Gender and occupational perspectives on adaptation to climate extremes in the Afram Plains of Ghana

Samuel N. A. Codjoe, University of Ghana
Lucy K. A. Adzoyi-Atidoh, Lincoln University
Virginia Burkett, United States Geological Survey

Although sub-Saharan Africa does not contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, significant adverse impacts of climate change are anticipated in this region. Countries in West Africa, which are heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture, are projected to experience more frequent and intense droughts, altered rainfall patterns and increases in temperature through the end of this century. Changes in hydrology and temperature are likely to affect crop yields, thereby placing pressure on scarce resources in a region that is characterised by limited social, political, technical and financial resources. The success with which communities cope with the impacts of climate change is influenced by existing conditions, forces and characteristics which are peculiar to each of these communities. This paper assesses the preferred adaptation strategies during floods and droughts of males and females in three different occupations (farming, fishing, and charcoal production). Findings are based upon an analysis of focus group discussions and a ranking of preferred adaptation options in three communities in the Afram Plains of Ghana. Assessments of this nature should aid in the selection and implementation of adaptation options for communities and households, which is the level at which climate change adaptation is likely to occur in West Africa.

Presented in Session 86: Climate change: vulnerability, adaptation, and migration