Friday, October 22, 2021

Ghana, 5 other African countries along Volta Basin to benefit from flood and drought alert system

Ghana and five other African floodplain countries are set to benefit from the World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO) web-based flood and drought alert system being developed.

The five other riparian beneficiaries along the Volta Basin include; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Togo.

The project dubbed “Integrating flood and drought management and early warning for climate change adaptation in the Volta Basin (VFDM)” is being done in collaboration with the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) and the Global Water Partnership in West Africa (GWP-WA).

The Adaptation Fund is also funded by the CIMA Research Foundation and others, providing technical assistance to complete the project in June 2023.

Speaking at a three-day capacity-building workshop organised for technicians in charge of the project in Accra on Friday, the Project Manager of the Volta Basin flood and drought management project, Mr Ramesh Tripathi, said the workshop aimed to evaluate the “vulnerability and impact of floods and exposure to drought around the Volta Basin.”

He added that the technicians in the five other riparian countries have been engaged in a series of online workshops.

Mr Tripathi noted that the engagements of the technicians are to allow them “take ownership of the methodological approach for the evaluation of drought exposure, as well as flood impact maps” and update the risk map, which kept changing every five to 10 years.

The workshop participants used new and existing information available from global satellite imagery and geospatial data sources, national and local agencies, and data from other projects in the region to develop the maps.

According to the Project Manager of the Volta Basin flood and drought management project, the developed maps are expected to be activated in December 2021.

The Executive Secretary of the Water Resources Commission, Ben Ampomah, applauded the organisers and partners of the project. According to him, the flood and drought alert system would help solve the issue of flood and drought in the country.

On his part, the Director of Climate Change Adaptation and disaster risk reduction at the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Charlotte Acheampong, also said the system would help the country improve on its disaster control strategies.

A hydrologist from the CIMA Research Foundation, Anna Mapelli, said the maps of the beneficiary countries would be harmonised.

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