Mr Michael Berkowitz (2nd left) explaining a point to Mr Ransford Tetteh (right) at his office, while Mr Maxwell C. Young, Vice-President, Global Communication and Marketing, also listens. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
Source: Graphic Online
By: Seth J. Bokpe
The perennial flooding and sanitation challenges that hit Accra annually will be a prominent feature of a resilient strategy to be developed for the city by the 100 Resilient Cities Project.
“The strategy will look at where the hazards are — flooding, disease, earthquake and economic downturn. It will look at what the city does well and does not do well.”
“Does it have good infrastructure, a cohesive community and integrated leadership?” the President of the 100 Resilient Cities, Mr Michael Berkowitz, asked during a courtesy call on the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Ransford Tetteh.
Benefits of the project.
By joining the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) project, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, Accra is kicking off the process of developing a comprehensive resilient plan that will enable it to better survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks it experiences.
The 100RC is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st Century.
It supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks — earthquakes, fires, floods — but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day-to-day or cyclical basis.
According to Berkowitz, part of the reason Accra was chosen was because it was an influential city.
Apart from the vast network that offers the opportunity for the city to interact with partner cities, the city will have the opportunity to tap into $ 150 million worth of services.
African cities in the RC100
Accra joins African cities, including Kigali in Rwanda; Arusha in Tanzania; Durban in South Africa and Enugu in Nigeria, to benefit from the 100RC project which does not only help individual cities become more resilient, but are also expected to facilitate the building of a global practice of resilience among governments, NGOs, the private sector, and individual citizens.
Mr Berkowitz said the initial funding would be for two years, but in reality what makes the cities less resilient is a generational struggle because it is about enhancing the economy and improving the infrastructure which takes a long time.
“So we hope that Accra will remain in the network and continue to interface with our partners and our sister cities and they will be around for a decade or more,” he said.
Mr Tetteh observed that Accra faced many challenges, including an unreliable urban transportation, insanitary conditions and unregulated development, a situation that had created chaos in the city.
He said he was hopeful that the project would help address the challenges of the city.
Mr Tetteh also said the success of the project in Ghana would largely depend on the ability of city authorities to implement the strategy to the letter while at the same time enforcing its bye-laws.