Material and Methods

Study Area

Wa is the capital of the Wa Municipality, which shares administrative boundaries with Nadowli District to the north, Wa East District to the east, and to the west and the south Wa-West District. It lies within latitudes 1°40'N to 2°45'N and longitudes 9°32’W to 10°20'W. Wa Municipality has Wa as its capital, which also serves as the regional capital of the Upper West Region. It has a land area of approximately 579.86 square kilometers, which is about 6.4% of the Region (Ghana Statistical Service, 2014). The Wa Municipality has a total population of 107,214 and forms 15.3% of the population of the Upper West Region. The most dominant type of dwelling unit in the Municipality and Wa, the capital town, is compound houses (Ghana Statistical Service, 2014). The increase in population in Wa has put pressure on existing dwellings; hence the expansion of the city due to the proliferation of construction. Paradoxically, the expansion does not only take the form of sprawl, but also expansion within the city centers. While in most cases settlers and migrants build outside the city center, the indigenes are developing the limited spaces in the city centers with new residential buildings. This situation has resulted in the development of slums within the Wa Township. The study area is shown in Figure 13.2.

The study collected data from three major inner-city residential communities: Wa Central residential area, Zongo-Kabanye residential area, and Dondoli-Limanyiri residential area. These neighborhoods were selected because they lie within the Central Business District and in close proximity to Wa Central market. Also, they are characterized by neighborhoods of original settlements and some settler communities. For example, Puohuyiri, Daanaayiri, Sokpayiri, and Suuriyiri are native settlements of Wa, while Zongo, Limanyiri, Tagrayiri, Nayiri, and Wapaani are old settler communities that provided various essential services to the city and its native settlers. These areas also serve as major enclaves for Islamic education and clerical activities. This explains why the central mosques of the Ahmadiyyah and orthodox Muslim groups are both located in this area. These three selected study areas are depicted in Figure 13.3. The shaded parcels represent the randomly selected parcels for this study in the different residential areas in the inner city.

Map of Wa Municipality showing study communities. Source

FIGURE 13.2 Map of Wa Municipality showing study communities. Source: Authors’ construct, 2018.

Three selected study residential areas showing selected residential parcels. Source

FIGURE 13.3 Three selected study residential areas showing selected residential parcels. Source: Authors’ construct, 2018.

Data Collection and Analysis

Data was collected using questionnaires and interview guides to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. The study employs an exploratory sequential mixed method design using cross-sectional research data collected between August and September 2018. The choice of this design enables the study to ask precise and probing questions like “what,” “how,” and “why” of respondents including tenants, house owners, and regional officials of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Department (LUSPD) working as the planning unit of the Wa Municipal Assembly. Qualitatively, data was collected from residents’ experiences and knowledge on slum development and urban sprawl. Data was collected on the processes and causes of urban sprawl/slum development from 135 randomly selected households and a key informant from the Department of Town and Country Planning Department at the municipal level.

To enable the analyses of the nature of inner city of Wa, satellite images were analyzed and overlaid on neighborhood land use maps, to observe the areas of intensifications and deviations with the proposed land use plans of those areas. This approach was necessary because satellite imagery has the advantage of providing the physical coverage of urban land and development; however, choosing the appropriate method to collect up-to-date and reliable information is challenging (Sori, 2012). The overlay presented a more vivid way of visualizing both vertical and horizontal developments in the inner cities from previous years, and to examine those with and without building permits for these new developments. Based on these examinations on the maps, it became possible to further synthesize the reasons why developers violate urban planning regulations.

Results and Discussion

Background of Respondents

From Table 13.1, a total of 20.7% of the total respondents had no form of formal education. While about 24.4% and 14.1%% of respondents have had secondary education and junior high school completion respectively, a high number (34.8%) had either completed or were pursuing tertiary education. As has been a common practice in most slums area, many people start to take care of themselves immediately after they leave senior and junior high schools. The literature generally shows that inner city slums are hubs of people with low education, cheaper housing, and characterized by an informal economy (UN-Habitat, 2003). However, in the case of the three sites, there is a reasonable number of educated dwellers and students in tertiary schools, as well as civil servants (See Table 13.1). This is a bit different from the general characteristics of slums in the Global South within the literature (see UN-OHRLLS, 2016). The reasons for this can be diverse (See Sections 13.4.3-13.4.5) and can be sources of different levels of power which have implications on spatial justice, by (reproduction of justice and injustice.

 
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