Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 665–676 | Cite as

Mapping vulnerability to multiple hazards in the savannah Ecosystem in Ghana

  • Gerald A. B. YiranEmail author
  • Lindsay C. Stringer
  • Emmanuel M. Attua
  • Andrew J. Evans
  • Andy J. Challinor
  • Edwin A. Gyasi
Original Article


The interior savannah ecosystem in Ghana is subjected to a number of hazards, including droughts, windstorms, high temperatures and heavy rainfall. The frequency and intensity of these hazards are projected to increase during the twenty-first century as a result of climate variability and change. Vulnerabilities to these hazards vary, both spatially and temporally, due to differences in susceptibilities and adaptive capacities. Many mapping exercises in Ghana have considered the impacts of single hazards on single sectors, particularly agriculture. But the hazards often occur concurrently or alternately and have varying degrees of impacts on different sectors. The impacts also interact. These interactions make mapping of the vulnerabilities of multiple sectors to multiple hazards imperative. This paper presents an analysis of the spatial dimension of vulnerabilities by mapping vulnerability of sectors that support livelihood activities at a single point in time, using the Upper East Region of Ghana as a case study. Data collected to develop the maps were largely quantitative and from secondary sources. Other data drew on fieldwork undertaken in the region from July to September 2013. Quantitative values were assigned to qualitative categorical data as the mapping process is necessarily quantitative. Data were divided into susceptibility and adaptive capacity indicators and mapped in ArcGIS 10.2 using weighted linear sum aggregation. Agriculture was found to be the most vulnerable sector in all districts of the Upper East Region and experienced the greatest shocks from all hazards. Although all districts were vulnerable, the Talensi, Nabdam, Garu-Temapane and Kassena-Nankana West Districts were most vulnerable. Findings highlight the need for more targeted interventions to build adaptive capacity in light of the spatial distributions of vulnerabilities to hazards across sectors.


Vulnerability analysis Spatial analysis Multi-hazards Savannah ecosystem 

Supplementary material

10113_2016_1054_MOESM1_ESM.doc (4.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 4373 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald A. B. Yiran
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lindsay C. Stringer
    • 2
  • Emmanuel M. Attua
    • 1
  • Andrew J. Evans
    • 3
  • Andy J. Challinor
    • 4
  • Edwin A. Gyasi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Resource DevelopmentUniversity of GhanaLegonGhana
  2. 2.Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  3. 3.School of GeographyUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  4. 4.Institute of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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