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Development Planning and Management


This study explores land use planning in the Agona and Atuabo oil and gas enclave. The study assesses land use planning procedures, which are followed or considered in developing oil and gas find communities/regions, to understand the motivation for urban planning intervention/ requirement in the emerging oil and gas regions, to examine how land use planning procedures and responses before and after the oil find in the region has changed or remain the same to respond to the changing situation and lastly to draw lessons for improvement in planning practice and management.

The case study research method was employed in this study focusing on land use planning in the Agona and Atuabo oil and gas enclave. Three data collection techniques were employed: semi-structured interviews, field observations and secondary data analysis. Using purposive sampling method, seven institutions whose activities are related to land use planning process were purposely selected to provide an understanding into the study and 368 household heads. The data were analysed using AutoCAD software programme and by transcribing the interviews.

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The land use planning processes in the oil region enclave have undoubtedly responded to the emerging situation by optimising land following the discovery of oil and gas to provide for public infrastructure to meet the growing population density with the aim of protecting the environment which are the motivation for land use planning in Agona and Atuabo. Other findings from the study also indicate that physical and socio-economic importance of land use planning such as increase in land values, improved accessibility etc.

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The study recommends that, Ahanta West and Ellembelle District Assemblies should be encouraged to pursue district spatial development framework, structural plans and local plans as well as updating outdated land use planning schemes within statutory timeline. The study also recommended that land use planning should always precede physical development. The study recommended the development of a strategic land use management system to sustain the achievements of land use planning in Agona and Atuabo


My deepest gratitude goes to Allah for His abundance blessing, favour, guidance and direction during my studies.

I am very thankful to my supervisor Dr. Patrick Cobbinah. He encouraged and supported me through the writing of my thesis, and provided substantial help in in making this project successful with his support, direction and guidance .

I would also want to appreciate Mr. Benedict Arkhurst (LUSPA HEAD OFFICE) for his tremendous support, my sincrer gratitude also go to staff of Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), not forgeting the Staff of Ellembelle and Ahanta West District Assembly, particulary to the Physical Planning Directors of both districts.

To my friends who supported me in this research especially my course mates, and colleagues at work place, I say may Allah bless you all.

Words alone can not express my heartfelt appreciation to my family especially to my beloved wife AZIZA ABUBAKAR, Daughter and Mum for their prayers. I could not have achieved this without your love, support, and patience over these years. Thank you and Allah bless you.



Natural resources are extremely important in the world’s economy and trade. The Management of natural resources has been one of the herculean tasks for developing countries (e.g. Angola, Nigeria, Sudan, Republic of Congo) with such natural resources to contend with due to, among others, inadequate planning (Sachs and Warner, 2001).

Obeng-Odoom (2009) maintains that the importance of the oil and gas cannot be underestimated in accelerating the rate of urbanization both within and around the regions where oil resources are mined. Papyrakis and Gerlagh (2003) observe that oil-producing countries (e.g., Norway, etc.) have experienced an increase in income level and turned their oil resource to create prosperity and wealth for the next generation. Mabe (2013) establishes the rise in land values particularly in the capital of Ghana’s oil find region (Sekondi-Takoradi) as much as 62.5% in the year 2008 and 2009 because of oil-induced migration. Obeng-Odoom (2009), suggests that the increasing rise in land prices is related to the increasing need for development in infrastructure and social services to meet the demands of the oil find area, which is characterized by increase of living and housing costs etc. Crawford (2010) argues that the oil industry offers employment opportunities to people who move to into the region with the hope of finding a job.

Omajemite (2008) notes that oil industries in Niger Delta have introduced pollutions into environment. Despite the job opportunities created by the oil and gas industry in oil find regions, Palley (2003) observes one major challenge of the oil industry is the loss of economic livelihood of the people in the oil find region. The barring of fishing activities around oil and gas territories affect the livelihoods of these people. Palley (2003) also argues that the pollution of water sources, increase temperature, dusty-air, taken away arable lands and loss of local economic ventures which serve as sources of livelihoods for indigenes are problems which are commonly associated with oil and gas industries. Another challenge posed by the activities of oil and gas sector is the creation of new settlements, which are primarily dormitory settlements. These settlements exhibit characteristics like bad roads, inadequate supply of social services, and poor environmental condition, which are in direct contrast to planned settlements. Obeng-Odoom (2015) observes that oil discovery increases road traffic in Sekondi-Takoradi because of increase in both human and vehicular traffic, which increases travel time.

According to Obeng Odoom (2014), the challenges of land use planning in rich natural resource regions include, the increasing competition for space among human activities. Obeng-Odoom (2009) cites rapid urbanization, which progressively complicate and exacerbate inter-related problems of emerging oil find areas as another challenge posed by the oil and gas sector to land use planning. UN-Habitat (2009) opines that the lack of resources and technical capacities to manage or address the crises within emerging oil and gas regions is another challenge to land use planning. Adarkwa (2012) observe that ineffective development control mechanism to check development is one major challenge to land use planning.

Land-use planning, a general term used for a branch of planning which encompasses various disciplines which seek to order and regulate land use in an efficient and ethical way, thus preventing conflicts of various land uses. Lafferty and Frech (1978) observe that land use planning eliminates negative externalities among conflicting land uses. Randolph (2004) further emphasize that land use planning protects natural environments and consequently promoting the location-specific distribution of public facilities. Muro and Puentes (2004) explain that the provision of adequate amount of public goods and services are efficiently pursued under land use planning. Dawkins (2000) argues that land use planning reduces uncertainty and transaction costs involved in the land development processes. The trend of oil induced urbanization in emerging oil and gas regions present another urgent need for land use planning in oil find regions.

There is enough evidence from literature to suggest that there are undesirable consequences for the failure to seek for land use planning intervention in emerging oil and gas regions. Given the significance of land use planning, this study focuses on land use planning in the midst of riches. A case of Atuabo and Agona oil and gas region.

Problem Statement

According to the Western Region Spatial Development Framework (2012), Western and Western North regions cover about 10% of Ghana’s land area, but contributes over 50% of its wealth. The two regions are endowed in terms of climate and natural resources, and has attracted high levels of investment over the past centuries. However, these investments have not always been beneficial to the population and environment mainly due to inadequate planning (WRSDF, 2012). The dominant sectors of the regions’ economy are mining, agriculture and recently oil and gas as well.

Joe (2013) explains that in June 2007, Kosmos Energy of the United States, in partnership with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Sabre Oil and Gas Ltd., EO Group, Tullow Ghana Limited and Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) announced the discovery of large deposits of crude oil to the Government of Ghana. The field was later named as Jubilee Field and currently another field called Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme (TEN Project) and newest discovery known as Sankofa and Gye Nyame Project are all under the study environment. Jubilee field commenced commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2010 for crude oil and in the first quarter of 2015 for natural gas. Oil operations at TEN, Sankofa and Gye Nyame Fields are also ongoing at Western and Central Coastlines of Ghana.

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Development Planning and Management. (2019, Dec 10). Retrieved from

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