Climate change and city dwellers adaptive capacity: the case of flooding in the Kumasi Metropolis

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AUGUST, 2012
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Climate Change is a reality, evidenced by changing and unpredictability of climatic factors such as increasing temperature, evapo-transpiration, rainfall, disruption in climatic patterns; and increasing frequencies and intensities of extreme event. According to Ghana‟s country report to the UNFCCC in 2000, the mean daily temperatures in Ghana will increase by about 2.5° C to 3.2°C, if the mid-range atmospheric sensitivity of 2.5°C is assumed, over the 1961 to 1990 baseline temperatures by the year 2100. This is higher than the global average of about 2°C in the same period. In the rainforest and moist semi-equatorial zones, increases are expected in the rainfall pattern. Clearly, the above shows that Ghana is being affected by climate change with some negative effects recorded for some decades now. Of all the effects of climate change, flooding presents danger to cities than the other effects, with significant number of disasters happening in the last decades being flood were in areas considered urban. In spite of the overwhelming evidence suggesting that climate change is responsible for flooding in cities in the world, there are reasons to suggest that Kumasi‟s flooding incidence is otherwise. Therefore, the study sought out whether climate change is happening in Kumasi and if so, is it responsible for the flooding incidence experienced of late in the Metropolis. Information for the study was collected utilizing the case study approach, which enhanced the use of multiple evidences for the conclusion drawn at the end of the study. In all data was collected from households in seven suburbs of the city including Bremang, Dichemso, Aboabo, Oforikrom, Atonsu, Asafo and Adiembra. These were augmented by data from the Ghana Meteorological Department, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), the Engineering Department and Town and Country Planning Department of KMA. Available meteorological data on temperature and precipitation for Kumasi from the Ghana Meteorological Agency evidently shows increasing temperature and rainfall patterns since 1961 with variations for temperature of about 0.2°C above the mean for the last ten years (1990-2009), evidently an increment of about 0.4°C for the decade. It therefore suggests that Kumasi is experiencing climate change as experienced by the whole country, though on a moderate scale. Other evidence pointed out in the thesis suggest strongly that Kumasi‟s vi flooding is as a result of human factors such as sanitation, poor planning and ineffective and blatant disregard for physical development laws in the city. Just as the research sought to identify causes, it also proposed a number of policy options to mitigate this developing phenomenon. It proposed both short and long term options in mitigating this flooding phenomenon so as to make Kumasi a more resilient and sustainable city.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Planning Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of M.Phil in Planning.