The Local Government Act 1993, Act (462), Act 462 (LGA) which establishes the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) also designate them as Planning and Rating authorities. As Planning Authorities, they have the responsibility for Spatial Planning to primarily address the issue of orderly human settlement development. Also, LI 1589 (Urban, Zonal and Town Councils and Unit Committee) Local Government Instrument, 1994 has the fourth function of the Second Schedule stipulating that sub-districts are to recommend to the District Assembly the naming of all roads in its area of authority and cause all buildings in the streets to be numbered. In addition, the third schedule of LI 1961 Local Government Instrument, 2009 mandates the Physical Planning Department to undertake street naming, numbering of houses and related issues.
In line with the planning mandate of MMDAs therefore, streets are to be named and properties including open spaces and undeveloped parcels of land numbered to serve as basis for assigning addresses to facilitate easy identification of places, delivery of services and better management of urban settlements and communities.
In the recent past, the Assembly has lagged behind the preparation of Local Plans and even where they are prepared, enforcement has been an area of grave concern. Specifically, the pace of development of properties has overtaken the rate at which the Assembly is able to put in place of approved Local Plan to be used as basis of enforcement. With this, there is the need to capture the current situation, that is, existing developments to guide in the development of local plan and in the aspect of property addressing. This therefore calls for Ground truthing which is the first activity of the Street Naming and Property Addressing Project to ascertain the current situation on the ground.
Ground truth is a term used in a range of remote sensing techniques. It generally refers to the data collected ‘on site’, on surface of the Earth regarding characteristics of the Earth surface features. The process of ground truth data collection involved collection of information about Akatsi from field survey, analysis of aerial photographs or high spatial resolution data and personal experience. Ground truth is usually done on field/site, performing surface observations and measurements of various properties of the ground features that are being studied on the remote sensing images. It also involves taking geographic coordinates of the sampling locations and comparing them with the coordinates of the image features to understand and analyze the location errors and its effect and analysis outputs.
One (1) day training was conducted for the fifteen (15) field officers by the Physical Planning Department which focused on the work to done when on various demarcated areas. Additionally, a trial was done on the field to demonstrate how the work will be done. The field workers were deployed to their various areas and the work lasted for thirteen days. The work covered most parts of Akatsi, leaving about 700acres to be covered by the next groundtruthing activity in Akatsi. So far 4058 parcels have been identified from the survey. Samples of images on the activity are below.
The team has digitized 4058 parcels using the QGIS software and is currently giving addresses to these properties using the approved street names. The digitized parcels (database) will be uploaded unto the Dlrev software for the next phase of the Street Naming and Property Addressing Project. The Assembly should make provisions for the Data Collection stage will be enhance smooth implementation of the project.