The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has designed an early warning system to help alert communities in flood-prone areas using mediums such as mobile phone alerts.
A Principal Disaster Control Officer at the Hydrometereological Department of the organisation, Mr Bright Tsriku, told the Daily Graphic that it was a project that identified flood hotspots in selected districts across the country.
“We have been able to identify the hot spots, we have been able to mark them and can relay information quickly to the residents about flooding for them to take the appropriate action,” he said on the fringes of a workshop on needs assessment for an integrated flood management for the White Volta Basin.
The project, known as the Community Resilience through Early Warning (CREW) project, has undertaken extensive risk assessment of 10 flood and drought hot spots in the country, as well as their early warning gaps, and on the basis of that, designed appropriate early warning systems to respond to the risks.
“Some of these hot spots are communities which are very close to rivers. Through forecasts, we can advise the farmers to do early harvesting. For coastal communities, we can advise them to relocate temporarily and in flood-prone urban areas, we can advise them to adopt the required action,” he added.
It is one of the many interventions that the needs assessment found that when harmonised, could help mitigate the perennial flooding.
The Volta Basin project, led by the Ghana Country Water Partnership and the Global Water Partnership with the support of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), is an initiative on the project preparation for the implementation of integrated flood management (IFM) in the Volta Basin riparian countries with the goal of developing the capacities of national institutions and stakeholders.
Similar assessments are going on in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Togo.
The expectation is that the acquired capacities would help the beneficiaries to apply the concepts of integrated flood management and to prepare bankable projects on it.
In view of this, a needs assessment was carried out in Ghana from April to August this year to identify efforts and gaps in integrated flood management in order to help develop the capacity of key institutions in applying the concept and further develop projects in the Volta Basin which could attract funding from the WMO and the GWP.
Among the findings was that integrated flood management had not been incorporated into development planning and decision making in Ghana yet.
The need to develop the capacities of key institutions, including the Water Resources Commission, NADMO, Ghana Meteorological Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency also came up.
The report also indicated that communities along the banks of the Volta River (particularly the White Volta) were vulnerable to flood risk.
A lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Mr Frank Ohene Annor, who gave an overview of the White Volta Basin project, said it would help to provide a concerted effort to mitigate flooding.
He said key among interventions that would be considered would be how to find a lasting solution to the perennial flooding that occurred in the northern regions after the spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso.