The role of infrastructure in spatial growth of Ol Kalou and the Institutional constraints on their provision
Most patterns of urban areas evolve as a result of combined influence of infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water, and others. Thus, besides acting as lubricants in the development process, infrastructure determine the urban form and can be used to guide urban development. While it is easy to appreciate this important role of infrastructure in planning urban development, it is important to recognise the inadequacy of these facilities and services in most urban areas. This study investigated these two issues by evaluating the role of infrastructure in the spatial growth of Ol Kalou town. It also investigated the causes of inadequate provision of infrastructure in the town despite their importance. The study focused on the relationship between the physical conditions and the pattern of provision of infrastructure; the influence of the latter 9P the spatial pattern of the town; and some of the institutional constraints to the adequate provision of infrastructure in the town. The study revealed that the site conditions in the study area are, to a larger extent, conducive to provision and installation of infrastructure such as water, electricity, roads, and water-borne sewerage system. The pattern of provision is therefore not significantly influenced by the slight variations in the site conditions. The pattern of provision of infrastructure, mainly roads, water, and electricity has determined the spatial pattern of the town. However , the study established that the town suffers from inadequacy of these facilities and services, thereby down playing their effectiveness in enhancing standards of life and environmental conditions. The inadequacy of infrastructure was attributed to the institutional constraints, mainly poor financial capacity due to inadequate mobilization of local resources and resource mismanagement in the local authority. Other causes were identified as lack of coordination and integration of infrastructure projects during implementation. Quality of infrastructure is also worsened by lack of maintenance which the study attributed to negligence on part of the local authority, leading to commitment of inadequate resources for this purpose. Among the recommendations of this study is the general policy which discourages urban development on areas of difficult site conditions, to enhance environmental care and minimise unnecessary costs of installation of infrastructure. Approaches to provide reliable and sustainable water and sanitation services were also recommended. Measures to restructure the institutional framework such as minimising the excessive control of the local authority by the Central Government were recommended to facilitate effective contribution to development. This study concluded that provision of infrastructure can be used as a tool to steer urban development to the physically and environmentally conducive areas in the study area and other towns in the country.