Hon. Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh, has presented a paper on "Seizing Momentum for a Resilient Future: A Systemic Approach to Addressing the DRR-Adaptation Mitigation Nexus for Empowerment Inclusiveness and Equality" at the invitation of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
He retreated Ghana’s National Climate Change Policy which provides a strategic direction for achieving a climate resilient and climate compatible economy. For which the Paris Climate Agreement (COP 21), Ghana has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2030 relative to the business as usual scenario.
However, with external support, he believes additional reduction to 30% is possible.
He further mentioned that, as a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNCCC), Ghana has made solid strides at Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). Ghana has also selected a set of 20 mitigation and 11 adaptation actions as our National Determined Contribution (GH-NDC) for implementation between 2020 and 2030.
The Director-General added that the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) has considered a programme to ensure that all 253 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) prioritize DRR, develop and implement DRR strategies within their jurisdictions.
According to him, the Government of Ghana through an intervention programme is building dams in the northern parts of the country, where increased floods inundate vast expanse of both peasant and commercial farms in recent times and thus destroy the livelihoods of many farmers.
The construction of dams dubbed, “One Village, One Dam” is to collect the excess waters for later irrigation especially during the dry season. This intervention is helping to turn around the misfortunes of the incidence of flooding in the area into a livelihood programme aimed at improving agriculture and the economic lives of the people. This is also solving the perennial flooding which leads to loss of lives and destruction of properties and at the same time enabling farmers to engage in year-long farming activities.
He added that Ghana has secured a World Bank support amounting to USD 200 million to reconstruct a major drains in Accra, the capital city.
To further improve agriculture with consideration to losses exacerbated by Climate Change, Hon. Nana Agyemang-Prempeh stated that government has rolled out a flagship programme called “Planting for Food and Jobs” and “Rearing for Food and Jobs”. Under this critical initiative, farmers are being trained to plant early maturing crops that are harvested before the advent of the destructive flood waters. Likewise, with the prolonging dry season, our farmers are being trained to grow drought resistant crops as an adaptation measure to ensure food security in the face of climate change.
In conclusion, he made mention of the national programme named “Institutional Arrangement to Engage the Youth and Young Children in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation” also dubbed “Catch Them Young” which has been rolled out in Basic Schools.
Under this initiative, DRR Clubs are being formed in basic schools , high schools and tertiary institutions to drum home DRR and Climate Change concerns, and, the required actions. Club members act as Peer Educators for their peers and DRR Ambassadors for their parents and the communities. Also, under this programme, children in the orphanage and street children, being some of the most vulnerable groups in society have also been brought on board the DRR and Climate Change discussion.
The glowing delivery of Ghana’s success in this space was done as part of SDG meetings in preparation for the UN General Assembly meeting in September which will be attended by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who has also been re-appointed Co-Chair of the Eminent Group of Sustainable Development Goals Advocates for an additional two years.
The Ghanaian delegation was made up of Prof. Gyan Barfour (Minister of Planning), Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh (Minister of Education), Hon. Ignatius Barfour Awuah (Minister of Employment and Labour Relations), Hon. Patricia Appiagyei (Deputy Minister for Environment and Technology), Hon. Abena Osei Asare (Deputy Minister of Finance) and technocrats from other State institutions such as EPA ,NDPC ,NADMO among others.
Alongside same programme is the United Nations conference for chief of Defence staffs of member countries where Ghana is represented by Lt. Gen.O.B. Akwa (CDS) and Gen.Thomas Oppong Peprah ( General, Chief of Staff).
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.