The session shared with stakeholders the impact of climate change on water security in Wa Municipality, Bongo, Kasena Nankana West and Bawku West Districts. The research, which also reviewed Ghana’s key strategic climate change response documents including the National Climate Change Policy, National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) and the Nationally Determined Contributions, identified gaps, missing timelines, and entry points to integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene issues into these policy documents.
The methodology used was, among others the desk study which is based on a comprehensive review of climate change, sanitation and water security and other national climate change policy and strategy documents and other relevant documents related to the impact of climate change on water security.
The findings revealed that Climate change impacts in the districts include seasonal changes in water table, unpredictable and erratic rainfall pattern; high temperatures during the peak of the dry season; and frequent drought and floods.
Highlights of the findings shared during the session include:
• At least 60% of the respondents have heard about climate change in their communities, which means high awareness about climate change phenomenon in the four Districts.
• 67.4% of respondents have experienced change in access to water which explains the issue of seasonal access which may be attributable to climate variability.
• Projection on the climate of Northern Ghana as summarized by the Ghana’s Third National Communication indicates that mean annual rainfall totals relative to 1980-2010 is likely to decrease by 1% in 2060 and 3% in 2080.
• Flooding has been identified as a major hazard for Northern Ghana with devastating effect on communities. In 2008 more than 325,000 people were directly affected, needing external livelihood support (Bonye and Godfred, 2011). Also, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) estimates indicated that floods destroyed 70,500 hectares of land and 50,000 people in Northern Ghana were directly and indirectly affected with
20 deaths recorded in 2007 (Armah et al 2010)
• The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) is very comprehensive on climate change adaptation and could serve as an entry point for water and sanitation issues.
• The National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process is also a great avenue to advance WASH issues in adaptation. The NAP process looks at climate change adaptation planning from medium-long term.
• Environmental diseases including the celebro spinal meningitis become severe when climate change is severe.
Participants agreed that climate change crises was indeed water crises and that leadership should facilitate the building of human capacity required to understand climate change issues and deliver sustainable WASH services in the context of a changing climate. Finally, they called on leadership to prioritize safe water in national climate adaptation planning and nationally determined contribution as a critical line of defense against the impact of climate change.
The NLLAP session had full participation with stakeholders drawn from government, civil society, private sector and non-state actors, academia, young professionals, as well as members of the media. For more on this event visit: https://www.washghana.net/sites/default/files/WASH%20REFLECTIONS%2092%20...