Residents’ Awareness and Attitude Towards Urban Wetlands in Accra, Ghana: Implications for Sustainable Urban Development

Keywords: Attitude, Awareness, Ramsar Site, Sustainable Urban Development, Wetland


The paper assesses the awareness and attitudes of residents on the value of urban wetlands and existing policies and regulations on wetland protection. Using the Densu Delta and Sakumo Ramsar sites in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area of Ghana as a study area, data was collected through field observation, a survey of household heads, and key informant interviews with wetland managers. The findings revealed that although none of the surveyed residents knew about wetland benefits such as water purification and ground water recharge and discharge, most of them were aware of other benefits such as serving as sources of livelihood, water for domestic and agricultural use, habitats for wildlife, and flood control. They also demonstrated positive attitudes towards wetland protection. However, their awareness and positive attitudes did not necessarily translate into environmentally-responsible behaviour that would promote sustainable development. This was evident in the rampancy of undesirable human activities that had degraded the wetlands, which was partly attributed to ineffective governance and poor enforcement of wetland protection measures. Therefore, there is the need to strengthen the governance dimension of sustainability through the enforcement of existing wetland protection measures, fostering closer engagements with local communities and sensitising residents on the collective benefits of personal-level pro-environmental behaviour. There is also the need to sensitise the political class and resource the administrative set-ups of municipal authorities and other relevant state agencies towards pro- environmental policymaking and implementation.

Author Biographies

Dr. Charles Yaw Oduro, Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Dr. Charles Y. Oduro is a Planner with 26 years’ working experience. He has been teaching at the Department of Planning, College of Art and Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, since September 2011. Before joining KNUST, he worked as a Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Urban & Regional Planning, Florida State University, USA and as a Consultant at Nkum Associates, an Accra-based consulting firm. Charles holds: a Ph.D. in Urban & Regional Planning from The Florida State University, USA; a M.Sc. in Development Planning and Management from the Technical University of Dortmund (TU-Dortmund), Germany/ KNUST; and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Planning, also from KNUST. He is a member of the Ghana Institute of Planners (GIP) and SPRING International Association of Development Planners (SIADP). His teaching and research interests include: urbanisation and urban growth management; environmental sustainability; spatial analysis; project management; and project/programme evaluation.

Mr. Francisca Atta-Boateng, Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology

Francisca Atta-Boateng is an Urban and Regional Planner. She currently works with the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (Ashanti Region, Ghana) and has experience in Standards and Compliance issues. As a multidisciplinary development expert and consultant, Francisca is passionate about urban development and has research interest in Natural Resource Management; Settlement Growth and Land Use Management; Urban Governance and Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation. My work experience cuts across engagements with USAID, School of Public Health (KNUST) and the Department of Planning (KNUST). She holds a Ph.D., MPhil. and BSc. in Planning from KNUST.

Prof. Justice Kuffour Owusu-Ansah, Department of Planning at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology

Justice Kufour Owusu-Ansah is an Associate Professor at the Department of Planning at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. Before joining the Department in May 2009, he worked at the University of Melbourne, Parkville in Australia as a Senior Tutor and course coordinator for Transportation Planning. He joined the Department of Planning at KNUST in May 2009 and coordinated the postgraduate programs between 2012 and 2016. His research has centered on marginal communities, peri urbanization and housing, land use planning, wetlands, flooding and infrastructure development. He has consulted widely with private and public organizations. He is a member of Ghana Institute of Planners.

Prof. Clifford Amoako, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Clifford Amoako (PhD) is an Associate Professor and current Head of the Department of Planning, KNUST – Kumasi, Ghana. He is an urban and regional planner and academic, with over 20 years’ professional experience. He is an interdisciplinary scholar who deploys multiple theoretical and methodological lenses to interrogate issues related to urban and regional development in the global south. His current research interests are in urban governance, vulnerability and responses to natural hazards; transportation planning and artisanal small-scale mining in developing countries. The results of many of his research projects and consultancy services have been disseminated through academic papers, policy briefs and conference presentations. He has over 80 research articles, working papers, policy briefs and consultancy reports to his credit. He is a Fellow of the Ghana Institute of Planners (FGIP) and its immediate past Vice President.

How to Cite
Oduro, C. Y., Atta-Boateng , F., Owusu-Ansah, J. K., & Amoako, C. (2024). Residents’ Awareness and Attitude Towards Urban Wetlands in Accra, Ghana: Implications for Sustainable Urban Development. Journal of Science and Technology, 42(2), 93 - 123.