Environmental hazards in Ghanaian cities: the incidence of annual floods along the Aboabo river in the Kumasi Metropolitan Area (KMA) of the Ashanti Region of Ghana

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Floods do occur annually in the Aboabo river basin. Floods occur when a body of water rises to overflow land which is normally not submerged. The Aboabo river basin is home to various communities namely Anloga, Dichemso, Aboabo and Amakom which were selected for this study. Flooding in the river basin affects life and property in many ways. The causes and socioeconomic effects of flooding in the Aboabo river basin have been investigated in this research. The cross-sectional research design was used in this study. Primary and secondary data were used. The purposive sampling method was used to choose a good sample to investigate the problem better. Related institutions were also contacted to give their own perspectives of the problem. It was found out that the causes of flooding in the Aboabo river basin are both natural and artificial. Climate change has contributed to the natural cause of flooding through rise in average temperatures and increase in annual and seasonal rainfall at least, over the last thirty years. Rise in temperature and increase in rainfall have led to increases in the discharge of the Aboabo river with the excess overflowing to inundate the flood plain. The man-made causes of flooding in the Aboabo include poor land use, unplanned development of settlements, indiscriminate disposal of refuse into and on the banks of the Aboabo river. The socioeconomic effects of floods in the basin include loss of life and property as well as financial and health problems faced by inhabitants of the basin. From the research, it was established that average temperatures and rainfall have generally been increasing over the last thirty years and the indiscriminate disposal of refuse into and on the banks of the Aboabo river have led to the annual floods in the Aboabo. Also, the actions and inactions of concerned institutions have encouraged the haphazard development of settlements in the basin. The resettlement of communities in the Aboabo basin and the enforcement of laws which protect the environment and its inhabitants as well as the proper disposal of refuse are recommended solutions to the problem.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Geography and Rural Development, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts