The rains are disappointing us: dynamic vulnerability and adaptation to multiple stressors in the Afram Plains, Ghana

Original Article


This paper builds on work on the dynamics of vulnerability and multiple stressors through a case study in the Afram Plains of the Eastern region in Ghana. A vulnerability framework is applied in the community of Mimkyemfre to identify and explain the multiple underlying political, socioeconomic and environmental forces that influence the ways in which people are exposed and sensitive to climate, and their capacities to adapt to changing conditions. The results of the study indicate that the community experiences a range of biophysical and socioeconomic conditions that contribute to its vulnerability. Vulnerability was found to change over time and in some cases was cyclical, in that certain actions taken for the purposes of adaptation were found to exacerbate existing vulnerabilities. Processes of vulnerability were also found to occur at several scales and were experienced unevenly at the community level. The findings of this assessment have important implications for the design and implementation of successful adaptation initiatives, both in Africa and elsewhere. In particular, they demonstrate the need to understand the social, economic and institutional challenges to development as a basis for any contemplation of adaptation to climate change.


Adaptation Afram plains Africa Agriculture Community Ghana Food security Water Vulnerability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GuelphGuelphCanada

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