16 Mar 2017

Improving the livelihoods of farmers in Ghana

UNEP-DHI facilitates the implementation of nation-wide drought forecasting system

Ghana is heavily reliant on agriculture for the national economy and for livelihoods. However, with crops being predominantly rain-fed, they are extremely climate sensitive. Rising temperatures and decreases in annual rainfall in most parts of the country are expected to continue over the coming decades. This poses a direct challenge for Ghana’s social and economic development. 

An early-warning system for national deployment
Ghanaian authorities contacted the United Nations Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) who in turn approached UNEP-DHI for advice. UNEP-DHI is CTCN’s global lead for technical assistance on freshwater issues. Following consultations, a collective decision was made to explore options for developing a national drought early warning system. More specifically, the ambitions of the initiative are to: 

  • Enhance awareness and knowledge of spatially-distributed drought issues within Ghana 
  • Increase the data accessibility of relevant near real-time satellite information 
  • Provide scientific-based information for drought warning and forecasting within Ghana 
  • Enable decision makers and stakeholders to use the transferred knowledge, practices and technologies actively in the dry season planning

At the time of writing, the first steps consultation and technical evaluations steps are now underway, and a roadmap elaborating on how the initiative could be up-scaled is under consideration.

Rising temperatures and decreases in annual rainfall pose a direct challenge for Ghana’s social and economic development. ©Shutterstock / Przemyslaw Skibinski

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