A national workshop for the development of the Volta basin flood and drought risks reduction and management strategy is underway in Accra.
It is under the “Integrating Flood and Drought Management and Early Warning for Climate Change Adaptation in the Volta Basin (VFDM)” Project funded by the Climate Change Adaptation Fund.
The project is aimed at building the capacities of the six Volta Basin Authority (VBA) member states in terms of flood and drought management to minimise extreme hydro-climatic disaster risks.
The member states are Ghana Benin, Ivory Coast, Togo and Burkina Faso.
The project is being implemented from June 2019 to mid-2023 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), VBA, and Global Water Partnership – West Africa (GWP-WA) in collaboration with WMO’s partners.
Opening the workshop on Tuesday, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah in a statement read on her behalf by Adwoa Painstil, Acting Executive Secretary, Water Resources Commission said the strategy was to build the resilience of communities and ecosystems in the Volta Basin.
She said that would be done by capitalising on the results of the studies carried out as part of the implementation of the VFDM project, including the Volta Basin Flood and Drought Risk Profile; the guidelines, policies and strategies for disaster risk management at the regional, national and local levels; and stakeholders’ input at different levels of the basin.
Ms Dapaah said the workshop was to validate the methodological approach for the development, validation and adoption of the strategy; further the baseline analysis of flood and drought risk management.
Secretary General of WMO, Prof Petteri Taalas, in a statement read on his behalf said climate change and variability had increased the number of hazardous events, desulted in socio-economic and environmental challenges and impacted for communities in the Volta Basin.
“It is therefore important to identify the associated prevention and management strategies so that the impacts on the population are minimised, if not completely eliminated,” he added.
Prof. Taalas said the workshop would be an opportunity for participants to deepen their knowledge of the risks associated with floods and droughts and to jointly identify strategies for the prevention and management of possible risks associated with events linked to climate change.
Executive Secretary of the GWP-WA, Armand Houanye, said the GWP-WA was committed to work with the VBA and other partners including WMO and CIMA Foundation to achieve this objective.
He commended the minister for her great support to the implementation of the VFDM Project activities at the regional level as well as in the country.
“We count on your valuable contributions for the preparation as well as your ownership for the effective implementation of the validated strategy at all levels in the Volta basin including in Ghana,” he added.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR