Project PALM-TREEs launched to fortify community resilience in White Volta Basin

A Project to bolster the resilience of marginalized communities against the devastating impacts of extreme weather events in the White Volta Basin has been launched.

The Project dubbed: ‘The Pan-African and Transdisciplinary Lens in the Margins: Tackling the Risks of Extreme Events (PALM-TREEs)’ aims to tackle the devastating impacts of floods and droughts and to empower communities in the White Volta Basin.

A statement issued in Accra said the initiative brought together stakeholders from 30 communities across four regions in Northern Ghana, including Savannah, Northern, North East, and Upper East

The project’s inception workshop in Tamale and Bolgatanga gathered over 60 residents, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) officers, agricultural representatives, hydrological and meteorological service providers, and other stakeholders to share experiences and insights.

The aim is to co-produce interventions that build resilience among marginalized groups, using a multidimensional approach combin
ing physical and social sciences.

Three PhD students from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s (KNUST) Department of Meteorology and Climate Science presented their research on floods, drought, and livelihoods, highlighting the significance of addressing these topics.

Mr Joshua Asamoah, one of the students, emphasized the need to understand drought intensity, frequency, and duration, while Samuel Owusu Ansah focused on the impacts of floods on vulnerable communities.

Mr Alfred Awuah also explored the effects of floods and droughts on livelihoods.

Professor Thompson Annor, a Lead Researcher on the project, took strides to develop innovative methods to enhance climate risk assessment, combining demographic and health surveys with participatory analysis, mapping, focus groups, and multilevel modelling.

He said the project would foster equitable relationships between communities, practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to promote sustainable change and knowledge sharing to tackle complex
extreme events.

Prof said the current interventions for drought and flood-affected communities were often short-term and inadequate, providing temporary relief but failing to address the underlying issues, which persist long after the initial support has ended.

‘Most of the time when there is drought and floods, some of the interventions affected communities receive are short-lived and within a few months everything is gone and the problem still persist,’ he said

Prof. Annor said there was a need for community cooperation, collaboration, and sharing of experiences throughout the project, to guarantee the development of effective solutions and interventions that foster resilience and benefit the communities themselves.

Residents like Abdallah Saaka and Iddrisu Abubkari Zakari, who have experienced devastating floods and droughts, shared their experiences and played integral roles in finding lasting solutions to the menace.

Source: Ghana News Agency