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Urbanization and livelihood sustainability: an evidence from the peri-urban zones of wa municipality in the upper west region of ghana

Author: 
Mintah Clement, Blessing Dwumah Manu, Mohammed Sulamana, Bright Archer and Ernest Amoako Atta
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

There is a broad and ongoing confab in our academic institutions about the effects of urbanization on livelihood of people living in the peri-urban fringes. Rapid urbanization, population burden and the government decisions, shelter, infrastructural, industrial and commercial needs of a fast-growing city have stretched the land delivery system in Wa Municipality to flouting point. Agricultural lands, which serves as the main source of livelihood, has been encroached by the process of urbanization in peri-urban zones. This study seeks to assess how rapid urbanization is impacting on farmers’ livelihood in developing cities, drawing empirical evidence from Wa, Ghana. The focus was mainly to describe the conditions and current Situation on urbanization and livelihood sustainability in the peri-urban zones in the Wa Municipality. Findings about causes, effects, alternatives livelihoods and remedial measures on rapid urbanization in the peri-urban zones in the Wa Municipality has been presented in the form of narratives. A descrptive research design was adopted and data of 145 respondents or stakeholders were collected through a questionnaire survey and interview for analysis. The results of the survey revealed that 93 respondents constituting about 64.14% of the sample population were males while 52 representing 35.86% were females. Contrary to the mainstream view that, the polygamous nature of Upper west region is the main source of increment in the population and thus urbanization in the peri-urban zones, stakeholders’ perception was different as responses indicated that, the rapid urbanization of WA is as a result of increased commercial activities, presence of tertiary institutions and its strategic location. The rapid urbanization of WA has sparked up a succession syndrome where prime agricultural lands have been converted to other land uses believed to be the highest and best use. The pressures of urbanization have negative implications on predominantly poor farming communities in the WA region. Policy focus should be geared towards the protection of prime agricultural lands that serves as main sources of livelihood. Urbanization is necessary but not to the extent of denying peri-urban zones of their main source of livelihood.

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