Impact of Floods on Livelihoods and Vulnerability of Natural Resource Dependent Communities in Northern Ghana

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Abstract

Sub-Sahara Africa is considered to be most vulnerable to climate variability including flooding. The frequency and severity of floods in Northern Ghana over the last decade has increased considerably. Through qualitative modelling the paper explores the impact of floods on natural resource dependent communities in Northern Ghana. Simplified causal loop diagrams are used to conceptualise flood-induced coping strategies in the study area. The results indicate that some characteristics of the socio-cultural environment appear to mitigate risk and reduce vulnerability. In this context, the role of social networks in enhancing livelihood security is essential. The paper concludes that both in case of seasonal variations in agricultural output and floods, individuals that have effectively diversified their livelihoods, both occupationally and geographically, are less sensitive than individuals who mainly achieve entitlement to food via crop cultivation. However, diversification in this case, is effective only in the short term.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Keywords

  • floods, vulnerability, environment, communities, livelihoods, Northern, Ghana
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-139
JournalWater
Volume2
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes