The Centre for Settlement Studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has developed a framework to mitigate flood disasters across the country.
Head, Professor Divine Ahadzie says it entails strategies for creating the needed preparedness of communities towards flood disasters.
Prof Ahadzie was speaking during the first stakeholders’ consultative meeting on building resilient communities for flood risk mitigation and adaptation at Sepe-Buokrom, a suburb of the regional capital, Kumasi.
The consultative meeting brought together interest groups in the community such as church leaders, the clergy, Imams and other Moslem leaders, teachers, civil society groups, community leaders and representatives from traditional leaders and political parties.
The objective was to create awareness and empower the community of their social responsibility.
This will aid in developing a common vision towards mitigation and coping strategies to minimize the impacts of flood hazards.
According to Professor Ahadzie, increasing urbanization, population growth and especially extreme weather patterns due to climate change, will create more frequent and severe flooding.
There is, therefore, an urgent need now for communities in especially flood-prone areas to adopt a sense of social responsibility towards confronting potential flood hazards.
“Communities need to have strong local database on flooding and a profile on vulnerable groups within their locality, adopt green infrastructure such as tree planting and grassing of their compounds, develop the habit of listening to weather forecast every day, organize regular forums and provide education, create self-awareness, and plan emergency rescue methods,” he said.
A number of focus group discussions in the community suggested the role of Assemblyman, the Chief and Parliamentarian for the area will be critical.
They will create a common vision on flood risk management in the community.