Ghana hosts the 2015 International Day for Disaster Reduction in Anyamam

Oct 12, 2015

The Anyamam community demostrates how they apply local knowledge to reduce disaster risk. (Photo credit: Bossman Owusu, UNDP in Ghana)

ACCRA, 13 October – The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN System will jointly host the 2015 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction in Ghana.

The national event takes place at Anyamam, near Sege in the Ada West District on Tuesday, October 13, 2015.

The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) is a day set aside by the UN General Assembly to encourage every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations. The UN General Assembly sees International Day as a way to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

Under the theme, ‘Knowledge for Life’, the 2015 IDDR seeks to raise awareness of the use of local, traditional and indigenous knowledge to complement modern science in disaster risk management and to add to the resilience of individuals, communities and societies.

“Effective Disaster Risk Reduction requires the involvement of all populations, especially local communities as well as respecting and applying inherited traditional knowledge”, says Ms. Christine Evans-Klock, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.

Combined with scientific knowledge such as reports generated by meteorologists, local knowledge is vital for preparedness and can be passed on from generation to generation. New knowledge and coping strategies are being generated all the time as communities in hazard prone locations work out new ways and means to adapt to disaster and climate risk.

Knowledge of early warning signals in nature can be vital to ensure that early action is taken to mitigate the impact of both slow and fast onset of disasters such as droughts, heatwaves, storms and floods.

In Ghana, there are several examples that show that communities have immense store of traditional knowledge for predicting weather changes. They also know how to adopt traditional approaches in coping with extreme weather events and can accurately observe changes in climatic parameters such as rainfall and temperature and respond appropriately based on their years of experience.

Specific examples of the use of indigenous knowledge to adapt to climate change can be found in the publication: “Atlas of Indigenous Knowledge in Climate Change Adaptation. It is available for free download. It was produced as part of a collaboration between UNDP, the Environmental Protection Agency and NADMO.

Contact information
  1. Bossman Owusu, UNDP Communications Analyst, E-mail:, Tel: +233 542 814 878
  2. Kweku De Graft, NADMO Acting PRO, E-mail:, Tel: +233 272 335 206

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