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Accra mapping exercise finds ‘hidden’ pockets of slums

A mapping exercise in Accra found there are more slum communities in Ghana's capital than previously thought. (Alan Lew/flickr/cc)

Accra, the capital of Ghana, has more slum communities than previously thought. That’s one of the key findings of a data collection effort going on in seven of the 11 municipalities that comprise Accra’s metro area.

Members of the Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor (GHAFUP) report for that many of Accra’s neighborhoods contain hidden pockets of poverty not recognized by authorities as slums. The federation is spearheading the “mapping” of the metropolitan region. The data collection is about more than pinpointing poverty. Local leaders in slums can use the information to engage with authorities about the services and improvements their communities need. This means new opportunities for upgrading services in poor areas, says.

The painstaking effort required teams of staffers to enter informal settlements to record everything from boundaries and roads to garbage dumps and schools. Over the next few months, the teams plan to map the remaining parts of Accra to record where slums are located. Delegates representing Uganda, Sierra Leone and South Africa are participating in the project. 

Urban Africa

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