Advertisement

GeoJournal

, Volume 84, Issue 6, pp 1597–1615 | Cite as

Flood vulnerability and coping mechanisms around the Weija Dam near Accra, Ghana

  • Justice Kufour Owusu-AnsahEmail author
  • Joshua Meyir Dery
  • Clifford Amoako
Article
  • 128 Downloads

Abstract

This paper argues that flood vulnerability around the Weija Dam, near Accra, the capital of Ghana, can be explained by the city’s complex peri-urbanization trajectories. The dam, which was constructed 40 years ago, supplies water to many parts of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area. To offset the impacts of potential dam failure due to seismic activities, as well as accidental and planned water spillages, about 100 m of lands around the dam and 30 m of riparian lands around River Densu were reserved. Despite planning prohibitions, these reservations have largely been encroached by homebuilders and business operators. Analyses of time-series rainfall data and hazard mapping showed that during periods of torrential rainfall, the dam and the river are overwhelmed with storm water hence exposing the Weija Township located downstream to flood hazards. Questionnaire surveys, in-depth interviews with selected homebuilders, and institutional consultations revealed that the spatial and institutional management dynamics, customary land ownership, along with the growing defiance of planning regulations were the key influences of floods in the Weija Township. The affected households have attempted to mitigate the effects of flooding by elevating structures with stones and sandbags, strengthening walls, constructing drains and pumping water out during flooding events, but with little success. However, given the lack of political will to remove the unauthorized structures constructed within the buffers and reservations, the challenge now is to minimize flood vulnerabilities by flood-proofing buildings, improving drains and channelizing portions of the river within the township. These structural measures should be complemented by flood vulnerability maps, early flood warning and evacuation systems, mandatory property insurance policies, and above all, improved institutional coordination and collaboration for flood management. The paper recommends a re-examination of Ghana’s urban land use planning and management of water bodies in urban areas.

Keywords

Coping mechanisms Encroachment Flood vulnerability Peri-urbanization Terrain Weija Dam 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

I hereby declare that there are no potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial) in this research, and that, participation was based on informed consent (after full disclosure about the nature and uses of the data collected, clear explanation of potential risks and benefits). The confidentiality, privacy and anonymity of respondents were guaranteed throughout the research process.

References

  1. Adam, A. G. (2014). Land tenure in the changing peri-urban areas of Ethiopia: The case of Bahir Dar City. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research,38(6), 1970–1984.Google Scholar
  2. Adedeji, O. H., Odufuwa, B. O., & Adebayo, O. H. (2012). Building capabilities for flood disaster and hazard preparedness and risk reduction in Nigeria: Need for spatial planning and land management. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa,14(1), 45–58.Google Scholar
  3. Agyeman-Bonsu, W., Minia, Z., Dontwi, J., et al. (2008). Ghana climate change impacts vulnerability and adaptation assessments. Accra: Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  4. Amoako, C. (2016). Brutal presence or convenient absence: The role of the state in the politics of flooding in informal Accra. Geoforum,77(1), 5–16.Google Scholar
  5. Amoako, C., & Inkoom, D. K. B. (2017). The production of flood vulnerability in Accra, Ghana: Re-thinking Flooding and Informal Urbanization. Urban Studies.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098016686526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Amoani, K. Y., Laryea, W. S., & Appeaning-Addo, K. (2012). Short-term shoreline evolution trend assessment: A case study in Glefe, Ghana. Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies,4(1), 1–7.Google Scholar
  7. Amuzu, A. T. (1975). A survey of the Densu River (pp. 1–20). Accra, Ghana: Water Resources Research Institute (CSIR) Publication.Google Scholar
  8. Appeaning-Addo, K., & Adeyemi, M. (2013). Assessing the impact of sea-level rise on a vulnerable coastal community in Accra, Ghana. Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies,5(1), 1–8.Google Scholar
  9. Appeaning-Addo, K. A., Larbi, L., Amisigo, B., & Ofori-Danso, P. K. (2011a). Impacts of coastal inundation due to climate change in a cluster of urban coastal communities in Ghana, West Africa. Remote Sensing,3(1), 2029–2050.Google Scholar
  10. Appeaning-Addo, K., Jayson-Quashigah, P. N., & Kufogbe, K. S. (2011b). Quantitative analysis of shoreline change using medium resolution satellite imagery in Keta, Ghana. Marine Science,1(1), 1–9.Google Scholar
  11. Atedhor, G. O., Odjugo, P. A., & Uriri, A. E. (2011). Changing rainfall and anthropogenic-induced flooding: Impacts and adaptation strategies in Benin City, Nigeria. Journal of Geography and Regional Planning,4(1), 42–52.Google Scholar
  12. Baijal, P., & Singh, P. K. (2000). Large dams: Can we do without them? Economic and Political Weekly,35(19), 1659–1666.Google Scholar
  13. Barasa, B. N., & Perera, E. D. P. (2018). Analysis of land use change impacts on flash flood occurrences in the Sosiani River basin Kenya. International Journal of River Basin Management,16(2), 1–10.Google Scholar
  14. Bignami, D. F., Rulli, M. C., & Rosso, R. (2018). Testing the use of reimbursement data to obtain damage curves in urbanised areas: The case of the Piedmont flood on October 2000. Journal of Flood Risk Management,11(S2), S575–S593.Google Scholar
  15. Botzen, W. J., & Van Den Bergh, J. C. (2008). Insurance against climate change and flooding in the Netherlands: Present, future, and comparison with other countries. Risk Analysis: An International Journal,28(2), 413–426.Google Scholar
  16. Boudou, M., Moattey, A., & Lang, M. (2017). Analysis of major flood events: Collapse of the Malpasset Dam, December 1959. In F. Vinet (Ed.), Floods (pp. 3–19). London: ISTE Press Ltd.Google Scholar
  17. Brouwer, R., Akter, S., Brander, L., & Haque, E. (2007). Socioeconomic vulnerability and adaptation to environmental risk: A case study of climate change and flooding in Bangladesh. Risk Analysis: An International Journal,27(2), 313–326.Google Scholar
  18. Cannon, T. (2000). Vulnerability analysis and disasters. In D. J. Parker (Ed.), Floods (Vol. 1). Taylor & Francis Group, Routledge: London.Google Scholar
  19. Carney, D. (1998). Implementing the sustainable rural livelihoods approach. What contributions can we make?. London: DFID.Google Scholar
  20. Chan, F. K. S., Mitchell, G., Adekola, O., & McDonald, A. (2012). Flood risk in Asia’s urban mega-deltas: Drivers, impacts and response. Environment and Urbanization Asia,3(1), 41–61.Google Scholar
  21. Chan, N. W. (2012). Impacts of disasters and disasters risk management in Malaysia: The case of floods. In Y. Sawada & S. Oum (Eds.), Economic and welfare impacts of disasters in East Asia and policy responses. ERIA research project report 2011–2018, Jakarta: ERIA (pp. 503–551). http://www.eria.org/Chapter_14.pdf. Accessed May 22, 2018.
  22. Cobbinah, P. B., & Amoako, C. (2012). Urban sprawl and the loss of peri-urban land in Kumasi, Ghana. International Journal of Social and Human Sciences,6(388), e397.Google Scholar
  23. Cobbinah, P. B., Gaisie, E., & Owusu-Amponsah, L. (2015). Peri-urban morphology and indigenous livelihoods in Ghana. Habitat International,50, 120–129.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.habitatint.2015.08.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Deschaux, J. (2017). Flood-related impacts on cultural heritage (Chapter 4). In F. Vinet (Ed.), Floods Volume 1 Risk Knowledge (pp. 53–72). Elsevier.Google Scholar
  25. Dewan, A. M., & Yamaguchi, Y. (2008). Effects of land cover changes: Examples from Greater Dhaka Bangladesh. International Journal of Geoinformatics,4(1), 11–20.Google Scholar
  26. Dewan, A. M., & Yamaguchi, Y. (2009). Land use and land cover change in Greater Dhaka, Bangladesh: Using remote sensing to promote sustainable urbanization. Applied Geography,29(3), 390–401.Google Scholar
  27. Diman, C. P., & Tahir, W. (2012). Dam flooding caused a prolonged flooding. International Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering,12(6), 71–75.Google Scholar
  28. Douglas, I., Alam, K., Maghenda, M., Mcdonnell, Y., Mclean, L., & Campbell, J. (2008). Unjust waters: Climate change, flooding and the urban poor in Africa. Environment and Urbanization,20(1), 187–205.Google Scholar
  29. Elder, K., Xirasagar, S., Miller, N., Bowen, S. A., Glover, S., & Piper, C. (2007). African Americans’ decisions not to evacuate New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina: A qualitative study. American Journal of Public Health,97(1), S124–S129.Google Scholar
  30. Fanos, A. M., Khafagy, A. A., & Dean, R. G. (1995). Protective works on the Nile Delta coast. Journal of Coastal Research,11(2), 516–528.Google Scholar
  31. Few, R. (2003). Flooding, vulnerability and coping strategies: Local responses to a global threat. Progress in Development Studies,3(1), 43–58.Google Scholar
  32. Frick-Trzebitzky, F., Baghel, R., & Bruns, A. (2017). Institutional bricolage and the production of vulnerability to floods in an urbanising delta in Accra. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.09.030.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gencer, E. A. (2013). The interplay between urban development, vulnerability, and risk management. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  34. Ghana Meteorological Agency (2016). Weija Station Rainfall Data, Data Processing Unit. Legon, Ghana.Google Scholar
  35. Ghana Statistical Service. (2005). 2000 population and housing census. Ga District, Accra: Government of Ghana. (special reports).Google Scholar
  36. Ghana Statistical Service. (2014). 2010 Population and housing census district analytical report; Ga South Municipality. Accra: Government of Ghana. http://www.statsghana.gov.gh/docfiles/2010_District…/GA%20SOUTH.pdf. Accessed February 24, 2016.
  37. Google Earth (2016a). US Department of State Geographer, Imagery Date: 10/07/2015.Google Scholar
  38. Google Earth (2016b). v 7.1.7.2600 Weija, Lat 5.554930 Long -0.320695 Imagery Date; 20/3/2016.Google Scholar
  39. Gough, K. V., & Yankson, P. W. K. (2000). Lands markets in African Cities: The case of peri-urban Accra, Ghana. Urban Studies,37(13), 2485–2500.Google Scholar
  40. Government of Ghana (2016). "Land Use and Spatial Planning Bill" should read "Land Use and Spatial Planning Act (Act 925). http://www.luspa.gov.gh/files/ACT925.pdf.
  41. Groffman, P. M., Bain, D. J., Band, L. E., Belt, K. T., Brush, G. S., Grove, J. M., et al. (2003). Down by the riverside: Urban riparian ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment,1(6), 315–321.Google Scholar
  42. Haddad, E. A., & Teixeira, E. (2015). Economic impacts of natural disasters in megacities: The case of floods in São Paulo, Brazil. Habitat International,45(2), 106–113.Google Scholar
  43. Halounova, L., & Holubec, V. (2014). Assessment of flood with regards to land cover changes. Procedia Economics and Finance.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S2212-5671(14)01021-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hollis, G. E. (1990). Environmental impacts of development on wetlands in arid and semi-arid lands. Hydrological Sciences Journal,35(4), 411–428.Google Scholar
  45. IPCC. (2012). Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation. https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/srex/SREX_Full_Report.pdf. Accessed July 8, 2018.
  46. Jha, A. K., Bloch, R., & Lamond, J. (2012). Cities and flooding a guide to integrated urban flood risk management for the 21st century. The World Bank. Washington, DC. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/2241. Accessed July 8, 2018.
  47. Jongman, B. (2018). Effective adaptation to rising flood risk. Nature Communications.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04396-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Koutsoyiannis, D., Zarkadoulas, N., Angelakis, A. N., & Tchobanoglous, G. (2008). Urban water management in Ancient Greece: Legacies and lessons. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management,134(1), 45–54.Google Scholar
  49. Kron, W. (2005). Flood risk = hazard · values · vulnerability. Water International,30(1), 58–68.Google Scholar
  50. Kuma, J. S., & Ashley, D. N. (2008). Runoff estimates into the Weija reservoir and its implications for water supply to Accra, Ghana. Journal of Urban and Environmental Engineering,2(2), 33–40.Google Scholar
  51. Larbi, W. O. (2008). Compulsory land acquisition and compensation in Ghana: Searching for alternative policies and strategies. In Presentation, FIG/FAO/CNG international seminar on state and public sector land management, Verona, Italy. http://www.fao.org/3/ai0899t/i0899t02.pdf. Accessed December 27, 2017.
  52. Lee, Y., & Brody, S. D. (2018). Examining the impact of land use on flood losses in Seoul, Korea. Land Use Policy,70(1), 500–509.Google Scholar
  53. Lempert, R., Kalra, N., Peyraud, S., Mao, Z., Tan, S. B., & Cira, D., et al. (2013). Ensuring robust flood risk management in Ho Chi Minh City. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/15603/WPS6465.pdf. Accessed May 22, 2018.Google Scholar
  54. Magole, L., & Thapelo, K. (2005). The impact of extreme flooding of the okavango river on the livelihood of the molapo farming community of Tubu village, Ngamiland Sub-district, Botswana. Botswana Notes and Records,37(1), 125–137.Google Scholar
  55. Nakamura, S., & Oki, T. (2018). Paradigm shifts on flood risk management in Japan: Detecting triggers of design flood revisions in the modern era. Water Resources Research, 54(8), 5504–5515.Google Scholar
  56. National Building Regulations. (1996). Ministry of works and housing. Accra: Government of Ghana.Google Scholar
  57. Ngan, L. T., Bregt, A. K., Halsema, G. E., Hellegerse, P. J. G. J., & Nguyend, L.-D. (2018). Interplay between land-use dynamics and changes in hydrological regime in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta. Land Use Policy,73(1), 269–280.Google Scholar
  58. Odemerho, F. O. (1993). Flood control failures in a third world city: Benin city, Nigeria—Some environmental factors and policy issues. GeoJournal,29(4), 371–376.Google Scholar
  59. Oduro, C. Y. (2010). Effects of rapid urbanization on livelihoods in the peri-urban areas of Accra, Ghana. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis submitted to the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Florida State University.Google Scholar
  60. Oduro, C. Y., & Adamtey, R. (2017). The vulnerability of peri-urban farm households with the emergence of land markets in Accra. Journal of Science and Technology,37(1), 85–100.Google Scholar
  61. Oduro, C. Y., Adamtey, R., & Ocloo, K. (2015). Urban growth and livelihood transformations on the fringes of African Cities: A case study of changing livelihoods in peri-urban Accra. Environment and Natural Resources Research,5(2), 81–98.Google Scholar
  62. Olajuyigbe, A. E., Rotowa, O. O., & Durojaye, E. (2012). An assessment of flood hazard in Nigeria: The case of mile 12, Lagos. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences,3(2), 367–375.Google Scholar
  63. Oteng-Ababio, M. (2012). Neglected vulnerabilities in a rapidly urbanizing city: reflections on earthquake risks in Accra. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment,27(2), 187–205.Google Scholar
  64. Ouma, Y. O., & Tateishi, R. (2014). Urban flood vulnerability and risk mapping using integrated multi-parametric AHP and GIS: Methodological overview and case study assessment. Water,6(6), 1515–1545.Google Scholar
  65. Owusu-Ansah, J. K. (2016). The influences of land use and sanitation infrastructure on flooding in Kumasi, Ghana. GeoJournal,81(4), 555–570.Google Scholar
  66. Owusu-Ansah J. K., & Braimah, I. (2013). The dual land management systems as an influence on physical development outcomes around Kumasi. Ghana Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 28(4), 689–703.Google Scholar
  67. Owusu-Ansah, J. K., & O’Connor, K. (2010). Housing demand in the urban fringe around Kumasi, Ghana. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment,25(1), 1–17.Google Scholar
  68. Paul, M. J., & Meyer, J. L. (2001). Streams in the urban landscape. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics,32(1), 333–365.Google Scholar
  69. Pistrika, A. K., & Jonkman, S. N. (2010). Damage to residential buildings due to flooding of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. Natural Hazards,54(2), 413–434.Google Scholar
  70. Ravetz, J., Fertner, C., & Nielsen, T. S. (2013). The dynamics of peri-urbanization. In K. Nilsson, S. Pauleit, S. Bell, C. Aalbers, & T. S. Nielsen (Eds.), Peri-urban futures: Scenarios and models for land use change in Europe (pp. 13–44). Berlin: Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-30529-0_2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Ross, L. (1983). Flood control policy in China: The policy consequences of natural disasters. Journal of Public Policy,3(2), 209–231.Google Scholar
  72. Satterthwaite, D., Huq, S., Reid, H., Pelling, M., & Lankao, P. R. (2007). Adapting to climate change in urban areas: The possibilities and constraints in low- and middle- income nations. London: IIED. (human settlements discussion paper).Google Scholar
  73. Simon, D., McGregor, D., & Nsiah-Gyabaah, K. (2004). The changing urban-rural interface of African cities: Definitional issues and an application to Kumasi, Ghana. Environment and Urbanization,16(2), 235–248.Google Scholar
  74. Small, C., & Nicholls, R. J. (2003). A global analysis of human settlement in coastal zones. Journal of Coastal Research,19(3), 584–599.Google Scholar
  75. Stow, D. A., Weeks, J. R., Shih, H., Coulter, L. L., Johnson, H., Tsai, Y.-H., et al. (2016). Inter-regional pattern of urbanization in southern Ghana in the first decade of the New Millennium. Applied Geography.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2016.04.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Vanderleeuw, J., Liu, B., & Williams, E. (2008). The 2006 New Orleans mayoral election: The political ramifications of a large-scale natural disaster. PS: Political Science & Politics,41(4), 795–801.Google Scholar
  77. Ward, P. J., Jongman, B., Aerts, J. C., Bates, P. D., Botzen, W. J., Loaiza, A. D., et al. (2017). A global framework for future costs and benefits of river-flood protection in urban areas. Nature Climate Change,7(9), 642.Google Scholar
  78. Water Research Institute (WRI). (2011). Prevention of hydro-hazard disasters in Ghana: Update of flood phenomenon in Ghana. Draft Report. Accra, Ghana: UNESCO Cluster Office.Google Scholar
  79. Werritty, A. (2005). Sustainable flood management: Oxymoron or new paradigm? Area (2006),38(1), 16–23.Google Scholar
  80. Wheater, H., & Evans, E. (2009). Land use, water management and future flood risk. Land Use Policy,26(S1), S251–S264.Google Scholar
  81. Winsemius, H. C., Jongman, B., Veldkamp, T. I., Hallegatte, S., Bangalore, M., & Ward, P. J. (2015). Disaster risk, climate change, and poverty: assessing the global exposure of poor people to floods and droughts. Development Economics. World Bank Group. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283633905. Accessed July 8, 2018.
  82. Workman, J. G. (2007). How to fix our dam problems. Issues in Science and Technology,24(1), 31–42.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justice Kufour Owusu-Ansah
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joshua Meyir Dery
    • 2
  • Clifford Amoako
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PlanningKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana
  2. 2.AccraGhana

Personalised recommendations