GHANA INSTITUTION OF SURVEYORS (GhIS) LAND SURVEYING DIVISION COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF TWO-DAY LAND SURVEYORS’ SEMINAR HELD AT GHANA-INDIA KOFI ANNAN ICT CENTRE, ACCRA

The Annual Seminar of the Land Surveying Division of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GhIS) was successfully held at Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Centre cantonments, Accra from 16th -17th August, 2017. The theme for the two-day Seminar was “Setting the Agenda for Sustainable Environmental and Infrastructural Development in Ghana”.
The delivery format of the Seminar included eight (8) lead presentations followed by exhaustive discussions by the participants. The following lead presentations were made: a) Broadening Ghana Geospatial/Addressing Management Infrastructure Footprint- The Role of the Private Sector; b) Our Land, our Heritage and the Eleventh Commandment-quo Vaamus?; c) Monitoring the Extent of Reclamation of Small Scale Mining Areas; d) Investigating the Performance of Multivariate Adaptive Regression Spline (MARS) Approach in 2D Coordinate Transformation; e) Artificial Neural Network and Maximum Likelihood Approaches in Mapping Urban Expansion; f) Using GIS as a tool for locating food joints; g) Using the ArcGIS Model Builder to Develop a Desktop Map Generalisation Module for Multi-scale Mapping; and j) Using GIS for Online Search Report.


The workshop was declared open by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Benito Owusu Bio, who represented substantive Minister. In attendance were Nii Odartey Willington, who represented Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona II, Paramount Chief of Osu Traditional Council and President of Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs and Osabarima Adusei Peasah IV, Akyem Tafohene, who addressed the gathering. The President of Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GhIS), Surv. Edwin Addo-Tawiah gave the opening remarks. The Senior Vice-President of GhIS, Surv. Surv. Egbert Kwadwo Hohoabu, who also represented the Quantity Surveying Division, Surv. Alhaji Sulemana Mahama, Chairman of Valuation and Estate Surveying Division and Surv. Kwame Tenadu, the President of Licensed Surveyors Association of Ghana (LISAG), gave solidarity messages. Surv. John K. Amaglo, the Chairman of Land Surveying, gave the welcome address and the objective of the seminar.

The Land Surveying Division of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors recognises the many innovative governance efforts towards land tenure security, food security, environmental sustainability, infrastructural development, eradication of poverty, and other programmes that give voice to community development needs in Ghana. Nevertheless, presenters and participants noted among others, the following challenges in the efforts to ensure sustainable management of the environment and infrastructure in Ghana.

Lack of mechanism for monitoring and implementing the extent to environmental degradation;
b. Non-involvement of Land Surveyors in the major environmental and infrastructural decision-making processes;
c. Lack of supervision in survey and mapping at the local levels, especially demarcation and surveying of mining concessions at the district level;
d. Presence of non-professional Surveyors who are deeply involved in demarcation and surveying;
e. High import duty on survey equipment, and;
f. High cost of land survey services.
Following the discussions and interactions, therefore, we the participants of the Annual Land Surveyors Seminar 2017 make the following recommendations and conclusions:
1. The absence of Surveyors leaves a huge gab to be filled in the development of Ghana. Therefore, Government should involve Land Surveyors in the major decision-making processes, especially on evironmental and infrastructural development and management;
2. Government should collaborate with Surveyors to develop mechanisms for monitoring the environment;
3. Land Surveyors recognise Government efforts to clamp down the galamsey menace in Ghana. However, there should be a nexus between industries and practice, government and professional Land Surveyors in the fight against galamsey in order to ensure sustainability. Land Surveyors will collaborate with Government to provide the appropriate technology that will help local communities to reclaim the lands destroyed through galamsey operations.
4. The cost of rendering survey services is influenced by a number of factors, especially the cost of survey equipment and the available technology used to render that service. Land Surveyors recognise recent decrease in tax on some imported goods. However, in order to reduce cost of surveys,
a. Government should reduce the duty on the importation of survey equipment.

b. Government should invest in the use of modern technology in the production of maps. The Survey and Mapping Division (SMD) of the Lands Commission must be resourced to produce large scale maps for the entire country. This will reduce the cost of surveying in the production of maps;
5. Eliminating non-professionals’ involvement in surveying activities requires strict supervision at all levels. The Survey and Mapping Division of the Lands Commission must be resourced well in order to be able to supervise survey activities in the country. Land Surveying Division of GhIS will assist SMD to clamp down non-professionals who undertake surveys and bring the name of Land Surveyors into disrepute;
6. Every district should have a professional /licensed surveyors who will supervise surveys. These District surveyors could also assist the local communities to demarcate their lands given as mining concessions. This will help communities appreciate their land that have been given out as concessions;
7. Land Surveyors shall lead the crusade of sensitising and educating the public on the need to conserve our environment;
8. Land Surveyors will engage with the Department of Land Use and Spatial Planning to produce land use plans for the local communities. Government should also support this collaborative effort by creating the enabling environment; and
9. Land Surveyors should upgrade themselves to be abreast with modern techniques for collecting spatial data and producing maps.

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THE COST OF SURVEYING IN GHANA IS TOO HIGH: By deputy minister for lands and natural resources. Hon. Benito Owusu Bio.

Further to the above, the cost of surveying in Ghana tend to be very high compared to other jurisdictions.

He made this known at the 2017 annual seminar of the land surveying division of the Ghana institution of surveyors (GhIS) on the theme: “setting the agenda for sustainable environmental and infrastructural management in Ghana” While the cost of surveying for titling in a recent world Bank study shows some African countries to be around us$6.00 per parcel, the same survey in Ghana is us$108.00 per parcel.

The Millennium Development Authority ( MIDA) in conducting a pilot in the central region to support rural tenant farmers ran up to us$157.00 per parcel.

In the light of the current technology available what accounts for the differences? How can rural dwellers and farmers seeking to obtain certainty in their land rights be able to afford such rates? Is the lands Surveying professional conscious of this and what steps have been or are being taken to address this challenge? Permit is to draw your collective attention to the fact that the information you provide is just for the initiation of decision making on land and its resources.

Technology has advanced to such an extent that there are many alternative ways of getting similar information from other professional sources for the same purposes even if the accuracy standards may very.

I therefore urge you to ensure that you make the profession relevant to those who need your services and not bury your head in the belief that your profession is sacrosanct.

The concerns I have raised above are not intended to intimidate or embarrass you as professionals.

I personally know of individual survey professionals whose competence and integrity I can always vouch for and I believe many of you are the same.

The agenda for change we have set ourselves requires the utmost contribution of every well-meaniing professional.

Our focus on the private sector as the growth engine is aimed freeing up the public sector to carry out its regulatory and supervisory functions in a much better way.

There is so much to do in the coming years and this is where I urge you to focus your attention.

My ministry has through LAP II developed a Geospatial Development policy which Comines the Geodetic Reference Network, National Spatial Data infrastructure and the Surveying and mapping policies.

It is awaiting policy approval of cabinet and measure to roll it out will have you leading the processes.

In addition, a Strong recommendations has been submitted to Cabinet for the comprehensive and complete mapping of the country at large scale to aid the implementation of the new local Governance Actv2016( Act 936) and the land use and Spatial planning Act 2016 ( Act 925 ) as well as other relevant legislations.

The current 25000 square kilometers coverage in the Northern Sector and the Accra plains is inadequate for the bold transformation agenda we have as Government.

HIGH RANK OFFICERS AT KASOA POLICE STATION EXPOSING JUNIOR OFFICERS TO DANGER THROUGH BRIBE TAKING

Efforts of some junior officers of the Kasoa police division to combat crime seems to be repeatedly thwarted by some senior officers.

As the young and selfless officers risks their lives arresting criminals, the senior officers sits at the comfort of their offices and take goodies to release the suspects arrested.

A similar incidence is a particular story that happened on Tuesday, 25 th July 2017 some few days after a police personnel was shot and killed at Lapaz, Accra in broad daylight and the full glare of onlookers.

In this instance a police personnel at the Kasoa police division had chased two suspects who were on a motorbike namely Emmanuel Antwi and Kwame Owusu and arrested them at Liberia Camp near Kasoa.

During the time of arrest, a Pink Fm Newsman who was around drew near to inquire from the personnel since he had thought that the officer was just intimidating the duo, the police officer showed two very well compressed dried leaves shaped in the form of cubes which was suspected to be marijuana or otherwise known as ‘wee’.

Even though a journalist who was assigned to follow up the matter went to the police station and saw the two put behind bars and even took photographs of the suspects in an attempt to do a follow-up, the station officer at the Kasoa District police Chief Inspector Oppong told journalists from Pink Fm that no such incident had happened even though other senior officers confirmed the arrest.

However, in an attempt to dig further, an investigation conducted by Pink Fm’s journalists revealed that the station officer had taken amounts of GHC 1,500 and GHC 1,200 from each of the suspects and relieved them even though the officer who made the arrest had ignored the suspects when they tried to bribe him before a Pink Fm journalist.

Even though the attentions of the Kasoa Divisional Commander DSP Dennis Abadey and the Kasoa District Police Commander DSP Ahiatafu have been drawn to the matter nothing has been done upon it as the suspects moves freely within town. The police officer who made the arrest even though for fear of intimidation has remained tight-lipped over the matter, Pinknews can authoritatively report that he feels insecure as a deep throat source within the Kasoa police has whispered to Pinknews about a complaint lodged by the officer over a suspicious look from the suspects and some other people.

As at now, Pinknews has in our possession audios of conversations confirming the payment and a screenshot of the transaction between the payee and one De-Graft Amo, an investigator at the Kasoa police station. In the audio, a woman who made the payment explained that an amount of GHC 1000 was paid in cash whilst the remaining GHC 200 was paid through mobile money.

Pinknews calls on the Inspector General of Police, IGP David Asante Apeatu to take up this matter and probe the high rank officers to ensure discipline and the safety of police officers who are willing to work diligently.

Source pink FM

WEST AFRICA COUNTRY’S MUST OPEN UP TO EACH OTHER: Dr. Bawumia

The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has bemoaned the lack of political will by Member States towards the integration process in the ECOWAS sub-region.

According to him, had it not been the lack of political will, the subregion could have attained maximum economic growth than its present state.

“In our view, since the ECOWAS integration process started in 1975, we should have made more progress than today. Because of lack of political will, member countries are not opening up to each other.

It is about time we open up to each so that we all enjoy the benefits of economic integration,” he noted.

Dr. Bawumia made this observation when a delegation from the ECOWAS parliament led by the Speaker, Hon. Moustapha Cisse Lo, paid a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Wednesday. Members on the Delocalized Joint Committees on Education, Science and Technology & Communication and Information Technology of the ECOWAS Parliament are presently in Ghana to brainstorm on the educational systems in the subregion.

The event is under the theme: “Status of harmonization of the educational systems and programs in West Africa with specific reference to the equivalence of degrees, ranks, certificates and other qualifications.” Dr. Bawumia commenting further said it was this challenge (lack of political will) that the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has started talking to his peers in the region to open up to each to fast-track the integration process. To live by example, he said Ghana would from September 1, 2017, remove all domestic barriers to promote the free movement of people as well as goods and services between member countries.

Ghana and Togo, he noted, have for instance, started a 24-hour border operations. Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Moustapha Cisse Lo, on his part lauded Ghana for playing a key role in the integration process in the subregion. He was very hopeful that with the level of commitment exhibited by President Akufo-Addo towards the subregion’s integration process, he will further work to ensure that all existing trade barriers are removed. “We are sure that the President will assist us to achieve our goal,” he noted.

IT IS ABOUT TIME WE OPEN UP, Vice President Dr. Bawumia tells ecowas parliament

The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has bemoaned the lack of political will by Member States towards the integration process in the ECOWAS sub-region.

According to him, had it not been the lack of political will, the subregion could have attained maximum economic growth than its present state.

“In our view, since the ECOWAS integration process started in 1975, we should have made more progress than today. Because of lack of political will, member countries are not opening up to each other.

It is about time we open up to each so that we all enjoy the benefits of economic integration,” he noted.

Dr. Bawumia made this observation when a delegation from the ECOWAS parliament led by the Speaker, Hon. Moustapha Cisse Lo, paid a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Wednesday.

WAKE UP FROM YOUR SLUMBER – Okudjeto TELLS SECURITY AGENCIES

Ranking Member of the Committee on Foreign Afairrs, Samuel Okujeto Ablakwa, is warning of a looming threat of terrorist attack on Ghana. H Safety and security You should exercise a high degree of caution in Ghana and maintain a high level of security awareness at all times.

Crime Pick-pocketing, purse snatching and attacks by individuals on motorbikes are increasing in Accra and its surroundings, including areas around the High Commission of Canada.

Violent crimes have also increased, including armed robbery. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone or displaying signs of wealth. Home invasions are on the rise.

Affluent areas in Accra where foreigners live are targeted and some thieves carry firearms. There have been recent cases of violent robberies often targeting foreigners travelling in taxis at night. If you have to use a taxi, ensure that there is no other passenger in the car and try to limit trips to day-time hours. When possible, carry photocopies of your travel documents and keep the originals in a secure place.

There is an increase in crime Tema, Kumasi, and the Upper East and West regions. Armed robberies of vehicles are a growing concern in areas such as Takoradi, Kumasi and other parts of the Ashanti region. People working in the mining industry should be particularly cautious. Armed attacks have also been reported along the Accra-Tema and Accra-Kumasi-Tamale highways. You should remain vigilant at all times.

Thefts occur at Kotoka International Airport in Accra and in hotels across the country. Be wary of unsolicited assistance from uniformed porters or officials appearing to work at Kotoka International Airport. Official airport employees wear identification cards bearing both their name and photograph. If you are being met at the airport, you should confirm the identity of your driver.

Terrorism There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist targets could include shopping malls, government buildings, public areas such as bars, restaurants, hotels and sites frequented by Westerners. Be aware of your surroundings in public places. Demonstrations Demonstrations occasionally occur in Accra and other major cities. You are advised to be prudent and avoid large crowds and public gatherings, as some have turned violent in the past.

Monitor local news reports, follow the advice of authorities, and respect any curfews or roadblocks. Fraud Canadians are frequently the victims of Internet scams originating in Ghana, which is a base for commercial and Internet fraud schemes in the region. Scammers will offer enticing business or financial opportunities, often related to the gold industry. Be wary of unsolicited emails. Ensure that any business opportunity is legitimate before travelling to Ghana. Other scams involve online friendships or romances. There are many variations, all with the intent of scamming money from people abroad, and some Canadians have lost thousands of dollars and in some cases, have been arrested as a result of such situation. Credit card fraud is also a considerable problem.

Limit your use of credit cards whenever possible. See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad. Road safety Road conditions are generally good in cities, but poor in rural areas. Inadequate lighting, pedestrians and roaming livestock pose risks. Traffic accidents are common on the road from Accra to Cape Coast and Kumasi. Travel outside urban areas should be restricted to daylight hours.

Be very careful when driving in Ghana. People may try to get you to stop your vehicle. Pedestrians may bang on your car, making it appear as if they have been hit, and drivers may attempt to cause minor vehicle collisions. Crowds gathering as a result of these types of incidents can become dangerous. Drive with your doors locked and proceed immediately to the nearest police station to make a report if you are involved in any traffic incident.

Police roadblocks are routine. At checkpoints, vehicles and passengers may be subject to inspections, and armed security forces may demand money, either directly or indirectly. You should always carry copies of identification documents, such as your passport and valid visa, and your International Driving Permit (IDP).

Ensure that your road-worthy and insurance stickers are up-to-date, and that your car is equipped with a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher and a warning triangle, as these items are mandatory. Vehicles with temporary license plates (DVLA) are prohibited from traveling anywhere in Ghana between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Vehicles may be seized for the night and fines imposed for non-compliance. Furthermore, as border closures are frequent, seek the advice of the High Commission of Canada in Accra prior to departure if you are planning on leaving Ghana by road. Public transportation Buses are unreliable and inconvenient.

Car rentals are available but expensive. Taxis are also available, but taxi fares should be agreed before departure. Domestic air travel may be subject to disruptions. Air travel The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information. Reserves, safaris and the beach There are inherent risks associated with viewing wildlife (both marine and on land), particularly on foot or at close range. You should always maintain a safe distance when observing wildlife and avoid exiting vehicles unless professional guides or wardens say it is safe.

Use reputable and professional guides or tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens’ advice. Avoid isolated picnic areas and beaches. Coastal waters have unpredictable wave and tide patterns and can be dangerous. On many beaches, there are serious and strong undertows and riptides that can sweep swimmers out to sea. Follow the advice and warnings of local authorities. Piracy Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau. General safety information Periodic shortages of electricity and city water can occur, especially in the dry season from November to March. Story by Richmond Adu Dwamena.

GHANA HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE:Appiah Pinkrah

The Member of Parliament for Obuasi Akrofuom, Hon. Kwabena Appiah Pinkrah has intimated thatGhana has a bright future in terms of infrastructural development.

Speaking exclusively with Bossfm on Tuesday, the lawmaker opined that, he is very confident that the infrastructure needs of the country as being pursued by successive government is a good prospect for the country.

The Akrofuom lawmaker explained that, unlike those days where the whitemen pretended they were building the infrastructure needs of Ghana which in actual fact they were doing so to suit themselves.

“Today Ghana is being built by Ghanaians and for Ghanaians,” he noted.

He therefore called on Ghanaians to involve themselves in the developmental needs of the country.

Story: Richmond Adu Dwamena