I am saying the last time we made a Statement about the environment, I followed it and I realized that for this year alone, it was about the fourth time we were making a Statement about the environment. We are making another Statement about the environment and it is the fifth time.
No concrete action has been taken about the environment as far as we are aware. No policy Statement has been issue to respond to the cry of Parliament as a result of the many flood situations occurring in Accra. No concrete policy Statement has been made as a result of people siting buildings at places that they should not be sited.
Mr. Speaker, I am saying this from experience. I made a request to the Land Planning Division, asking that I wanted to put up a structure at a particular location. It would interest you to note that I was advised to go and tip somebody so that he could call a board meeting. Perhaps, I would have to finance people who would have to travel to meet and approve a request for you to put up a structure. Yet not many people have the energy to do this. I am saying that this Statement must be a Statement that could wake up the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment to an action that would have to respond to the needs of Ghanaians in this direction.
Over and over, it is very painful that we make Statements in Parliament, like my hon. Friend, the Member for Adenta seeks to bring up, which are supposed to be taken seriously. Statements that can feed into the overall policy direction of Government, but they remain in the air and nobody take them up.
Mr. Speaker, I am just saying that it would not be worthwhile making suggestions without the suggestions being
taken seriously. In this particular instance of the environment, it is a shame. It is so embarrassing that Ghana is so respected in Africa and that we are going to host the African Union (AU) Summit in Ghana yet we still have these teething problems with our visitors coming in to see what is happening.
Supposing on the day or the two days following, there is a 24-hour rain in Accra prior to the conference. Mr. Speaker, it is going to be an eyesore; it is not going to send any good signals to the rest of the world, that fifty years after Ghana gained independence, the first in sub-Saharan Africa, we are still grappling with this problem of unavoidable floods.
There are things that we would
definitely need money to do, but issues like ensuring that you approve a project to be sited at a particular point, issues like people disciplining themselves and ensuring that they do the right thing, you do not need money to do them. Rather, you need a changed attitude, you need an orientation of our thought process to ensure that we do the right thing.
Mr. Speaker, I would say that we would have to wait and expect that the hon. Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, having regard to the fact that this is the fifth Statement alone comes to this floor and makes a Statement about how he is going to tackle the situation in Accra and elsewhere.
Otherwise, Mr. Speaker, we just speak and speak to the air; we speak and we speak without effect; we speak and we are not going to have any concrete results. That is not good about the Parliament of Ghana which is supposed to have teeth to bite and ensure that what we do has effect.
Mr. B. D. K. Adu (NPP -- Okere) Mr. Speaker, thank you so much for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement. Mr. Speaker, twenty years after independence, this country did so well on urban renewal. Look at the Airport residential area, look at Labone, look at the other places, even Dansoman. When you go there, you will see the street well laid but what happened?
After twenty years, things fell apart as in Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart. Things fell apart in the country. Those who are supposed to watch over urban renewal or making things happen lapsed, they went to sleep. Town planners did not do their work; they would sit at their tables in the offices the approve plans; they would not go for inspections to know or to see where houses are being built.
Mr. Speaker, urban renewal is so expensive. When we talk of urban renewal we are not talking of individuals getting involved; we are talking of governments, banks and estate developers getting involved. An hon. Member who spoke earlier mentioned the fact that there are houses like Bukom and others where people would not like to move.
It is true that they would not like to move because they would not give them what would satisfy them to move, if the money is good and if good arrangement is made, they would move and the place would be built beautifully. So it should be a concerted effort of Government -- Government should sit down to organise and get the banks involved, get estate developers involved and we would see changes.
Mr. Speaker, we talk of la Cote d'Ivoire and other places, like Britain. When you go to Britain and visit a community or street, in five years' time, when you visit