24 September 2020 - UN-Habitat’s Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) project in Ga-Mashie, Accra, Ghana is in the spotlight. The project has attracted the attention of the jury of the Global Best Practice Programme, "Small Steps Big Leaps: Solutions for Sustainable Impact" of the World EXPO 2021. The related story about the achievements of PSUP in two settlements Jamestown and Usshertown, "New Roads for Old Accra" has been selected for the category "Untold Stories" which includes 20 projects worldwide that demonstrate innovative approaches to the urban poor.
For Gabriel Nii Teiko Tagoe, former Chief Development Planning Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly from the Ghanaian Government, this is the best publicity for his project. Since 2008 he has coordinated the project in the communities of Ga-Mashie for PSUP.
"This is an excellent visibility for the programme and for the cooperation with UN-Habitat and the work of the people in the communities that made the upgrading process in the old town of Accra possible,” says Mr Tagoe.
Both informal settlements have paved roads and pavements, additional public space on markets and streets, public toilets and shower houses, a drainage system and are connected to the public waste disposal. "These measures have proved their worth in times of the Corona crisis", he says.
The lockdown hit the inhabitants of Ga-Mashie much less severely than elsewhere in the slums, because all those involved were pulling together. The Metropolis Assembly of Accra keeps the paved roads, cobbled market squares and new drainage channels clean and disinfected regularly. Public space and alleys eased the challenges of social distancing, so people can continue to work even in times of crisis. With the help of PSUP, elected Assembly members in the communities and Community Based Organizations participated in public sensitization, distribution of food, face masks and hand sanitizers. The communities now operate over 100 hand washing stations in Jamestown and Usshertown.
Hygiene, public space and a better quality of life are now demanded by more and more people from the regions in and around Ga-Mashie which have not yet been upgraded according to Mr Tagoe.
The story is on the World Expo website and will be presented in an exhibition during the EXPO from October 2021 to March 2022.