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Business News of Friday, 7 December 2012

Source: Daily Guide

‘Invest In Climate Change Approach’

A research finding has indicated that more investment must be made in order to mitigate and manage disasters resulting from climate change in the Accra Metropolis.

The study, contained in a draft strategy, is aimed at supporting informed decision-making on climate change. The researchers indicated that adaption to climate change needs to be prioritized in the nation’s development agenda.

Among other key findings it was realized that the significant expansion in investment in the supply of water in the Accra Metropolitan Area could enhance the city’s adaptation to climate change.

An increase in investment, according to the findings, would ensure that the water demands of a projected 3.1 per cent population growth per annum are met.

The Urban Rural Adaption Project (URAdapt) indicates that “without this investment water supply is unlikely to be sufficient to meet these demands.”

The four-year research project, conducted from July 2009 to January 2013, was a collaboration between the International Water management Institute (IWMI) at the Addis Ababa University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana, with funding from the International Development Research Center of Canada and the United Kingdom’s department for International Development.

A draft research document titled “strategic Agenda for adaptation to urban water mediated impact of climate change” sought to find out measures that could be adopted to mitigate disasters such as floods, droughts, health risks, water supply and demand management, among others.

It revealed that improvement in storm drains built in the Greater Accra region and revisiting design criteria for future infrastructure could considerably help to avoid floods occurring in high risk areas.

In recent times, floods have affected low risk areas and according to the research it is expected to increase in number and frequency based on climate change predictions.

Researchers found that there is enough water in the low Volta and that if managed effectively it would be more than enough to cater for the current and future demands of residents in the Accra Metropolitan Area.

However, there would be the need for more effective use of water allocation through a permit system while more institutional flexibility would facilitate stakeholder participation in water allocation and management decisions to reduce human and institutional vulnerability.

Liqa Raschid Sally, Project leader said “our research shows that if water resources are managed properly, Accra can become considerably more resilient to climate change even when faced with projected population increases and other influencing factors.”

Edward Nsenkyire, Chairman of the Ghana National Climate Change Committee, noted that there are plans to ensure that the recommendations of the research are implemented to avert the impact of climate change.

“This is not a project to be left on the shelves to gather dust. It needs to be implemented,” he said.

He indicated that the report would be presented to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Ministry of Environment and Science and Technology and Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government.