Volta basin communities now receive timely weather information

Communities along the Volta basin are now receiving timely weather-drought and flood- information to plan their activities.

Date Created : 6/25/2024 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Ghanadistricts.com

Through the deployment of the VOLTALARM Flood and Drought Early Warning and Forecasting Platform, residents receive timely information alongside other supports to build their resilience to climate hazards. 

Dr. Dibi Millogo, the Deputy Executive Director of the Volta Basin Authority (VBA), said this at an event to close the "Integrating Flood and Drought Management and Early Warning for Climate Change Adaptation in the Volta Basin (VFDM)" in Accra.

The five-year project was jointly implemented by Volta Basin Authority (VBA) in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Global Water Partnership in West Africa (GWP-WA) and the six countries of the basin.

The activities of the VFDM project, financed by the Adaptation Fund, which began in June 2019, will end tomorrow, 24th June 2024.

It was implemented by national agencies in Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali and Togo.

Dr. Milliogo said the project had strengthened the capacities and frameworks at local, national and regional levels to ensure informed decision-making on risk.

He noted that a concrete adaptation and environmentally friendly actions, including nature-based solutions, community-based flood and drought management using an integrated approach had been developed.

Through the project, he said, policy and institutional frameworks for integrated flood and drought management at local, national and cross-border levels had been strengthened.

Mr. Amidu Issahaku Chinnia, the Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources,?said one of the results of the project included mapping community vulnerability to flood and drought risks in the Volta basin.

He said the project had developed flood and drought risk maps and profiles hazards, vulnerability and impacts in the Volta basin.

The six countries involved, he noted, had developed a Regional Strategy for the Reduction and Integrated Management of Flood and Drought Risks as well as an action plan, which featured women and the vulnerable for the basin.

Mr. Chinnia said the project had put together community initiatives for integrated flood and drought management, with the establishment of Community Flood and Drought Management Committees and Community Action Plans at six pilot sites, one in each VBA member country.

The VFDM project, the Deputy Minister said, had conducted simulation exercises on the dissemination and organisation of the response to flood and drought warnings at 10 pilot sites in the six countries of the Volta basin.

Mr. Chinnia noted that the five-year project had increased knowledge of the environmental services and flood and drought management provided by ecosystems.

Mr. Giacomo Teruggi, Project Executive and Scientific Officer of the WMO, said the project succeeded in integrating technical, institutional, social, and environmental aspects to flood and drought management.

He noted that it had contributed to the Early Warning for All (EW4ALL) initiative launched by the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez in 2022 at the scale of the Volta basin, building on the existing national observation and forecasting capabilities, and integrating them into a decision-support system – the VOLTALARM platform.

The project, he stated, tackled the four pillars of the EW4All initiative namely, disaster risk knowledge, detection, observations, monitoring, analysis and forecasting of hazards.

Mr. K. Armand Houanye, the Executive Secretary of GWP-WA, said that the project served as a platform for GWP-WA to collaborate with stakeholders to ensure water security and resilience to climate change.

“This reinforces the ambition of the Regional Network, which always works according to a partnership and integrated approach to support States, Regional Economic Communities, River Basin Organisations and population,” he said.

Mr. Houanye urged the countries to maintain the momentum for sharing, sustaining and scaling up the results and achievements of the project.

He called for a continued strengthening of the technical and operational institutional capacities of the local flood and drought risk management committees that had been set up.