The Executive Director of Volta Basin Authority (VBA), Mr. Robert Yaovi Dessouassi has hinted that despite the enormous potential of the Volta Basin, its development is impeded by climate extremes like flood and drought.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a five (5) days national stakeholder’s workshop for the development of the Volta basin flood and drought risks reduction and management strategy in Accra, the VBA Executive Director emphasised that the authority is resolutely committed to implementing integrated, concerted, and sustainable management of shared water resources.
Mr. Yaovi Dessouassi explained that it was in that context of building up the resilience of the riparian communities and ecosystems of the basin that the development of the Volta Basin Flood and Drought Risks Reduction and Management Strategy was initiated under the Volta Food Development Management (VFDM) with support of the CIMA Foundation and the involvement of stakeholders at different levels.
He announced that the 5 days national stakeholder workshop will be followed by the third meeting of the VFDM Project Technical Advisory Committee as well as a field visit of the Adaptation Fund Mission to evaluate the project result.
To address this problem, the Adaptation Fund, through the Volta Basin Food VFDM project, is working to provide appropriate solutions with the aim of ensuring sustainable socio-economic development while building the resilience of the Volta basin population. He told participants
According to him, the authority in other to address the problem, in partnership with Adaptation Fund, through the VFDM project, is working to provide appropriate solutions with the aim of ensuring sustainable socio-economic development while building the resilience of the Volta basin population.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources (SWR), Mrs. Cecilia Abena Dapaah in a speech read on her behalf by the Acting Executive Secretary of Water Resources Commission, Madam Dorcas Adwoa Paintsil, reiterated that Volta Basin countries, like other countries of the sub-region, have been suffering ever since the adverse effects of climate change, which occur as extreme natural phenomena such as flood and drought, with significant damage, including loss of lives and property.
Some statistical data on the exceptional floods experienced in Ghana and the damage caused available shows that in 2007, 300,000 people, households, and property along the Volta basin got affected.
Whiles, in the year 2010, the country recorded 17 deaths, and 25,000 people were affected with more than 3,000 houses damaged and more than 1,000 livestock units perished.
“In response to this and many other problems, the project entitled “Integrating Flood and Drought Management and Early Warning for Climate Change Adaptation in the Volta Basin (VFDM)”, funded by the Adaptation Fund have the main objective to provide appropriate solutions while striving to ensure sustainable socio-economic development and strengthen the resilience of the riparian communities.
The VFDM project also works at developing innovative solutions and approaches for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Volta Basin, including “environment-friendly” and GENDER-sensitive solutions.” She noted.
In order to build the resilience of communities and ecosystems in the Volta Basin, the VFDM Project has planned to develop a strategy for flood and drought risk prevention and management in the Volta Basin, capitalizing on among others, (i) 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; (ii) the guidelines, policies, and strategies for disaster risk management at the regional, national and local levels; and (iii) stakeholders’ input at different levels of the basin.
The project also aims at mainstreaming stakeholder consultations through, among others, national and regional workshops for the Volta basin stakeholders for the Joint-development, elaboration, and validation of the flood and drought risks prevention and management strategy for the Volta basin.
The 5 days workshop again seeks to (i) validate the methodological approach for the development, validation, and adoption of the strategy; (ii) further the baseline analysis of flood and drought risk management, and (iii) elaborate on the different components of the flood and drought risks reduction and management strategy for the Volta basin.