Delft DIMI in advisory group of Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation
The Delft Deltas, Infrastructure & Mobility Initiative and Delta Alliance joined forces in organising two meetings in Ghana to discuss with national and local stakeholders the challenges for the sustainable management of the Volta Delta.
The two consultative meetings were organised and facilitated by the Ghanaian Development Institute (DI) with funding support from the Delta Alliance and the DIMI. This project builds upon the cooperation with the University of Ghana and Delft University within the NWO research program on sustainable port development in Tema, Ghana.
The Ghana Volta Delta is one of Africa’s delta regions that is experiencing complex challenges due to climate change, coastal erosion, intensive urbanisation and poor land use planning. The delta is already experiencing strong coastal erosion, partly due to a lack of sediment that is trapped behind the dams in the Volta river and global effects of sea level rise, affecting coastal towns and infrastructure. Illegal salt and sand mining and the development of intensive agriculture, such as shrimp farming within the vulnerable delta’s ecosystem exaggerate the already poor livelihood of communities as a result of low fishing harvest and low agriculture output along the coast. These challenges illustrate the need for a coordinated and system-based approach to improve the resilience and sustainable management of the Volta delta.
In view of this, the meeting sought to achieve exchange of ideas, bringing together knowledge, to build a joint research agenda with Ghanaian universities, and to define steps forward. The discussions with the stakeholders revealed that development and integration of base line data, for example on coastal erosion, salinization and urbanization, is key to start understanding the complex relations that define sustainability of the delta system. The attendees also recognized that the challenges of the delta are mostly due to lack of land use planning and limited enforcement capacity of local authorities. It was concluded that institutional capacity strengthening, and the developing of a delta plan including new territorial governance models and tools should be part of a research agenda. The coming year, Delft DIMI will continue the strong collaboration with the Delta Alliance, local stakeholders and Ghanaian Universities and seek opportunities for joint research, training and education programs.