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Assessment of coastal communities’ vulnerability to floods using indicator-based approach: a case study of Greater Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana

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An Erratum to this article was published on 26 July 2017

This article has been updated

Abstract

Coastal towns along the coast of Africa are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts such as flooding and sea level rise. Yet, because coastal conditions in many parts of the region are poorly understood, knowledge on which population groups are at the most risk is less known, particularly in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) of Ghana, where the capital city Accra is located. Without adequate information about the risk levels and why, the implementation of locally appropriate adaptation plans may be less effective. This study enriches our understanding of the levels of flood risks along the coast of GAMA and contributes knowledge to improve understanding of place-specific adaptation plans. The study uses data from a 300-household survey, stakeholder meetings, and interviews with local community leaders to construct an integrated vulnerability index. The index includes seven components made up of: dwelling type; house and house environment; household socioeconomic characteristics; experience and perception of flood risk; household and community flood adaptation strategies; house location, and physical characteristics. Our findings show that exposure to floods, particularly from local flash floods is relatively high in all communities. However, significant differences in sensitivity and adaptive capacity of the communities were observed due to differences in location, socioeconomic characteristics, and perception of risks to flooding and sea level rise. The complexity of factors involved in the determination of local-level vulnerability requires that the implementation of adaptation strategies needs to involve cross-sectorial partnerships, involving local communities, in building a comprehensive multi-risk adaptation strategy.

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Source: Adapted from Fritzsche et al. (2014)

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Change history

  • 26 July 2017

    An erratum to this article has been published.

Notes

  1. We use mitigation to refer to actions that addresses the cause of climate change or flooding, whereas we use adaptation to refer to actions that address the impact of climate change or flooding.

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Acknowledgements

Funding was provided by Danida Fellowship Centre.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to John Boakye-Danquah.

Additional information

The original version of this article was revised: The first author’s name was incorrectly given as William Kojo Paul Yankson instead of Paul William Kojo Yankson.

An erratum to this article is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-017-3006-0.

Appendices

Appendix 1

Descriptive statistics for exposure

Sub-category

All communities

Communities

Mean

Min

Max

STD

AS

AK

OK

LD

LK

TW

KK

GS

Average number of flood events in Accra for the past 10 years

23.00

23

23

0.00

23

23

23

23

23

23

23

23

Proportion of people who experience flooding every year

36.16

12

63.3

18.87

63.3

44

52

12

22

24

20

52

Proportion of people who had experienced flooding other than rainfall flooding over the past 10 years

34.25

12

58

18.38

58

44

52

12

12

24

24

48

Proportion of people who have experienced flooding from rainfall/runoff around their house over the past 10 years

37.00

12

70

22.01

70

48

56

16

18

24

12

52

Proportion of households with risk such as injury or death or property damage because flooding from rainfall/run off

26.25

4

46

14.20

46

38

28

4

24

20

12

38

Proportion of households with risk such as injury or death because of flooding other than rainfall flooding over the past 10 years

33.50

8

62

20.11

62

38

36

8

22

24

16

62

Mean standard deviation of monthly average of average maximum daily temperature (years 2005–2015)

0.40

0.4

0.4

0.00

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

Mean standard deviation of monthly average of average minimum daily temperature (years 2005–2015)

0.50

0.5

0.5

0.00

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

Mean standard deviation of monthly average precipitation (years 2005–2015)

47.30

47.3

47.3

0.00

47.3

47.3

47.3

47.3

47.3

47.3

47.3

47.3

Proportion of households who have observed sea level rise

58.00

36

84

17.10

80

60

36

44

56

84

44

60

  1. AS Ablekuma South, AK Ashiedu Keteke, OK Osu Klottey, LD La Dadekotopon, LK Ledzokuku Krowor, TW Tema West, KK Kpone Katamanso, GS Ga South

Appendix 2

Descriptive statistics for sensitivity

Sub-categories

All communities

Communities

Mean

Min

Max

STD

AS

AK

OK

LD

LK

TW

KK

GS

Proportion of households without in-house/compound piped water access

52.63

10.00

84

32.13

83

10.00

12.00

24

58

84

76

74

Proportion of households without toilet facilities at home

61.50

12.00

96

32.33

90

12.00

16.00

52

84

96

68

74

Proportion of population unemployed

14.25

4.00

28

7.36

14

4.00

20.00

28

16

12

8

12

Proportion of the population in informal employment

81.75

64.00

94

8.71

78

94.00

80.00

64

84

84

88

82

Proportion who are not owners of a house

60.00

40.00

82

12.96

82

64.00

52.00

52

58

40

60

72

Proportion of the population that reported damage to property from flooding in the community over the past 10 years

33.50

8.00

62

20.11

62

38.00

36.00

8

22

24

16

62

Proportion of those who reported property damages because of flooding from rainfall/runoff in their household over the past 10 years

26.25

4.00

46

14.20

46

38.00

28.00

4

24

20

12

38

Proportion of households who reported themselves/family member/neighbor having been forced to move or relocate because of recent flood disaster in the last 10 years

17.25

0.00

66

23.95

66

14.00

0.00

0

0

20

0

38

Proportion of population who indicated they are likely to be affected by coastal flooding from sea level rise

32.25

8.00

76

23.67

76

22.00

8.00

16

20

52

16

48

Proportion of population who feel worried about the danger of flooding in their community?

58.23

36.70

89.5

19.59

89.5

56.00

52.00

44

36.7

52.1

48

87.5

Proportion of population who feel staying in their community is a threat to their safety

36.89

28.50

48

8.72

29.1

38.00

48.00

44

28.5

30.4

48

29.1

Proportion of the population who reported any form risk because of flooding from rainfall/runoff

31.75

8.00

48

15.02

48

42.00

44.00

8

22

24

20

46

Proportion of population who ranked roads infrastructure at a high risk to coastal flooding

24.13

8.00

48

15.03

45.7

12.80

16.70

8

14

48

24

23.8

Proportion of population who ranked beach going infrastructure at a high risk to coastal flooding

55.49

33.30

88

17.38

33.3

69.40

43.50

44

56

48

88

61.7

Proportion of population who ranked houses at a high risk to coastal flooding

59.78

44.00

79.6

12.03

79.6

44.90

56.50

44

58

68

68

59.2

Proportion of population who ranked fishing at a high risk to coastal flooding

61.53

37.50

83.7

16.19

52.1

71.40

43.50

37.5

60

76

68

83.7

Proportion of population who ranked business firms at a high risk to coastal flooding

13.26

8.30

28

6.68

10.6

8.30

8.30

8.3

14

16.7

28

11.9

Proportion of population who ranked coastal wetlands at a high risk to coastal flooding

17.38

4.00

47.6

15.33

29.8

11.80

10.50

5.3

6

4

24

47.6

Average slope (%)

1.75

1.00

2.7

0.57

1.58

1.50

1.38

1.6

1.7

2.5

2.7

1

Average distance to local drain/stream (KM)

1.66

0.53

2.3

0.67

2.05

1.15

0.53

2.25

2.1

1.9

1

2.3

Average distance to sea (km)

0.92

0.55

1.5

0.35

0.56

0.80

1.33

1.5

0.55

1

0.7

0.94

Average elevation (m)

20.18

13.30

34

6.82

18

15.14

13.30

16

21

18

26

34

  1. AS Ablekuma South, AK Ashiedu Keteke, OK Osu Klottey, LD La Dadekotopon, LK Ledzokuku Krowor, TW Tema West, KK Kpone Katamanso, GS Ga South

Appendix 3

Descriptive statistics for adaptive capacity

Sub-category

All communities

Communities

Mean

Min

Max

STD

AS

AK

OK

LD

LK

TW

KK

GS

Proportion of population who reported good drainage condition in their community

34.25

2

64

20.63

2

26

48

40

52

64

28

14

Proportion of population who use any flood protection measures, e.g., digging trenches around houses before and during floods

19.50

0

46

16.10

40

46

16

8

10

0

12

24

Proportion of the population that participate in community programs toward flood mitigation/adaptation

15.75

4

30

9.53

30

16

12

4

14

8

12

30

Proportion of households that receive a warning about the pending natural disasters

23.40

0

73

22.88

73

4.5

13.3

0

18.2

22.2

36

20

Proportion of population affected by recent floods who received assistance (outside formal government)

87.20

75

100

10.03

100

95.5

86.7

100

81.8

77.8

75

80.8

Proportion of population affected by recent flood who received assistance (from formal government sources)

10.79

8

18

3.6

14

8

8

8.3

10

12

8

18

Proportion of male population

44.25

32

52

6.80

48

48

44

36

48

52

32

46

Proportion of the population living in secured dwelling type

80.00

56

92

13.18

92

64

84

92

80

56

84

88

Proportion of population using a secured building material

75.19

22

96

24.58

96

22

76

60

94

89

89

75.5

Proportion of the population living in a house with an outer wall

36.00

4

86

28.75

70

8

4

24

40

24

32

86

Proportion of the population living in house with a secured floor material

75.88

58

88

9.95

58

66

76

88

82

80

84

73

Proportion of the population using a secured roofing material

93.50

86

100

4.99

94

90

100

88

98

96

96

86

Proportion of household with a kitchen attached to the main building

35.75

20

60

12.44

24

30

20

40

42

32

60

38

Proportion of household with piped water at home

47.25

16

90

32.27

16

90

88

76

42

16

24

26

Proportion of population with access to electricity

83.00

70

96

8.82

84

74

96

88

92

80

80

70

Proportion of population who have undertaken maintenance of their outer wall over the past 10 years

14.75

0

42

16.46

36

4

0

4

12

0

20

42

Proportion of population who have done any maintenance of their building over the past 10 years

31.99

20.8

48

8.60

24.5

28.6

48

32

20.8

40

32

30

Proportion of population who have undertaken maintenance of their floor over the past 10 years

10.50

4

20

5.93

8

6

4

4

12

16

20

14

Proportion of population who have undertaken maintenance of their roof wall over the past 10 years

22.06

8

28

6.72

8

26

24

24

26.5

28

16

24

Proportion who have any form of economic activity attached to the household

30.75

12

52

13.48

12

52

44

40

24

20

24

30

Proportion of the population that reported knowledge of any civil society in the community involved in flood protection and mitigation

4.76

0

16

7.08

16

4.1

0

0

2

0

0

16

  1. AS Ablekuma South, AK Ashiedu Keteke, OK Osu Klottey, LD La Dadekotopon, LK Ledzokuku Krowor, TW Tema West, KK Kpone Katamanso, GS Ga South

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Yankson, P.W.K., Owusu, A.B., Owusu, G. et al. Assessment of coastal communities’ vulnerability to floods using indicator-based approach: a case study of Greater Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana. Nat Hazards 89, 661–689 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-017-2985-1

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