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Impact of Floods on Livelihoods and Vulnerability of Natural Resource Dependent Communities in Northern Ghana
Department of Environmental Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
School of Agriculture, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, P.O. Box 170, SE-22100, Lund, Sweden
Ghana Nature Today, A 25 Standard Estates, Sakumono, P.O. Box OS 1455, Osu, Accra, Ghana
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2010; in revised form: 8 March 2010 / Accepted: 30 March 2010 / Published: 7 April 2010
Abstract: Sub-Sahara Africa is considered to be most vulnerable to climate variability including flooding. The frequency and severity of floods in Northern Ghana over the last decade has increased considerably. Through qualitative modelling the paper explores the impact of floods on natural resource dependent communities in Northern Ghana. Simplified causal loop diagrams are used to conceptualise flood-induced coping strategies in the study area. The results indicate that some characteristics of the socio-cultural environment appear to mitigate risk and reduce vulnerability. In this context, the role of social networks in enhancing livelihood security is essential. The paper concludes that both in case of seasonal variations in agricultural output and floods, individuals that have effectively diversified their livelihoods, both occupationally and geographically, are less sensitive than individuals who mainly achieve entitlement to food via crop cultivation. However, diversification in this case, is effective only in the short term.
Keywords: floods; vulnerability; environment; communities; livelihoods; Northern Ghana
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MDPI and ACS Style
Armah, F.A.; Yawson, D.O.; Yengoh, G.T.; Odoi, J.O.; Afrifa, E.K.A. Impact of Floods on Livelihoods and Vulnerability of Natural Resource Dependent Communities in Northern Ghana. Water 2010, 2, 120-139.
Armah FA, Yawson DO, Yengoh GT, Odoi JO, Afrifa EKA. Impact of Floods on Livelihoods and Vulnerability of Natural Resource Dependent Communities in Northern Ghana. Water. 2010; 2(2):120-139.
Armah, Frederick A.; Yawson, David O.; Yengoh, Genesis T.; Odoi, Justice O.; Afrifa, Ernest K. A. 2010. "Impact of Floods on Livelihoods and Vulnerability of Natural Resource Dependent Communities in Northern Ghana." Water 2, no. 2: 120-139.