Government is gearing up to tackle the nation’s housing and flooding challenges head-on with the inaugural Built Environment National Conference on Housing and Hydrology (BENCHH) 2024. Hosted by the Ministry of Works and Housing (MWH), the conference, scheduled for May 27 to 29, 2024, is poised to be a pivotal event in Ghana’s quest for sustainable development.

Under the theme “Enhancing Collaboration to Tackle Ghana’s Housing and Hydrology Challenges,” BENCHH 2024 aims to provide a comprehensive platform for engagement with stakeholders within the built environment. It will also serve as a showcase for the strides made by the MWH in recent years, outlining a roadmap towards achieving robust and sustainable development in public works and housing infrastructure in the medium term.

In a brief launch event on Thursday, April 25, 2024, Chairman of the BENCHH Planning Committee, Dr. Prince Hamid Armah, emphasized the significance of the conference in addressing pressing sectoral challenges. “This conference holds immense significance as we meet to deliberate on the pressing challenges in the sector and further enhance our collaborative efforts towards tackling Ghana’s housing and hydrology challenges,” remarked Dr. Armah.

Highlighting the multifaceted responsibilities of the Ministry, Dr. Armah underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in driving socio-economic progress and enhancing citizens’ quality of life. “From addressing the housing deficit to enhancing our flood resilient infrastructure and regulations, the Ministry’s efforts are linked to various sectors, driving socio-economic progress, and enhancing the overall quality of life for citizens,” he noted.

On his part, the Chief Director of the Ministry, Rev. Stephen Yaw Osei, expressed concerns about the increasing menace of flooding in major cities like Accra, Kumasi, and Takoradi. He emphasized the need for collective action to address these challenges and called for public participation in finding lasting solutions. “The conference is to solicit views from the general public and see how best we can solve the problems once and for all as a Ministry,” stated Rev. Osei.

According to statistics from the 2021 Population and Housing Census, Ghana’s housing deficit stands at 1.8 million, while nearly 12 percent of government-provided houses remain unoccupied—a situation Rev. Osei decried. He emphasized the conference’s focus on providing affordable housing solutions to ensure every Ghanaian has a dignified place to call home.

BENCHH 2024 represents an opportunity for stakeholders within Ghana’s Works and Housing sectors to collaborate on innovative solutions and chart a course towards a more sustainable and resilient future. Through collaborative efforts and innovative solutions, the conference aims to surmount the challenges presented and pave the way for enduring progress and prosperity in the nation.

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