Ghana Launches Flood Disaster Risk Maps

New, extensive flood and drought disaster risk maps have been developed for Ghana. It is hoped the maps will aid better decision making before and during disasters, and allow Ghana’s National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to be more pro-active in response to floods and droughts.

Mr. Willem Kroonen, a Consultant at the Royal Haskoning DHV, who led the development of the maps, said the disaster risks maps will help provide better information to improve decisions for the country. He added that the maps will help NADMO position itself as pro-active instead of being reactive in disaster management.

The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the national and district level flood and drought disaster risk maps in a brief ceremony on Monday, October 15, 2015 in Accra.

Importantly, it is hoped that the maps will also develop evidence based environmental planning in the country. Poor planning, blocked drainage systems and illegal building are regularly cited as factors in aggravating flood disasters, particularly in the capital Accra.

CREW Project

The maps were produced as part of the Community Resilience through Early Warning (CREW) project, implemented by NADMO in collaboration with UNDP and funded by the Government of Norway.

The CREW project has undertaken extensive risk assessment of 10 flood and drought hotspots in Ghana as well as their early warning gaps, and on the basis of this, designed appropriate early warning systems to respond to the risks.

Mr. Dominic Sam, UNDP Country Director in a speech read on his behalf, said:

“The disaster risk maps shall provide us with increased knowledge and better understanding of disaster risk for better decision making and evidence based environmental planning in Ghana”

“The implementation of the key recommendations of the disaster risk assessment report will also increase the capacity of NADMO to be more pro-active in disaster response by focusing on the high risk areas.”

The CREW project is aligned to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which articulates the need for an improved understanding of disaster risk. The Framework requires that policies and practices for disaster risk management be based on an understanding of disaster risk in all its dimensions of vulnerability, capacity, exposure of persons and assets, hazard characteristics and the environment.

Launching the groundbreaking initiative, the NADMO National Coordinator, Brigadier General Francis Vib Sanziri said the maps will be distributed to all the 10 Regional Coordinating Councils and pilot districts for integration into development planning. He said, this will help build community flood and drought disaster and climate change resilience and help in the detection, forecasting, warning and response to floods and disasters.

Canal near Korle Lagoon, Accra, Ghana. Photo Credit: danielgr under Creative Commons
Canal near Korle Lagoon, Accra, Ghana. Photo Credit: danielgr under Creative Commons