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Coping with Floods in the Savannah Region of Ghana

Abstract

Theresa Dari, Dacosta Aboagye, Joseph Koomson

Human vulnerability to floods may be generated from human interaction with the environment. This interaction could result in an event that causes harm to humans by surpassing household and community resistance and resilience. This study sought to examine how decreasing access to and deteriorating conditions of key assets has increased human vulnerability to floods in the Savannah. The main aim of the study was to demonstrate how demographic characteristics of people affect their ability to access key assets to cope with floods. Two towns in the Savannah region which have been identified as highly vulnerable to flooding due to their history of floods were selected. Data collected and analysed
for the study was both qualitative and quantitative and presented using descriptive and inferential statistics. The chi square test was used to determine relationship between variables. The results of the analysis showed that most of the respondents lacked access to key assets. Lack of access to these key assets affects their ability to anticipate, resist and recover from floods. At both study areas the most vulnerable groups were females and the aged. The study showed that respondents in the rural area were more vulnerable to floods than those at the urban centre. The study concludes that, to establish effective programs to reduce human vulnerability to environmental hazards, there is the need to understand how demographic characteristics affect ability to access key assets and influences level of vulnerability.
 

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