Ghana, among other tropical countries have been tagged globally as being most vulnerable to climate change, Western Region Director for the Environmental Protection Agency, Yaw Osarfo Afriyie has said.
Speaking at a workshop organised by ICF International under the USAID’s Integrated Resource and Resilience Planning (IRRP) project, Mr Sarfo -Afriyie noted, recent incidence of disasters such as coastal erosion and flood in communities along the coast and other parts of the country is evident of a worsening climatic condition.
“The recent disasters like the coastal erosion of towns in Keta and flooding among others that have been hogging the headlines of the major news media outlets are the closest to impact on the public’s minds on the reality and threat of climatic change”, he stressed.
The workshop dubbed “Climatic Change Risk assessment and Resilience in the western region” provides a learning platform to build awareness around effectively integrating extreme weather and climate change risks into district level energy frameworks and planning. The IRRP project provides technical assistance and human resource training on resilient infrastructure development.
The EPA, NDPC and 11 districts in the Western Region participated in the workshop. The western region was selected as a prime location largely because of its high potential for climate risks and vulnerabilities.
Mr. Sarfo – Afriyie in his remarks mentioned “the consequence of climate change has been felt in lower agriculture yields, increased water stress, as well as changes in the natural ecosystems”.
He avers our desire to industrialise coupled with unregulated human activities such as coastal sand wining, deforestation, and reclamation of wetlands, increases our vulnerability to the threats of climate change.
He warns until some correctional measures are taken to change mindsets and attitudes of the populace, the situation would worsen, and thereby undermine strategies to cope with climate change.
“The impact of climate change are very visible to all of us. Today the very same natural resources that could help us survive the treats of climate change are being degraded at an alarming rate, especially in the urban areas. Our very desire to industrialise has led to activities that increase our vulnerability to the threats of climate change. If we continue along this path, we may end up deepening the impact of climate change and worst still undermine strategies to cope with climate change”, he stated.