EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

An inter and transdisciplinary participatory approach to assess the current flood risk management practices in Ghana

Adrian Almoradie1, Mariana Madruga de Brito1,2, and Mariele Evers1
Adrian Almoradie et al.
  • 1University of Bonn, Dept. of Geography, Bonn, Germany (
  • 2Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Dept. of Urban and Environmental Sociology, Leipzig, Germany

The understanding of the multifaceted nature of flood risk management (FRM) of a country requires the consideration of both social, technical as well as governance aspects. The inclusion of these components in the analysis and assessment of FRM allows comprehending the veracity of its interdependencies, its strengths and weakness that would, in turn, aid in improving the current system.

This paper presents an inter and transdisciplinary and participatory multi-method participatory approach to promptly assess Ghana’s current FRM practices, describing the current gaps and opportunities for improving FRM. Here, we describe the challenges on its institutional, governance and implementation, scientific, technical and social capacity levels and potential ways forward. The methodological  approach comprised a systematic literature review of 53 peer-reviewed articles, stakeholder analysis, engagement of stakeholders on workshops through focus group discussion and collaborative mapping, interviews with key individual stakeholders, and household surveys with 1,479 citizens living in flood prone areas. The stakeholders were identified and categorized into governance and implementation, academia and research and security agencies.

Results show that stakeholders have diverse and even contradictory views regarding FRM in Ghana. Overall, the findings indicate that: (1) the most critical regions are Accra, Kumasi, and the White Volta river basin, (2) the most crucial aspects for reducing vulnerability and exposure are related with high population density, social hotspots and location of Critical Infrastructure, (3) FRM  are unsustainable and unintegrated and it heavily relies on short-term projects and external funders, (4) reliable data is scarcily available and communities need to be engage more in the planning and provision of information and data, (5) there are weaknesses in flood early warning systems (FEWS), institutional collaborations, human capacity, trained FRM professionals and problems in policy implementation, (6) the most important vulnerability criteria are the existence of FEWS, disaster relief agencies, areas with a high density of children and poverty rate, (7) the interviewed communities in Accra and Kumasi claimed that flood disasters are caused mainly by human activities and interventions.

The applied participatory multi-method approach proved to be useful to capture the factual situation of the FRM in Ghana, this was shown when cross-referencing the results of the different methods. The use of a participatory and inter and transdisciplinary approach allowed capturing a multitude of views as well as the stakeholders needs and requirements in terms of FRM. The co-production of knowledged allowed improving the credibility, salience and legitimacy of project outputs.

How to cite: Almoradie, A., Madruga de Brito, M., and Evers, M.: An inter and transdisciplinary participatory approach to assess the current flood risk management practices in Ghana, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10879,, 2020


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  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-10879, Chiara Arrighi, 06 May 2020

    Nice work, did you know this project?

    Also Ghana was part of the study.

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Adrian Almoradie, 06 May 2020

      Many thanks for the kind comment. Yes it was a short project named PARADeS. The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).