Households’ Coping Strategies in Drought- and Flood-Prone Communities in Northern Ghana
Victor Lolig*1, Samuel A. Donkoh*1, Francis Kwabena Obeng*1,
Isaac Gershon Kodwo Ansah*1, Godfred Seidu Jasaw*2,
Yasuko Kusakari*3, Kwabena Owusu Asubonteng*3,
Bizoola Gandaa*1, Frederick Dayour*4, Togbiga Dzivenu*4,
and Gordana Kranjac-Berisavljevic*1
*1University for Development Studies (UDS), Nyankpala Campus, Tamale, Ghana
*2Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), United Nations University, Japan
*3Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), United Nations University, Ghana
*4University for Development Studies (UDS), Wa campus, Upper West Region, Ghana
This study seeks to explore stakeholders’ perceptions, causes, and effects of extreme climatic events, such as droughts and floods, in the Wa West District of Ghana’s Upper West Region. A multi-stage sampling procedure is used to select 184 respondents. Data collection methods include individual questionnaire administration, focus group discussions, and a stakeholders’ forum in the Wa West District Assembly. While frequencies are used to show respondents’ perceptions of the severity of climate change effects, a treatmenteffect model is used to determine the factors influencing farmers’ choices of on-farm coping strategies over off-farm activities in both periods of drought and flood. Findings are the following: farmers perceive that climate change is real and has severe consequences. Consequently, they resort to both on-farm and off-farm strategies to cope with the effects of climate change. While men mostly adopt the former, women adopt the latter. Both strategies are, however, not viable for taking them out of poverty, though offfarm activities are more effective. Education and extension services are other important factors influencing the choice of coping strategies as well as farmers’ welfare. Farmers must be supported with more viable income-earning activities, ones that can take them out of poverty. Women should be given priority. Access to education and extension services must also be stepped up to facilitate the adoption of the coping strategies and to increase welfare.
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