Stakeholders discuss New System to improve information sharing on climate change

African Agriculture And Climate Change
Climate Change

Stakeholders have discussed innovative early warning system dubbed: “Volta Alarm” as part of preparedness to strengthen information sharing related to flood and drought for climate adaptation in communities around the White Volta Basin.

The stakeholders also shared their institutional experiences on how they ascertained early warning regarding flooding, adaptation, and the various ways they shared information to trickle down to communities on timely basis to warn people and communities of any disasters.

The meeting was organised by the Water Resources Commission (WRC) and attended by District and Regional Officers of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), representatives of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Planning Officers of the District Assemblies.

The meeting was on integrating flood and drought management and early warning for climate change adaptation in the Volta Flood and Drought Management (VFDM) Project, which is being implemented by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Volta Basin authority (VBA), Global Water Partnership in West Africa (GWP-WA) and funded by the Adaptation Fund.

Mr Jesse Kazapoe, the Principal Basin Officer (PBO) highlighted the significance of the discussion and said it was part of sharing experiences and actions that were usually taken by stakeholders.

It also dealt with how the institutions also managed early warning systems regarding flooding, adaptation and how information was shared to trickle down to communities on timely basis to warn people and communities of any disasters.

Participants under the VFDM include national agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana Meteorological Agency, World Meteorological Organization partners, Civil Protection Organization, WRC, and research organisations, among others.

Mr Kazapoe said the ‘Volta Alarm” system was being put in place for easy access to information, prediction of weather to warn communities in the Volta Basin against floods and droughts and preparedness to protect, manage risks and disasters arising from floods and droughts.

Mr Kazapoe said the objective of the project was to test the application and effectiveness of the Volta Alarm early warning systems in areas of the Volta Basin that were highly exposed to different hydro meteorological hazards such as floods and droughts.

“For floods, we are looking at the White and Black Volta Basins and communities within them that experience floods, and for the droughts, we are looking at the Akosombo Dam area because they mostly do not experience flooding due to the Volta Lake,” the Basin Officer said.

He said a climate station which is an early warning system had been installed at Kunkua in the Bongo District and fitted with public address system where people can access information and warnings of any climate variability.

Mr. Eric Muala also of the WRC who shared studies on the regional approaches to flood and drought assessment conducted in the basins, said countries considered under the study were Ghana, Mali, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Cote D’Ivoire.

He said in terms of flood, Ghana’s interest was the Upper East Region and on drought scenarios, the Akosombo Dam.

The participants took turns to share steps taken in their emergency preparedness during floods and how they were able to ascertain warnings with regards to flooding, droughts, and actions taken on how information was disseminated on timely basis to people, to warn them to take adequate care of themselves.

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