Water Resources Commission shares results of floods, drought and early warning in White Volta Basin

The Water Resources Commission (WRC) has met stakeholders under the ongoing integrating Flood and drought Management and Early Warning for Climate Change Adaptation in the Volta Basin (VFDM) project.

The meeting was to share and improve results of floods and drought early warning in the Volta River Basin.

The one-day workshop, which took place in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region brought participants from NADMO, lead partners in Disaster risk management in collaboration with the WRC, the Ghana Metrological Agency, and Ghana Hydrological Authority, among other national institutions.

Among other reasons for the deliberation, was to share results of simulation exercises conducted in some selected sites in the Volta River Basin and to discuss how to improve flood and drought early warning.

Dr Bob Alfa, Acting Executive Secretary of the WRC in a welcome address to participants, reiterated the commitment of the WRC to work with its partners to build resilience of communities living in areas often affected by floods

He said the Upper East region was always inundated with floods, adding that the Commission was carrying out activities to reduce the impacts, including the ongoing dredging of the White Volta River to allow more rain fall to flow through.

Also, as a short-term measure, they were carrying out resilient capacity building approaches for partners.

Dr Alfa stated that earlier exercises that were also carried out with partners were to collate views on flood and droughts, hence the workshop offered opportunity to share the results and share ideas on how to improve work.

Mr Eric Muala, Principal Monitoring Officer of WRC in charge of monitoring, in a presentation, highlighted some activities undertaken in the project which included some simulation exercises.

He said as part of the exercises, some vulnerability mapping within the Volta Basin and risk levels of each partner country that included: Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ivory Coast was done.

He said the simulation exercise was conducted in all the
countries and in the Upper East region floods were considered while in the lower Volta drought conditions were considered.

According to the monitoring Officer, other activities carried out under the project was the installation of instruments to determine weather conditions in respect to flows and vulnerability levels, adding that a Volta alarm platform had been developed where weather forecast was produced within five days each of every week.

He said through the bulletin, partners and communities were informed of weather conditions to enable them to plan and take decisions to protect populations.

Mr Muala said the workshop would help improve the Volta Alarm early warning system for flood and drought, to reduce impact and also enable participants to assess the system, its reliability and effectiveness of information received and weaknesses.

‘This will help us to know what we have as a country and best practices that can be applied,’ he noted.

Later in an interview with the GNA, Mr Muala explained that th
e project conducted a Volta Risk profile in areas prone to drought and the degrees to which it could affect populations and vulnerability levels of those communities, and the results shared with stakeholders to aid planning purposes.

He said institutions like the Metrological Agency and Hydrological Authority were major players when in terms of giving an alert and information with reference to flood and drought while NADMO in turn provides information to local stakeholders at the lower level, thereby bringing every stakeholder on board when it comes to implementing the activities in relation to flood and drought.

He said the project offered a platform in terms of knowledge received and with the simulation activities, it gave ideas on how to react during floods and droughts and that formed the basis for strong collaborations.

The VFDM is a sub-regional project funded by the Climate Change Adaptation Fund and implemented from June 2019 to June 2024 by the World Metrological Organization, VBA and Global Water
Partnership – West Africa (GWP-WA) in collaboration with other national institutions and environment and civil society groups.

Source: Ghana News Agency