Naming of streets is now an important issue which the Ghana government has begun to embark upon. However the impact is trivial and educational awareness is unpopular. As a young Ghanaian growing up in a suburb of Accra, I vividly remember the houses were constantly receiving new house numbers like K 123/V, then T 342/C but the street names were missing. All these years I don’t remember directing someone using the house number or street names.
In my part of Ghana; we gave directions to people by using descriptions; take the bus to Kasoa, a light at the Goil Petrol Station, you see the Pentecost church in front of you, turn right, you will see a lotto kiosk, then turn again left you see a big white house with a blue gate, you see a young lady selling Waakye, ask her of Antie Maamle.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t privileged to grow up in the airport residential areas where one could notice some orderliness.
In Germany, it is Mönckebergstraße 1, 20095 Hamburg; Trust me, it is unique.
Nevertheless the average Ghanaian in Hamburg is still using the same Ghana method of description. Take the U1, get out after 4 stops, and then take the bus 4, after 4 stops you see a Penny Markt, opposite is a tall story building. The truth is we enjoy giving such descriptions.
But one would have expected that a developing nation should progress in this direction of naming streets and Houses. Naming of streets, houses and properties is essential if Ghana wants to develop effectively and efficiently.
Street addressing system involves naming streets and numbering of both developed and undeveloped properties along them, that is to say streets and properties are allocated official addresses. It makes it possible and easy to locate a plot or property. This goes with several other advantages; easy identification of locations, helps quicker response of emergency services from the fire fighters and police emergency services. Efficient postal delivery and faster business operations.
A unique house numbering also goes with other benefits like statistical data collection, tax collection, improving navigation system which makes it easier for people to find their way around in cities or towns and google mapping amongst others.
Street naming has other traditional significance, acknowledging prominent citizens and distinguished people and also paying tribute to those who have given distinguished service to their respective communities or country at large. Younger generations are thereby motivated to attain similar goals and have streets named after them.
The questions is why hasn’t Ghana taken advantage of the numerous benefits that goes with street naming and house numbering. A presidential decree in that direction has still not yielded the required results.
The following challenges could be identified, irresponsible issuing of building permits for property development without proper planning.
Issuing permits without taking into account the nature of land and the immediate environment (water ways, drainage, paths and roads). Physical developments on unapproved layouts is common, therefore, a considerable number of developed properties have no permits as well as addresses.
I have always insisted there is no shortcut to development, for Ghana to become a developed country, what ought to be done right has to be done. Poor housing and property development due to irresponsible issuing of permits and disregard for laid down regulation affects correct street naming and house numbering, which finally have negative impact on the movement of goods and waste of time.
Besides there is no political will on leaders to do the right thing neither do they pay attention to educational awareness?
An abstract of the book "The History of Ghanaians in Germany"
Chapter 33 Ghana -The Way Forward
REDUCE NUMBER OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS! IF YOU WANT TO DEVELOP
AUTHENTIC NATIONAL IDENTITY -/DATA
SOCIAL AND VOLUNTARY WORK
NAMING OF STREETS & NUMBERING OF HOUSES IN GHANA
NEED FOR DOWNSIZING THE GOVERNMENT OF GHANA FOR DEVELOPMENT
Desmond John Beddy -/TopAfric Media Network