Geographic information system planning and monitoring best practices for West Africa
Phenomenal increases in the number and sizes of urban settlements across the West African coastal region are leading to massive reclamation of swamps and destruction of natural ecosystems. Poor urbanization policies, inefficient planning and monitoring technologies are evident. The consequences include some of the worst types of environmental hazards. Best urbanization practices require integrated planning approaches that result in environmental conservation. Geographic Information systems (GIS) provide the platform for integration and processing of multi-sector Geosciences data in order to accurately predict results of different planning options. This paper presents the West African urban environmental problems. Using some concluded studies, it illustrates the functionality of integrating data in GIS for efficient planning and monitoring while calling on the governments of West Africa to adopt GIS based planning for best results.
Key words: GIS, Urban Planning, Urban Monitoring, West Africa, Best Practices, Pollution, flooding