Land Usage Changes and its Effects on the Provision of Social Facilities to Residents of the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana
The extent to which changes in land use has affected the availability and usage of social facilities were studied. Emphasis was placed on four (4) facilities – pipe-borne water, sewage channels, sanitary sites and public open spaces. The stratified, simple and purposive sampling techniques were used to select 327 respondents made up of building owners, chiefs and government land institutions. Ten communities in the Kumasi metropolis of Ghana formed the study area. Geographic Information System (GIS) tools were employed to map out changes in land use in the study communities. Results of the study showed that residents in the Kumasi metropolis were denied of all the four social facilities as a result of illegal allocation of lands meant to provide these services. Homes were unable to be connected to the service lines of the water company while others had interruptions in the flow of water. Again residents had difficulties disposing of refuse and waste water from their homes. Open spaces provided on maps were virtually absent on the ground. However, where some of these facilities existed, they were highly inadequate compared to the existing population. Residents, therefore, survived by adopting alternative ways of accessing the facilities most of which were financially costly and detrimental to the health of residents. The practices adopted also encourage environmental decay and finally affects the beauty of the metropolis. Based on the findings, this research recommends that future research investigates how changes in land use affect the health of residents in the Kumasi Metropolis.
Keywords: Ghana, Land, Land Use Changes, Social Facilities, Traditional Authorities, Kumasi Metropolis.