The potential impact of the Kumasi inland port on local level development (case study of Ejisu-Juaben District)

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The need to decongest the seaports by transferring certain port activities to inland locations, particularly to inland dry ports has gained prominence in the transportation planning and management of many countries of the world. For countries with sea frontier, inland dry ports have played very important roles in facilitating easy clearance of cargo, ensuring door-to-door and multimodal transportation. The establishment of dry port facilities has also provided employment avenues to people, increase infrastructure development and improved both personal incomes and business revenues. The benefits have been so enormous that some seaports have established their own distriparks or districentres. For landlocked countries, inland dry port facilities are important primarily in facilitating cargo deconsolidation for distribution to consignees as well as consolidation for shipment. In Ghana, the two seaports of Tema and Takoradi have been congested as a result of increase in cargo throughput unmatched by proper handling and clearance arrangements. Containerised cargoes are still unstuffed at the ports and empty containers continue to be stored within the internal port area. Several studies conducted to find solutions to this problem have emphasised the establishment of inland dry port to serve the needs of consignees in the northern half of Ghana and landlocked countries of Burkina Fasso, Niger and Mali. In 1995, following an earlier study, the Ghana Shippers’ Council revisited the idea of the inland dry port and commissioned a Kumasi-based Consultancy firm to investigate its viability and to identifj a pilot phase of the project. The study submitted by the consultants further confirmed the need for the project and proposed Fumesua in the Ejisu-Juaben District as an ideal location. The Port is also to have an adjoining Free Export Processing Zone (FEPZ) where businesses will be located. Thus far, the potential impact of the proposed Port on local level development has not been studied and only very little is known about these impacts. The Ejisu-Juaben District and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly in their Medium Term Development Plans did not investigate into the nature and scope of the potential impacts of the Port on their development. The consequence could be that the plans will be thrown out of gear following the implementation of the project. There is therefore the need to study into detail such potential impacts. The objective of the study is to assess the potential impact of the Kumasi Inland Dry Port on local level development in terms of employment creation, infrastructure development, revenue generation, pollution, traffic congestion, land values and technology transfer. It is also to create awareness for the districts to enable them draw up contingency plans. The study is based on extensive literature review on the experiences of Pragati Maidan Inland Container Depot (lCD) of India, Phikwe Dry Port of Botswana and the Free Zone of Jebel Mi Port of Dubai. Empirical data were also collected from the District Assembly, Unit Committees, Opinion leaders and the community as well as the Ghana Shippers’ Council, Land Valuation Board and Town and Country Planning. The data were analysed and intelligent inferences were made. The study’s major findings are summarised as follows: i. The Kumasi Inland Port will create employment avenues for the indigenous people as well as migrant workers. Such employment will be created by the Port itself as well as small and medium scale industries that will be located in the FEPZ; ii. It will promote infrastructure development (road, rail and air), provision of utilities like water and electricity, telecommunications, etc. iii. Revenues to the Ejisu-Juaben District, personal income to the Port and ancillary workers and business revenues will be improved; iv. It will promote technology transfer in terms of skills, innovation and information flow. v. There will be environmental pollution through noise pollution from construction equipment and operating machines, ground water pollution from spillage and air pollution from dust; vi. There will be an increase in vehicular traffic aid hence increased accident rates; vii. Land values will increase and this will increase production cost for businesses located in the FEPZ; viii. Crime rates and other social vices may increase; ix. Repatriation of incomes by migrant Port workers may stifle development. The study recommends that the Current impasse between Aperade and the Ghana Shippers’ Council should be resolved. The negotiations should take cognisance of two issues: the communities should consider the positive impact of the project and the national gain whilst the facilitators should consider the plight of the communities and arrive at an amicable solution It also recommends that adequate compensation should be paid to those whose legally acquired properties will be affected by the project. The study concludes that in spite of some negative impacts of the project, the gains in the national interest are quite high and thus with prudent planning, solutions could be found. Therefore, all efforts should be made to get the project implemented.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 1999