Globally, the challenges of population growth are compromising spatial planning in urban and peri-urban communities and cities. Haphazard development of human settlement such as building on waterways and green spaces as well as increased demand for housing and industries has exposed several residential sites especially that of people living in low-lying areas to increased flood risks. In coastal environments such as the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) in Ghana, accelerated sea level rise has compounded flood risks leading to inundation of settlements and erosion of the shoreline. Recent floods in GAMA coupled with fatal deaths and injuries; damage to property, infrastructure and/or the environment; and the disruption of life and the functioning of the community also presents institutions and society as a whole with new challenges of adaptation solutions. However, not much leadership has been demonstrated in integrating climate resilience into city planning and flood management which the project seeks to pursue in seven (7) Districts.

It is against this background that The Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada is undertaking a three-year research project on Managing socio-demographic change and climate induced flood risks in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA). The project is built on the fifth assessment report (AR5) of the IPCC which affirms high confidence in increased frequency of floods in coastal cities and the apparent disruptions of infrastructure that may occur.

The Cities Resilience project aims at improving the management of flood risks in the city of Accra towards resilience building through integrated climate smart flood management framework and catalysing evidence-based policy action. The project findings/evidence will support Ghana’s Medium Term Development Planning and the adaptation component of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) on resilient infrastructure

SPECIFIC PROJECT OBJECTIVES

  • Strengthen frameworks for analyzing and aligning population–related social, economic and environmental determinants of flood risks and provision of adaptation solutions
  • Assess and test the capacity of city planners to use spatial technologies available to them (e.g GIS, satellite imagery, digitized maps and economic tools) to manage human dimensions of climate change and flood risks, producing flood risk maps and other decision support tools to improve planning and flood management
  • Design gender-responsive decision framework for surveillance systems for effective flood risk reduction, early warning and contingency planning
  • Evaluate Research –into-use (RiU) practices, barriers and opportunities of adaptation solutions at the nexus of population growth , hydro climatic risks and city planning
  • Recommend technical feasibilities, economic efficiency, social acceptability and environmental viability of adaptation solutions for consideration for Medium term development planning
  • Build capacity of young scientists to sustain operational and institutional memory.

The project is being implemented in partnership with the National Development Planning Committee (NDPC), Ministry Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), Ministry of Environment Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Private Enterprise Federation, HATOF Foundation, Ga Mashie development association, Cities Alliance, and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).