Increased Resilience to Climate Change in Northern Ghana through the Management of Water Resources and Diversification of Livelihoods - The Adaptation Fund Project


National and regional scale vulnerability analyses agree that in Ghana, vulnerability especially to drought effects has geographical patterns and socioeconomic associations, with the three northern regions being the most vulnerable. Similarly, the adaptive capacity of these regions is the lowest nationwide due to low socioeconomic development and heavy dependence of local economies and livelihoods on rain-fed systems such as agriculture and forestry. Decreasing annual rainfall and increasingly erratic rainfall patterns, due to climate change, are adversely affecting rural livelihoods in these areas. Communities are facing increasing challenges in dealing with extreme weather events, drought and flooding. Water is highly relevant to the thematic priorities and cross-cutting issues of Ghana’s development agenda, but is increasingly becoming a scarce resource in northern Ghana due to climate variability.

The project aims at addressing climate change induced decreases in the availability and increasing unpredictability of water resources, and the associated negative impacts of these trends on the livelihoods of rural communities in the three northern regions. The main objective of the programme is therefore to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of communities to climate impacts and risks on water resources in Northern Ghana. This will be achieved through improvement in water access and increased institutional capacity and coordination for integrated water management to support other uses of water resources especially for the diversification of rural livelihoods This will be done so by delivering the following three complementary outcomes:

● Outcome 1: Improved planning and management of water resources taking into account climate change impacts on surface and groundwater sources

● Outcome 2: Climate resilient management of water resources by communities in Northern Ghana

● Outcome 3: Enhanced diversification of livelihoods of communities in northern Ghana

Project Target Areas

The programme targets 50 communities in 10 districts of the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions of Ghana. The pilot districts are:


Savelugu                               Northern Region

Builsa                                  Upper East Region

Bole                                       Northern Region

Bawku West                       Upper East Region

Zabzagu-Tatale                    Northern Region

Nandom                             Upper West Region

Bawku                                  Upper East Region

Nadowli                              Upper West Region

Bongo                                   Upper East Region

Sissala East                        Upper West Region


60,000 people and over 8 million Ghanaians living along the Volta River Basin will respectively benefit directly and indirectly from the project.


Accomplishments – progress and key achievements (as of August 2017)

● As stipulated in the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the Northern, Upper East and West Regional Environmental Management Committees were reconstituted into Regional Climate Change Adaptation Monitoring Committees. Similarly, ten District Environmental Management Committees have been reconstituted into District Adaptation Monitoring Committees. The committees serve as a platform for multi-sectoral and multi-level management and coordination of climate change and related policies, programmes, and projects in the regions and districts. The committees also provide a platform for a long-term and sustained process of understanding adaptation, synergies, gaps, and the required adjustments in existing interventions to ensure that they are well integrated and contribute to broader climate change and development planning and delivery at the national, regional and local levels.

● 105 committee members from the ten districts were trained on various aspects related to the efficient and effective running of these structures, and were informed about Ghana’s long term climate change goals (as per the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement).

● Ten boreholes have been successfully drilled in five communities in Bawku Central benefiting over 3,000 residents (61% women) and livestock.



The project is funded by the Adaptation Fund with a budget of USD 8,293,972.  

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