Increased Resilience to Climate Change in Northern Ghana Through the Management of Water Resources and Diversification of Livelihoods

Project Overview

The main objective of the "Increased Resilience to Climate Change in Northern Ghana Through the Management of Water Resources and Diversification of Livelihoods" programme is to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of rural livelihoods to climate impacts and risks on water resources in the northern region of Ghana. The objective will be achieved through key results centered on the improvement of water access and also increase institutional capacity and coordination for integrated water management to support other uses of water resources especially for the diversification of livelihoods by rural communities.

The programme targets the three regions in the northern part of Ghana: the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions. Compared to other regions of the country, these three northern regions have high degree of exposure to climate variability and change characterized by increasing temperatures and decreasing and erratic rainfall. These factors make the northern regions highly vulnerable to climate change and high priority regions for climate change adaptation.

Expected Outcomes

Outcome 1 -  Improved planning and management of water resources taking into account climate change impacts on surface and groundwater sources

Outcome 2 - Climate resilient management of water resources by communities in Northern Ghana

Outcome 3 - Enhanced diversification of livelihoods of communities in northern Ghana

Project Details

Levels of Intervention

District

Source of Funds

Adaptation Fund

Key Implementers

Local Governments
National Governments
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Funding Amounts

US$8.2 million (according to Adaptation Fund Website)

Project Partners

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Adaptation Fund

Project Dates

2015 to 2019

Introduction

The main objective of the "Increased Resilience to Climate Change in Northern Ghana Through the Management of Water Resources and Diversification of Livelihoods" programme is to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of rural livelihoods to climate impacts and risks on water resources in the northern region of Ghana. The objective will be achieved through key results centered on the improvement of water access and also increase institutional capacity and coordination for integrated water management to support other uses of water resources especially for the diversification of livelihoods by rural communities.

The programme targets the three regions in the northern part of Ghana: the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions. Compared to other regions of the country, these three northern regions have high degree of exposure to climate variability and change characterized by increasing temperatures and decreasing and erratic rainfall. These factors make the northern regions highly vulnerable to climate change and high priority regions for climate change adaptation.

Project Details

Water is recognized as a cross-cutting resource underlying the National Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy of the Republic of Ghana and the National Water Policy with direct linkages to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The lack of potable water caused by extreme climate events such as droughts and floods, increases the exposure of people, especially women and children, to water-borne and other hygiene-related diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera. Besides household wellbeing, water plays a central role in many industrial activities. For example, hydropower generation, transportation services, tourism and the agricultural, livestock and fisheries sectors all depend on water resources. Rainwater harvesting serves as the major source of surface water for many rural communities during the rainy season. There is high agreement between national and regional analyses that vulnerability, especially to droughts, has geographical patterns and socioeconomic associations.

The country experienced severe drought in 1983. Since the late 1990s, floods have been increasingly frequent in the northern regions. Floods affected more than 300,000 people in 1999, 630,000 in 2007/08 and 140,000 in 2010, causing deaths, damaging farmlands, and destroying livelihoods. This resulted in severe hunger, which affected the poor and reduced gross domestic product for that year.

The most severe flood occurred in 2007, during which 630,000 people were affected, through losses of life and displacement, and extensive infrastructural damage and loss of crops. This phenomenon demonstrates the potential impact of climate change on Ghana’s development.

Under a changing climate, poor farmers are finding it difficult to predict the timing of rainy seasons. Consequently, it is becoming difficult manage climate risks to crop production. Failure in crop production is one of the key factors undermining food security . The World Food Programme’s (WFP) Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (2009) found that 5% of the population or 1.2 million people are food insecure.

The bulk of the food insecure population is located in the northern regions: 34% in Upper West, 15% in Upper East, and 10% in Northern region. This is the equivalent of approximately 453,000 people. The three northern regions covered by this programme are the most vulnerable. Similarly, the adaptive capacity of these three regions is the lowest nationwide due to low socioeconomic development and the heavy dependence of local economies and livelihoods on rain-fed systems such as agriculture and forestry.

Decreasing annual rainfall and its increasingly erratic pattern, on the background of climate change, are adversely affecting rural livelihoods in northern Ghana and in particular agricultural and pastoral practices. Agriculture is a major driver of Ghana’s economy and employs close to 55 percent of the total labour force.

The proposed Programme will promote four types of adaptation intervention: 1. livelihood enhancement; 2. livelihood diversification; 3. ecosystem protection and enhancement; and 4. community-level water infrastructure planning. These approaches will build up financial, natural, physical and social capital of the communities. A conservative estimate gives a total of 60,000 people as direct beneficiaries of the project. The indirect number of beneficiaries comprise the entire population in the Volta River Basin, estimated to be 8.5 million as of 2010. The main indicator of vulnerability reduction will be changes in access to water and diversification of livelihood activities. Income generation will increase by 30 % in at least 50% of households in the communities.

The main adaptation benefits of the Programme are that it will be able to provide concrete inputs into water resource management planning in the northern region by ensuring that climate change concerns are taken into account. The Programme will be able to build and enhance the adaptive capacity of the ecological systems of water catchments to climate change, once the proposed measures are adopted and implemented.

This is expected to be the first showcase in the Ghana where climate concerns are taken into account and lessons learned will be replicated to other river basins of the country. The activities that will be implemented will include producing knowledge products that capture lessons learnt on management of water resources and diversification of livelihoods under climate change. The capacity to document traditional knowledge systems as well as methods for managing knowledge will be developed, as well as the engagement of community service organizations for knowledge transfer.

Thematic Area: 
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
A conservative estimate gives a total of 60,000 people as direct beneficiaries of the project. The indirect number of beneficiaries comprises the entire population in the Volta River Basin, estimated to be 8.5 million as of 2010.
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Adaptation Fund
Project Status: 
Under Implementation
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$8.2 million (according to Adaptation Fund Website)

News

Northern Regions urged to embrace climate Adaptation Fund Project
Vibe Ghana

Friday 17 February 2017

The Chiefs and people of the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions have been urged to embrace the Adaptation Fund Project to help increase climate resilience and enhance sustainable land and water management in the areas. The Adaptation Fund was established under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2001 to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MEST) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing the project in some selected communities in the north. Mr Asher Nkegbe, the Upper East Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), made the call when the technical team of the Project undertook separates community visits to the beneficiary communities in the Upper East Region to engage them on the project implementation and to solicit for their support in the process.

 

Key Results and Outputs

The main objective of the programme is to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of rural livelihoods to climate impacts and risks on water resources in the northern region of Ghana. The objective will be achieved through key results centered on the improvement of water access and also increase institutional capacity and coordination for integrated water management to support other uses of water resources especially for the diversification of livelihoods by rural communities.

There are three components, each with the following outcomes that will be delivered by the programme:

COMPONENT 1: WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANNING

Outcome 1: Improved planning and management of water resources taking into account climate change impacts on surface and groundwater sources

COMPONENT 2: COMMUNITY LEVEL IMPLEMENTATION OF WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES

Outcome 2: Climate resilient management of water resources by communities in Northern Ghana

COMPONENT 3: DIVERSIFICATION OF LIVELIHOODS OF RURAL COMMUNITIES

Outcome 3: Enhanced diversification of livelihoods of communities in northern Ghana