At a glance
Climate change is manifested in Ghana through: (i) rising temperatures, (ii) declining rainfall totals and increased variability, (iii) rising sea levels and (iv) high incidence of weather extremes and disasters. The average annual temperature has increased 1Â°C in the last 30 years. The basic goal of the Ghana's National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2010-2020 (NCCAS) is to increase Ghanaâ€™s resilience to climate change impacts. This will be done by building Ghanaâ€™s capacity in the area of infrastructure, knowledge to deal with climate change impacts and reduce vulnerability in key sectors, ecosystems, districts and regions of the country. Ghanaâ€™s vulnerability to climate change is in large part defined by its exposure to the various impacts with droughts, floods, and sea erosion as the main drivers. The most affected sectors in Ghana include the economic, social and infrastructural groups. In the economic sectors, agriculture which is the largest employer within the Ghanaian economy suffers the most from climate change. The next important sector with wide implications for other sectors is water. This is important for agriculture, energy, health, sanitation, manufacturing and domestic uses. Climate change is said to impact on natural resources negatively both directly and indirectly. The electricity supply is currently vulnerable to climate change. About 67% of electricity generation in the country is from hydropower and 33% is from thermal generation using diesel. The health and sanitation sectors have already been affected by climate change and will experience further stress in the future. Climate change impacts on infrastructure such as roads, dams, power distribution lines, homes, drains and all structures that life revolves around. Coastal erosion aided by rising sea levels will destroy a substantial portion of the east coast of Ghana. Migration and urban vulnerability constitute important dimensions of climate change in Ghana.
Ghanaâ€™s growing population, especially in urban centres, has translated into the generation of large amounts of solid waste. General Waste Management in Ghana is the responsibility of the new Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources. However, regulatory authority is vested in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The National Environment Policy (NEP) recognizes the adverse effect of indiscriminate disposal of waste on development of the country and look at how best solid and liquid wastes can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. It also encourages the management of waste aimed at minimizing the generation and disposal to the landfill and waste-to-energy practices. The Bioenergy Strategy proposes to i) Legislate and create incentives for the sorting and use of municipal and industrial wastes for energy and ii) Create incentives for logging offcuts and wood processing residues, municipal and agricultural wastes to be used for energy; iii) Develop regulations for efficient and effective disposal of logging offcuts and wood processing residues, municipal and agricultural wastes to be used for energy purposes; iv) Compel by legislation all future housing estates to be developed to have a centralized sewage system to enable the production of biogas; and v) Compel by legislation both private and public institutions such as second cycle institutions, tertiary, hospitals, housing estates to convert liquid waste into energy.