Climate Change Adaptation

1. Climate Change Adaptation through Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the three Northern Regions of Ghana

A two-year DANIDA supported project, Climate Change Adaptation through IWRM, was piloted in the White Volta basin from 2009-2011.

It addressed floods and drought disasters on the biophysical environment, and to collate indigenous knowledge on adaptation. The project focused on promoting adaptive and coping strategies for water resources use and management to reduce livelihood vulnerability in the three northern regions. 


Overall, the three expected outputs to achieve the project objectives were realised through activities that have contributed to building and strengthening the resilience of socioeconomically weakened communities with benefits trickling down to households especially those that are poor, having very limited resources.

The first output contributing to fulfilling the objective involved as its main target the development of a strategy to address the potential increase in water requirement for irrigation to meet food security requirements and promote and test specific water conservation measures.

Water storage facilities of different types depending on uses such as flood storm reduction, livestock watering, dry season gardening, groundwater recharge and domestic uses, were provided in twenty communities across the three northern regions. A irrigation and Water Conservation Strategy document has been developed and up to 9 dug-outs / small dams, 3 roof tops, 4 sandbag harvesting, and 1 rock top / rock dam, 8 tube wells, and 3 underground storage reservoirs are physical evidences in over 20 communities in 11 districts.

The project also provided two public toilet facilities in the vicinities of selected water facilities to maintain sanitary conditions in case such water are turned into consumption by humans at any point in time.

Output two examined measures to adequately address the impact of extensive floods under climate variability and change scenarios facilitated through strengthened flood control and information services. Tree crop nurseries have been succesfully established in promoting catchments protection in 10 communities and in the process, minimising siltation of river bodies whilst slowing the effects of flooding on the local population.

Disaster contingency plans were generated for three communities and a fourth one for the White Volta basin. Regarding the involvement of local communities and their capacity built to access relevant information on climate change and water resoruces and control ove rliveilihood resruces a number of activities were successfully implemented. Several capacity building activities were organised for local communities and civil society, for government and non-government institutions through to assembly members and traditional rulers in over 15 districts of the three northern regions, with 700 beneficiaries.

These figures are expected to have multiplier effects as they also became trainers in their communities and workplaces. At least 3 radio programmes to increase awareness on the threats posed by climate change especially flooding and how to adapt without loss of life, whilst sustaining livelihoods. Posters, roadside billboards, brochures and flyers have also been produced to support community outreach activities on raising awareness.

The objective of the project was enhanced furter by the establishment of an innovative Adaptation Learning Resource Centre in the White Volta basin office, which is expected to sustain project activities, as a major reference point.  
Seventeen reports and relevant documents including the final technical report were produced under the project

2. Climate Change Adaptation: Water Security And Flood Risk Reduction In Northern Ghana

The northern region of Ghana is characterised by fragile ecosystems that are critical for the livelihood of the local communities. The area is susceptible and vulnerable to change that affect water and other natural resources in the ecosystems. The Water Resources Commission with support from Danida has completed a 2-year Climate Change Adaptation project in the three Northern Regions of Ghana through Integrated Water Resources Management.

Despite these initial interventions, the water insecurity situation prevails and impacts especially on the most vulnerable population such as the poor, women and those living in rural environments. Also, the lack of specific contingency planning including information dissemination and reliable early warning systems, and availability of resilient infrastructure has hampered adaptation and community resilience.

This provides a strong justification for enhancing longer-term water security and climate risk management. To the communities it is important to realize the full potential of adaptation interventions in the face of climate change and variability by strengthening their capacity. 

This project proposal has been built on one of the major outcomes of the previous climate change intervention in the northern regions namely that, adaptation will fail without sustained water security including flood management and resilient water infrastructure.

The project aims to ensure sufficient and sustained quality and quantity of water for household and productive uses and ecosystems through climate tested non-traditional and local water harvesting and conservation techniques; to manage and minimize water-related risks, especially floods by enhancing community resilience; and to enhance the capacity and knowledge of local water managers and actors to support water security and increase the resilience of water management to climate variability and change.

The overall goal of the project is to increase water security for both domestic and productive uses whilst building community resilience towards drought and flood in the northern regions of Ghana. 

3. NORDIC Environmental Finance Cooperation supported Climate-Proofed Water Conservation Strategies In Northern Ghana.

A new 2-year project aimed at promoting transfer of knowledge and skill on the sustainable management of water resources through cost-effective climate-proofed water storage and conservation strategies (2011 – 2012).

This project was put together in a joint cooperation of DHI, Denmark and Water Resources Commission (WRC), Ghana, supported by two other Ghanaian partners, Centre for Human and Environmental Security (CHES) and Geohydronomics Limited under the Nordic Climate Facility to implement most of the recommendations of a WRC-DANIDA Piloted Project. Thus the NEFCO/NDF supported project will support practical interventions whist scaling up and replicating appropriate interventions.

The operational phase will be 2 years with expected expansion phase for replication. Based on the various pilot schemes, WRC has been developing (i) Irrigation, Water Storage and Conservation Strategy document, (ii) Inventory of water-related disasters, coping mechanisms and adaptation technologies for contingency planning, (iii) Community Entry Strategies and Guidelines for effective intervention, and (iv) Capacity building modules in climate change and IWRM, and (v) Education and public awareness materials. These bottom-up tools are expected to guide future activities towards increasing resilience and strengthening adaptation.

This entry was posted on February 5, 2013