A project aimed at reducing the perennial flooding and its impact on the national capital was launched in Accra yesterday.
It involves the deployment of “Flood Early Warning System (FEWS)” using ICT and remote applications within the catchments of the Odaw stream in Accra.
The one-year project would assist city planners and managers to integrate climate data ICT and spatial planning to deliver on flood management.
It is being undertaken by the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) of the University of Ghana and the Department of Climate Change and Food Security of the University for Development Studies with funding from Making All Voice Count (MAVC), an international NGO.
At a gender-based climate smart integrated flood management workshop to brief key stakeholders on the project, Dr. Delali Dovie, Lead Scientist and Principal Investigator of the project said, the project complements a recently launched project on Cities and Climate Change by RIPS.
“The project is about using ICT to deploy flood early warning systems that integrates traditional means of assessing flood risk and passing advance information onto users of the application”, he said.
He added that “it will involve the deployment of flood and rainfall monitoring and gauging equipment and a software application that uses different risk signals through SMS and ringtone technology, as well as alarms to signal various risk levels of floods. Unleashing such signals can widen dissemination that reaches the most vulnerable even through sirens, public address systems and the community ‘gong-gong’ beaters”.
Dr. Dovie disclosed that the project would support some state institutions like the Ghana Metrological Agency (GMeT), Hydrological Services, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the security services to monitor real time weather and flood risks and flooding events using a combination of indigenous knowledge and state of the art applications such as drones and automatic weather stations fitted with telemetric devices from a command center at the University of Ghana.
He said the project, when completed would reduce the time between flood warning and response and also minimise impacts of floods on the vulnerable like women, elderly and the physically challenged.
Additionally, it would reduce loss of human lives, property and wares of traders and minimise losses to GDP and also promote public-private-civil society sector partnership in response to climate change.
Mr. Sachibu Mohammed, Country Engagement Developer for MAVC said they would monitor the project to ensure its target goals were achieved.
He urged government and other donor agencies to replicate the project in other flood prone areas of the country so as to mitigate the impact of flooding on the country and help in the attainment of SDGs 11 and 13 on sustainable cities and climate change action.
By Joseph Edu Archison and Dinah Twumasi