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Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction: District-level collaboration for flood mitigation in Accra, Ghana

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At least one major flood disaster has occurred every year over the past 10 years in Accra. Some of the common flood issues in Accra include improper settlement location, improper drainage systems, urbanisation, improper waste management practices and lack of a synchronised and coordinated approach. The need for a coordinated approach across all affected municipalities and districts is of utmost importance because any action or inaction within one area is sure to affect the neighbouring communities.

This policy brief on ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction explores collaborative solutions to flooding in Accra.

Some key messages from the policy brief include:

  • Recurring / annual flooding in Accra has negative social and economic impacts, such as loss of property and livelihood.
  • The ecosystem-based disaster-risk reduction approach is one nature-based solution that can be used in addressing the flooding problem in Accra.
  • Both infrastructure-based solutions and ecosystem-based solutions must be integrated for effective flood management.
  • Local knowledge needs to be incorporated into the risk-profiling efforts, as well as identifying innovative ways of enhancing knowledge of national and local stakeholders.
  • Municipal and District Assemblies, as well as other relevant stakeholders, must collaborate in finding the solutions to flooding.
  • Engagement and coordination amongst Municipal and District Assemblies enables sharing of innovative approaches and lessons learned when problem-solving
  • Effective communication is important to ensure Municipal and District Assemblies work together.