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Integrated Flood Management dissemination workshop held

By
Iddi Yire/Twum Badu-Nti, GNA

Accra, July 14, GNA –
The University of Ghana and the University for Development Studies (UDS) have
held a one-day dissemination workshop on Gender-Based Climate Smart Integrated
Flood Management in Accra. 

The Gender-Based
Climate Smart Integrated Flood Management Project seeks to use information and
communication technology (ICT) through citizenry voice in engaging duty bearers
to promote holistic approach to flood management in communities along the Odaw
Stream, which is a flood hotpot in the city of Accra.

The project further
identifies with Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions of the Paris
Climate Agreement on Adaptation aspects of “Resilient and Sustainable
Infrastructure” and similar protocols such as the African Union Agenda
2063 in aspects of climate change and resilient communities, and the Sendai
Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The project goals
include developing flood early warning system (FEWS) using ICT and remote
application through social media platforms, text messaging and sirens, within
the catchment of the Odaw Stream in Accra.

It would also assist
city planners and managers to integrate climate data, ICT and spatial planning
to deliver on flood management.

The action centre of
the project is the central business district of Accra focusing on the Odaw, and
benefits accruing to formal and informal sectors, least capacitated and highly
vulnerable in society such as women, the poor, children and migrants.

The lead communities
are Odawna, Avenor, Alajo and Alogboshie.

The Project Principal
Investigators are Dr Delali Dovie, Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow,
Regional Institute of Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana and Dr
Raymond Kasei, Senior Lecturer, Department of Climate Change and Food Security,
UDS.

The workshop was
therefore, organised to update stakeholders on how far the project had come and
to seek their inputs into the dissemination and the way forward.

It was attended by
over 60 participants drawn from the National Disaster Management Organisation
(NADMO), Okai Koi South and North, Ayawaso and Osu Klottey Sub-Metropolitans.

Professor S. N. A.
Codjoe, the Director of RIPS, University of Ghana, said their research showed
that most of the flooding that occurred in Accra emanated from the Akuapem
hills in the Eastern Region.

He said the project
had erected three weather stations along the course of Accra flood waters from
the origin to the destination.

He said in partnership
with Vodafone, text messages on floods would be sent to people to caution them
on pending floods.

He said the project
would help reduce the time between flood warning and response from enhanced
preparedness, and also minimise impacts on the vulnerable such as women and
children.

Dr Dovie said it was
evident that population growth challenges were compromising spatial planning in
urban and peri-urban communities and cities and Accra was no exception.

He said the haphazard
development of human settlement such as building on waterways and green spaces
from increased resident demand for housing had contributed to increased
exposure to flood risks.

He said science had
high confidence in increased frequency and intensity of floods in coastal
cities and disruption of infrastructure as a result of climate change.

He noted that seasonal
forecast for West Africa had already shown that Ghana would experience heavy
floods in2017 with climate change as the major driver.

Dr Dovie explained
that recent floods in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) and associated
deaths, injuries, damage to infrastructure, the environment, the disruption of
life and the functioning of the community presented institutions and society
with new forms of challenges of building and managing cities.

He said there was the
need for new and enhanced approaches to city planning and management towards
building resilience of cities.

“We are grateful
to our partner communities: Odawna, Avenor, Alajo and Alogboshie, state
agencies and some private sector interest groups for their support, Dr Dovie
said.

“We are seeking
to remove barriers to science – policy outcomes, in supporting the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) especially Goals 11 and 13 on ‘Sustainable Cities and
Communities’ and ‘Climate Action’, respectively, ” he added.

Dr Kassi said the
project seeks to make our communities safe again.

He said the project
would help minimise losses to gross domestic products (GDP) from rainy days
absenteeism at work and physical assets.

Mr Desmond Appiah, the
Chief Resilience and Sustainability Officer, Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA)
who steered the function, said it would require concerted efforts of all and
sundry to address the perennial flood in Accra.

He said the AMA would
soon set-up a Data intelligence Unit to facilitate smooth decision making.

GNA

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