Country

Ghana

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Ghana.

Vulnerability

Current development dynamics and demographic changes in Ghana put more people at risk from disasters as a result of increasing rural poverty, rapid urbanization, growth of informal settlements, poor urban governance, and declining ecosystem and land conditions. With a large population depending directly on agriculture, the impacts of localized disasters are likely to have even greater accumulated impacts on rural livelihoods over time as a consequence of climate change. Ghana is most at risk to droughts, coastal erosion, floods and landslides.

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.

Natural Hazard Statistics

The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.

Natural Hazard / Development Nexus

Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.

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Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals. 

This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.

 
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Key Vulnerabilities

  • Ghana is exposed to floods, particularly in the northern Savannah belt, and faces associated risks of landslides. Extreme rainfall events have increased over the 1986-1995 period, including a high number of 24-hour maximum rainfall events—a trend that has continued in the last decade.

  • The recurrence of both floods and droughts in the northern Savannas is becoming a common phenomenon, often associated with high temperatures and intense heat.

  • Already affected by coastal erosion, especially along the eastern coastline, the coastal regions of Ghana are likely to be affected by further sea level rise and storm surges by the end of this century.

  • Areas around Accra, including the Akosombo Dam, are exposed to seismic hazards.

  • Insufficient rainfall during the major cropping season during the last major severe drought in 1982-1983 affected more than 12 million people. More recently, the 2007 catastrophic floods in north Ghana occurred immediately after a period of drought and damaged the initial maize harvest.

More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.

  • Climate change will seriously impact health, and might produce disruption of agricultural systems and food security, with high consequences for the Ghanian population. The impacts of droughts and floods might have economy-wide impacts on the regional economy due to widespread crop failure/loss, outbreaks of human and animal diseases, dislocation of human populations, destruction of property and infrastructure, and loss to livelihoods.
  • Adverse agricultural productivity impacts might become more pronounced over time. The projections for cocoa pose serious socioeconomic implications in view of cocoa’s significant contribution to national income and farmers’ livelihoods.
  • Projected increase of flooding in low and coastal areas, which are already undergoing erosion, might severely impact marine ecosystems and coastal livelihoods.
  • The increasing low operating water level of the only hydro-generating dam in the country, (which produces 80% of national electricity supply) represents a major concern as a result of reduced levels of precipitation.
  • The construction of immovable structures within the shoreline zone prone to inundation should be revisited; avoiding development in areas subject to liquefaction during earthquakes, and the resettlement of emerging peri-urban slum areas.