UCL Energy Institute


Engaging with Ghana on disaster, risk reduction and resilience governance on the Re-Energize project

17 October 2023

A blog for the Ghana Stakeholder Engagement and the work of UCL Energy Institute researchers Galila Khougali and Catalina Spataru

Shoreline in Ghana

A blog by Galila Khougali

Only last week, Storm Daniel’s extreme rain and flooding hit Libya, destroying the lives of tens of thousands of people, and wiping out infrastructure and buildings in the city of Derna.

Libya is not alone; weather-related disasters are expected to increase in frequency and intensity and compound further pressures on resource availability. The World Meteorological Organization (2021) reports that climate, weather and water risks accounted for half of disasters, and over more than 70% of economic losses from 1970 to 2019. Hence, the role of governance to construct adaptive mechanisms of disaster risk reduction and resilience embedded in development planning and programmes is vital for alleviating human loss and damages.

With the aim of addressing the issues on governance of disasters and risk reduction and resilience, the Re-Energize Governance of Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience for Sustainable Development project has focused on a nexus-informed methodological approach that combines machine learning, transdisciplinary research agenda and artificial intelligence. Led by Professor Catalina Spataru at the Islands and Coastal Research Lab at UCL, the Re-Energize consortium consists of partners from Ghana, Mauritius, Qatar, Japan, China, Brazil, and the USA. The World Meteorological Organization (2021) identifies draughts, floods and extreme temperatures as the disasters leading to the largest human losses. To this end, the Re-Energize consortium has a focus on supporting developing and developed nations build embedded equitable disaster risk reduction and resilience within the planning and programmes within government capabilities in relation to floods, droughts and heatwaves.

As part of stakeholder engagement, the University of Ghana’s Dr. Yaw Boafo and Dr. Ebenezer Amankwaa presented on the 14th of September the key findings from Tamale and Accra, Ghana on the impact of floodings, draughts and heatwaves. From the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies, Dr. Boafo presented at UCL Energy Institute the compounded effects of disaster risks from perennial flooding (flood festival) aggravated by poor drainage systems, urban sprawl, and unplanned settlements, and extreme temperatures as high as 60 degrees Celsius in congested living and working environments. On the governance side, Dr Amankwaa highlighted as part of the findings the complexity of local and national governance, and the interactions between them, where often communities’ governance may replace or complement the role of national governance in response to the extreme disasters.


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