has 192 farmers and none of them has agreed on the rules of the distribution of the land they farm on. Focus groups and interviews with 56 farmers have established that farmers have lost an average of 3-4 acres of land over the last 5 years (see table 2). Urban agricultural is not only a place-making practice but also maintains the customary land tenure system that is based on the belief that “land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living and countless numbers are still unborn” (Mends & De Meijere, 2006:5). Within that system, each community member has a land use right in order to secure his livelihood without being able to alienate anyone else’s right to do the same. According to the diagrams 4 and 5, La is significant for its share of women farmers. Here, 68,75% of all women farmers in Accra farm in La.











The disappearance of UA in La, and thus the farmers land use right for farming would have a huge impact on the livelihood of women farmers. Interviews with 35 women and 21 men have made clear that women would be more effected than men due to their different coping capacities. Whereas farming for men is either a part-time or full-time livelihood, it is a primary source of income and activity for women (table 3) It was noted that men have various other sources of income apart from farming. They include driving, mechanic, electrician, tailor, radio mechanic or carpenter, which could also constitute an alternative for them if their land use right for farming will disappear. Yet, women have only rarely an alternative. For those with trading skills and social relations to the market, seller alternatives include trading and commerce in the market.

Through interviews with traders at the La market and the Queen mother of the La market it was furthermore noted that 60% of all the vegetables that are sold at the market are locally produced vegetables. The reduction of UA in Accra has already lead to the need for traders to import more vegetables from outside the city and the country, such as from Nigeria or Burkina Faso. That again makes them really vulnerable to the price fluctuation of the global market. As La market consumers are locals from La and the surroundings, imports from elsewhere will finally hit them, as imports inevitably mean higher prices for market traders, which again means higher prices for the consumers. If UA in Accra disappears, food insecurity will in first place affect the most vulnerable to price fluctuations, such as the urban poor.





The city of Accra is relying on food production imported from the Forest and Transnational zones as well as from the Savannah area. However, UA in the city is also contributing to feed Accra. Through data gathered from the MoFA and through interviews with different stakeholders across the value chain, we established that La is in particular important for the production of four vegetables, namely okra, tomato, pepper and maize (see Diagram 6) Here, okra plays an important role, as it is one of the few remaining indigenous vegetables and constitutes one of the Ghanaian’s daily bread and one major source of subsistence. Compared to all other UA sites, La is the only farming area that produces okra. As the production of okra in the whole of Ghana has dramatically declined over the last years, it does even more emphasise the importance of La as an okra producing farming site.

Open green spaces are meant to provide ecosystem services. Here, urban agriculture could protect and preserve these spaces. Through research is was possible to establish that due to climate change some areas in La are very much prone to floods Although there is no evidence, it can be said that UA absorbs and regulates these urban shocks and functions as a drainage area during floods for the surrounding built up areas. The disappearance of UA will possibly not only lead to the loss of biodiversity, a higher risk of contaminated air and water flows but could also make Accra’s residents vulnerable to floods, and thus to epidemics and homelessness.







ur a priori knowledge of the UA practices in Accra, particularly within the La jurisdiction, brought us to the field believing that UA practices in La might play a significant role in the place-making of the Ga community, reinforcing their local cultural identity. Its recognition would enhance the capacity of current and future farmers to participate and express their wills and needs (preserving and respecting their farming culture and practices) in the development process, which is indispensable to a just urbanization. Accordingly, we elaborated the following:

Hypothesis 2: Urban agriculture in La is a placemaking practice that manifests the cultural identity of the Ga community. By recognizing the importance of collective and sharing farming cultures, an interethnic relationship between local and migrant farmers is fostered, collective voice would be thus raised and meaningful involvement in the development process can be achieved. Research Questions: 1.What are the particular collective and sharing farming practices taking place in La? 2.What is the social implication and cultural significance of practicing and preserving the collective and sharing farming culture in La and Accra? 3.How does it contribute to the relationship and integration between the local and migrant farmers? 4.What role does UA play in the placemaking process and cultural identity of the Ga community? 5.Is cultural recognition of UA being considered and prioritized in the planning process?


5.9.2 RESULTS & ANALYSIS Urban agriculture has a long tradition and cultural significance in La. Throughout the interviews with the farmers; we have identified a strong sense of cultural identity among them that is based on traditional farming cultures. The traditional farming culture in our case is associated with two main characteristics: collective and sharing culture and strong ties to land.

COLLECTIVE AND SHARING FARMING CULTURE Some of the traditional collective and sharing practices are still practiced in La. For instance, the farmers at Korlodjan revealed the fact that they saved their own seeds and shared with those who are in need. In Sowatey, for example, they share water pumps among each other.

INTEGRATING MIGRANTS INTO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY: Immigrants without technical or educational skills often rely on the practice of urban agriculture for survival in the city. The Ga people have over the years shown to be accommodating migrants into their practice of urban agriculture from employing their services during harvests or land clearing to actually offering them portions of land for agricultural purposes; most especially after the traditional rites are observed (such as offering a bottle of gin to the elder in the family ref ) in our field trip we encountered one of such cases – Ama a farmer from the North moved to accra over 10years ago with her husband and was given a land in the Kpeletso Area by the head of the sowateh adah family. The migrant farmers mainly come from the the North. Due to the different weather conditions, types of crop and soil fertility, the migrants would learn the farming techniques and expertise from the sharing of local farmers knowledge and experience (based on an individual interview with one migrant farmer –Ama from the North, at Airport Hill).

The mutual support and sharing practices create positive interactions, networks, and interethnic relationships in the farming communities which connect people (local and migrant farmers) and the place together. Regarding the issues of their identities, some farmers respond in a way that they feel a strong sense of belonging to La, they regard themselves as real farmers, they preferred farming other than other activities, and farming means everything to their lives. In this sense, we can see farming culture in La has cultivated a unique cultural identity among the farmersfarming makes what La is and who they are.

STRONG TIES TO THE LAND – PLACEMAKING PRACTICE: Apart from farming, land is used for different religious and social purposes like praying and social gatherings. Praying is particularly important. Many farmers pray every morning for a good harvest and no snakes/scorpions before starting to work the fields. In addition, land has a special meaning to the Ga community. The table below shows the meaning of the names different farm sites in Ga language. Farmers have a spiritual connection to the land they farm. UA can be a place-making practice as La is being constructed as a place by farming, social, spiritual and religious practices.

GREEN BELT (CULTURAL HERITAGE LOBBYING) The green belt under the current EDDT plan is intended to be used for leisure purposes , i.e. golf course. UA and the cultural heritage in La are absent in the planning agenda. According to the interview with the La Citizens Network, the importance of Ga culture and heritage should be recognized and preserved by creating a dedicated space. The La Citzens Network is lobbying for a green belt in the area of Kordojor (50 acres) – mainly for agricultural purposes – in order to preserve Ga heritage. According to Young (1990) and Fraser (2000), the lack of cultural recognition in social and



political realms is the foundation of distributional injustice and the decline of peoples’ participation in the society , and in the case of La it undermines the possibility and ability of the farmers to participate and express their wills and needs (preserve


and respect farming culture and practice) in planning process ( EDDT master plan). In the strategy section, more details of how to embed cultural recognition in the planning process will be examined.




ccra is a metropolis in crisis with regards to land use planning, as suggested by AsomaniBoateng (2002) and confirmed by the various stakeholders we met (ILGS, Land for Life, PD). This is mainly a consequence of the constant changing of planning policies. In fact, it could be implied that land use planning in Accra has failed to accommodate urban farming while residential developments are fiercely spreading along the open vacant spaces. Prioritizing land use for farming in the city requires that the major custodians/suppliers of land (customary, state and private) work together to secure agricultural land in suitable locations. However, this appears to be a difficult task given the complexity of land tenure and the unbalanced power in the control over land. As Foucault maintains, power is multiple, and arises everywhere in everyday situations (1980).

In the case of La, many interests co-exist on the same piece of land, creating tenure security for few and insecurity for many. It is therefore important to look at the implications of customary land tenure dynamics on land administration. In Accra, 75% of the land is owned under customary land tenure (UN Habitat, 2009). The customary owners of land in La are the members of the La stool, one of the Ga chieftaincies. According to inheritance land tenure arrangements, a piece of land remains in a family for a long time until the family disposes of the land (Obuobie et al, 2006). Under Customary Law, Art. 11 Ghana Constitution 1992, land can only be transferred but not owned, i.e. it is the head of clan who owns the land in a patrilineal hierarchy, and it is only the stool who can lease (Sarfo 2012). In La, a great proportion of land has been cultivated for more than 100 years (Obuobie et al, 2006) as confirmed by the



various stakeholders we interviewed (farmers, La Citizens Network, Chairman La Submetro).


The issue is indeed how customary land systems can meet the widespread demands on space in an economy predominantly driven by global fluxes (Grant, 2009). Significant portions of customary land in La have been commodified (See Map 10) and the trend is to continue, as suggested by the EDDT and Dr. Larbi (Lands Commission).


By looking at the modus operandi of current local institutional arrangements vis-a-vis the complexities of customary land tenure dynamics, the challenges for a just land management that meets the needs of current and future generations were assessed. We considered particularly the customary institutional framework for land delivery within the decentralization urge –coming from above- that could potentially exacerbate the urbanization trends and thus perpetuate the patterns of inequality in the city, if not implemented in an equitable and participatory manner. 250

Hypothesis 3: Local institutional change that prioritizes land use for farming could set a precedent for an environmentally just urbanization, if implemented in an equitable and participatory manner. 1. What is the scope for local institutional change in La with regards to land use planning? 2. What are the opportunities and challenges for prioritizing UA within the land use planning processes/development plans in La? 3.How have power relations among the actors involved in the development plans changed since 2011? 4.Given the complexity of land tenure in La, what are the possibilities to deal with land ownership issues at the local level? 5. Are there alternative spaces for farming? Of which nature would these arrangements be?

As part of the decentralization campaign promoted by national authorities, the La Sub-Metro District Council was confirmed as a prospective Municipal Assembly in June 2012. This was first suggested by the Sub-Metro Chairman, Hon. Nii Amarh Ashitey, and was later supported by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development as well as the Greater Accra Regional Minister on May 8. According to the Art. 240 of Ghana Constitution 1992, local government authorities have the capacity to ‘plan, initiate, co-ordinate, manage and execute policies in respect of all matters affecting the people within their areas’. This capacity is regulated by the Local Government Act 1993. Precisely under this Act, the new municipal assembly would have an independent planning authority, as affirmed by T&CP (2012).

NO DEDICATED SPACES FOR UA IN THE EDDT MASTER PLAN New developments do not include dedicated spaces for UA. The EDDT Masterplan only includes “open spaces” for leisure, e.g. dedicated areas for golf course including the Kpeshie Lagoon. Previous reports suggested the existence of slightly more secure land for farming in the north (ESD 2010) and of some reserved green space in the Western Sowatey-Nmonaa (ESD 2011). However in interview with the Secretary of the EDDT it was confirmed that there would not be land dedicated for farming and that international developers (namely from China and UK) have already set the deal with the Trust for new residential developments.


GREEN BELT 50 ACRES IN KORDOJOR The civil society, through La Citizens Network is lobbying for a 50 acres green belt in Kordojor. They have already presented a petition to the Council of Elders and the Submetro Chairman. The network chairman, Mr. Nii Yemo Yemofio, and Daniel Hammond, from the La Development Association, confirmed this.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LA TEBU ASSOCIATION (PART OF GFUP) AND THE SUB-METRO An existing relationship between the La Tebu Association, which is the local-based representation of the GFUP, and the La Sub-Metro Chairman was appreciated and further confirmed by both parties. They affirmed that there is a

possibility to work together in the future context of La becoming a municipality.

ESTABLISHMENT OF CUSTOMARY LAND SECRETARIATS As part of Stage II of the Land Administration Project, Customary Land Secretariats are in process of being established. This reflects the will, at the national level, to encourage accountability within traditional authorities. Training courses and capacity building are big components of this part of the project. As suggested by Dr. Larbi (Lands Commission 2012), building capacity within the traditional authorities would bring opportunities for land tenure security.






RELOCATION VS. NEGOTIATION The 2010 report suggested that farmers in Klandij-Argon were willing to negotiate with EDDT. Evidence we recorded shows that the negotiation took place between EDDT and the chairman of La Farmer’s Association (Alexander Ashirifi, Boadu) to settle conflict over land. He had 25 acres in Klandij-Argon, he possess now ½ acre. His son is farming that land. Indenture was obtained on 28/03/2012.






5.12 Visioning


B 254

ased on scenario thinking strategic tools to make flexible long-term plans, the visioning exercise was carried out through a focus group. This method helped us to learn about the future by understanding the nature and impact of the most uncertain and important driving forces affecting the farmers in La. After identifying the main certainties related to the three major issues they were facing (land, water and money) the participants placed themselves in four different scenarios. This is how they see the future: Most likely scenario: (1) Relocation to Amanfro and Dodowa; (2) Change activity (work in the market as traders) Most desired scenario: Ownership of the land - title registration Departing from this, the participants were encouraged to think outside the box by designing a future how they would like it to be. They explored the means by which the most desirable scenarios (3) (4) can become possible, as well as they ways in which the most likely scenarios (1) (2) are to be confronted. Which key actors could be involved? (See appendix).

This exercise helped us to assess the capacities of the farmers when facing the future. Among other things, the farmers expressed their will to work collectively rather than individually in order to make the most desirable scenarios possible. However hypothetical, as both scenarios refer to an ideal land reform and an effective land administration, what is to be rescued here is the strong collectiveness observed specially among women, regardless of the progressive weakening of their collective capacities triggered by the EDDT and the chiefs during the last years in their campaign for the control over land.


5.13 Strategies F

rom the scenario thinking analysis we moved forward to the design of strategic actions. Our scenario planning was based on the following rationale, however not specifically centered on the upcoming La Municipality. That is, the ‘Okra City’ serving as the representation of what we consider an EJU where the contributions of UA would be better collectively captured and shared.




5.13.1 STRATEGY 1



5.13.2 STRATEGY 2



5.13.3 STRATEGY 3



5.13.4 STRATEGY 4



5.14 MONITORING & EVALUATION The monitoring and evaluation of proposed strategies is designed to help track the success or otherwise of proposed action plans both along the existing institutional alleys and through the unknowns of more structural transformation towards the recognition and integration of UA as a land use practice into the planning system to transform La and the whole of Accra; leveraging on the importance of cultural traditions and the potential of visionary planning to obtain just urbanization.






he findings of this report demonstrate that by creating a propitious environment for change, a driver such as the existence of urban agriculture may bring about a sense of place even in the degraded urban environment of La, Accra. The inhabitants of Accra, especially these residents of La are experiencing a planned and nonplanned urbanization process, that follows the logic of greed of individuals who pursue profit for themselves and, unaware, achieve alienation for all.


Eventually disparities in terms of access and distribution of environmental goods would become prominent. Ultimately, an environmentally just urbanization will be one that incorporates the natural morphology of the area as well as the rights of people that “live” the spaces to collectively change and reinvent the city according to their desire. Thankfully UA is still practiced but its implementation requires the contribution of the people that retain the necessary knowledge. They are currently threatened with relocation of the farmers. This study has found value in UA sites and people widely considered the cause of the problem. It has made this discovery circulate within the actors of the urbanization process and has already identified common threads such as the importance of UA for an environmentally just urbanization. Such ideas are presented as the basis for a shared learning process among all actors so that the dialogue that they already entertain with each other may turn into an exchange among equals and an action for environmental change. This study demonstrates the importance of cultural traditions and the potential of visionary planning to obtain just urbanization. It drafts potential directions towards it by elaborating

strategies for action both along the existing institutional alleys and through the unknowns of more structural transformation. We conclude with a call for participation to assert citizens’ rights in this crucial time in which new planning instruments are brought in by the government together with administrative decentralization. These must be used as opportunities rather then constraints and the job of a practitioner is to point it out to every single citizen.


The Okra City



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Asomani-Boateng R., 2002. “Urban cultivation in Accra: an examination of the nature, practices, problems, potentials and urban planning implications”, Habitat International, 26 (4): 591-601. Abiyeva, N., Cerdas-Calvo, D., Espinoza, E., Gogol, D., Holford, L., Jaffer, A., Njinga, J., Palos, B., Sanduh, N., Viale, L., 2010. “Sustaining Urban Agriculture in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area: Case study of La, Accra, Ghana for the DPU and IWMI”, University College London, ESD Field Trip Final Report. Bitlegma, Naadi, n.d. „Urban gardening, a threat to human health”, Ghana, n.d., available from primenews-articles/879-urban-gardening-athreat-to-human-health [accessed 24 March 2012]. Daljeet Kaur, Florent Charrasse, Jessica Gulhane, Katie Francis, Nazli Ece Isbasaran, Rozina Kanchwala, Rodrigo Matabuena, Rosalind Bacon, Weiwei Sun., 2011. “Farmers, not gardeners: Urban & Peri-Urban Agriculture in La, Accra for

the DPU, University College London, ESD Field Trip Final Report. Environmental Protection Agency, 1993. Local Government Act, available from http://www.epa., [accessed 28 May]. Fernandes, Edésio, 2007. “Constructing the right to the city in Brazil.” Social &Legal Studies, 16 (2): 201-219. Foucault, Michel, 1980. „Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 19721977“, edited by Colin Gordon, New York: Pantheon Books. Fraser, Nancy, 1998. “Social Justice in the Age of Identity Politics: Redistribution, recognition and participation.” The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, 19: 1–67. International Institute for Environment and Development, 2009. Profiles of Tools and Tactics for Environmental Mainstreaming. No. 9 Scenario Planning. A product of the Environmental Mainstreaming Initiative. Judicial Service of Ghana, 2011. The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992, available from htm, [accessed 28 May]. King, Gary et al., 1994. Designing Social Inquiry. Scientific inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton, NJ: University University Press. Harvey, David, 1996. Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Harvey, David, 2003. The New Imperialism, Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Harvey, David, 2012. Rebel Cities: From the right to the city to the urban revolution, London: Verso.

Silverman, D., 2004. Qualitative Research. Theory, Method and Practice.,London: Sage.

Lefebvre, Henri, 1968. Le Droit à la ville. Paris: Anthropos (2nd ed.).

Schoemaker, Paul, 1995. “Scenario Planning: A tool for Strategic Thinking.” Sloan Management Review, Winter: 25-40.

Lefebvre Henri, 1991. The production of space. Oxford: Blackwell. Marshall, Catherine & Gretchen Rossman, 1995. Designing qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications ( 2nd ed.). Maxwell, Daniel & Keith Wiebe, 1999. “Land Tenure and Food Security: Exploring Dynamic Linkages”. Development and Change, 30 (4): 825-849. Modern Ghana, 2009. “Urban Sprawl: A New Epidemic in Accra”, available from http://www., [accessed 28 May 2012]. Obuobie, Emmanuel et al, 2006. “Chapter 11: Institutional aspects of urban vegetable farming and “wastewater irrigation””, In: Irrigated urban vegetable production in Ghana: Characteristics, Benefits and Risks. IWMI-RUAF-CPWF: Accra, Ghana, 118-132. Obuobie, E. et al., 2003. “Access to land and water for urban vegetable farming in Accra.” Urban Agriculture Magazine, 11:15-17. Quoon, Soonya, 1999. “Planning for Urban Agriculture: A Review of Tools and Strategies for Urban Planners”. Cities Feeding People Series. Report 28. International Development Research Centre. RUAF, 2009. “Cities Farming for the Future”, 2009, available from: [Accessed: 26 May 2012]. Sarfo, 2012, Interview May 4.

Mbiba, Beacon et al, 2011. “The Integration of Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture into Planning”, Urban Agriculture Magazine, 4: 1-4. Mends, Theodora & J. De Meijere, 2006. “A Study of the Institution of the Customary Land Tenure System in the Supply of Property Rights for Urban Development – an Example of Accra, Ghana”, paper presented at 5th FIG Regional Conference on Promoting Land Administration and Good Governance, Accra, Ghana. Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). Republic of Ghana, available from http://mofa. [accessed 10 March 2012]. Town & Country Planning, 2012. Seminar, May 4. UN Habitat, 2009. Ghana: Accra Urban Profile, Nairobi: UNON Publishing Services: Nairobi. UN Habitat, 2006. “The Global Land Tool Network”, available from http://www.unhabitat. org/categories.asp?catid=503, [accessed 28 May 2012]. Young, M., 1990. Justice and the Politics of Difference, Princeton. NJ: Princeton University Press. Young, Marion, 1990. Justice and the Politics of Difference, Princeton. NJ: Princeton University Press.


TRAJECTORIES OF CHANGE: LAND, URBANISATION AND URBAN AGRICULTURE IN ACCRA This film is an output of a collaborative research project carried out by students and staff of the MSc Environment and Sustainable Development (DPU, UCL), IWMI and other partners. It explores the potential of urban agriculture to remain a living practice given the current trends of urbanisation in Accra, Ghana, through the lens of land and planning. Youtube URL:

For more information visit:

Profile for development  planning unit

Environmentally Just Urbanisation through Urban Agriculture. Accra-Ghana 2012  

These reports have been produced as part of the MSc Environment and Sustainable Development programme at the Development Planning Unit (DPU)...

Environmentally Just Urbanisation through Urban Agriculture. Accra-Ghana 2012  

These reports have been produced as part of the MSc Environment and Sustainable Development programme at the Development Planning Unit (DPU)...

Profile for dpu-ucl