Sustainable Management of Flood Disasters in the Upper East Region, Ghana

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Disasters, natural or man-made can strike at any time. It is nature’s way of altering terrains and creating new biodiversities. Flood hazard become a vicious threat, rather than a natural occurrence when humans interfere with flood plains. Although various governments across the globe have developed and implemented programmes intended to control flood disasters, the phenomena persist. The impact of flood disaster is felt most by the poorest members of society particularly those whose livelihoods are tied to climate sensitive sectors of the economy such as rain fed agriculture. Floods are often blamed on natural hazards however human activities on the environment exacerbate the effects of natural hazards often causing widespread damage to lives and property. Institutional incapability and lapses in planning and managing flood disasters are guilty for the increasing negative impact on the people. If we are adequately prepared, it is possible to severely reduce the impact of flood disaster through a good understanding of preventive action as well as having knowledge of certain life-saving techniques. The study is devoted to discussing how the stakeholders and flood victims cope with the floods particularly in the farming communities in the Builsa district and to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable flood disaster management system to reduce losses that are borne by flood-affected households. Library research in form of literature review was undertaken as part of data. Field data gathering were undertaken in the Builsa District and at the regional level for the study. The research used household and institutional survey and face-to-face interviews to collect data on flood disaster experiences over the years. The sample for the study was selected using both probability and non-probability methods. The study suggested short and long term solutions based on practices adopted for sustainable management of disasters in Mozambique, Malaysia and China and as suggested by IFRC (2007). These include strengthening of the key stakeholder capacities, mainstreaming disaster risk reduction plans into Medium Term Development Plan for Builsa and implementing them for sustainable development. This could be replicated in other districts to help reduce the flood impact and bridge the gap between the north and south of Ghana.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Master of Science degree in Development Policy and Planning