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Effects of climate change on Ghana

Impact of climate change on Ghana

Climate change is no longer an abstract concern in Ghana. It is an ever-present, tangible reality with far-reaching consequences, particularly for countries on the West African coast. Despite being a relatively minor contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, Ghana finds itself at the mercy of the devastating impacts of climate change. It affects the environment, economy, and society. Sadly, many Ghanaians are unaware of the threat of climate. Here, I discuss some of the impacts of climate change.

Extreme temperatures

According to a recent report by the World Bank, temperatures in Ghana have experienced a significant increase of nearly 1°C since the 1960s. The projections indicate that Ghana is on course to witness a further rise in mean temperature from 1.0°C to 3.0°C by the year 2050. By the end of the century, temperatures in Ghana may soar between 2.3°C and 5.3°C. This unwelcome increase in average temperatures, even now, has brought about hot weathers, which are affecting the country in multiple ways. Agriculture faces dire consequences as high temperatures can trigger crop failure and exacerbate existing water scarcity issues. Furthermore, the health of Ghanaians is at risk, as heat-related illnesses become more prevalent.

Flooding and erratic rainfall pattern

Ghana has experienced a marked increase in the frequency and unpredictability of weather events. Heavy rainfall, leading to flooding, has become a recurring nightmare, causing not only significant displacement but also loss of life and widespread damage to infrastructure. Northern Ghana experienced a series of major floods, notably in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. In 2010, more than 100,000 people were affected. These devastating events were primarily attributed to a combination of heavy rainfall and the release of water from the Bagre Dam located in Burkina Faso.

In 2023, flooding in southern Ghana resulted in at least 8 casualties. 50 homes were damaged in Ahanta West Municipal District of the Western Region. The Bonsa River overflowed, further causing damage to propertty in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal district. Tragically, on June 24, three individuals lost their lives while trying to cross the flooded Subri River in Daboase, Wassa East District. In the Ashanti Region, between June 21 and 22, 2023, flooding incidents in Atafoa, Sepaase, and Tafo claimed the lives of four people. Ongoing heavy rainfall has made conditions hazardous, especially near rivers. Additionally, on June 24, 2023, a government official died while attempting to cross a flooded river in Kumasi. The Volta Region witnessed flooding that displaced around 3,000 people in the Keta Municipal District, starting around June 12, 2023. In 2022, more than 500 homes were affected by flooding in Ashalaja in the Greater Accra Region. However, residents blamed an estate developer, for the influx of water from the river Densu.

Low agricultural output

Agriculture supports the livelihoods of half of Ghana’s population. However, the unpredictability of weather patterns poses a severe threat to the country’s food security, especially as many farmers are not literate, and weather reports are unreliable. The erratic rainfall patterns, occasional prolonged droughts, especially in northern Ghana, and heightened incidence of pests and diseases have collectively disrupted agricultural activities. To adapt these challenge, a minority of farmers are increasingly turning to climate-smart agricultural practices such as crop diversification, efficient water usage, and the cultivation of drought-resistant crop varieties. However, most farmers cannot afford or use these technologies.

Coastal erosion and vanishing communities

Ghana’s coastline is rapidly eroding due to the twin threats of rising sea levels and intensified storm surges. Coastal communities in the Volta, Greater Accra, Western and Central Regions are the most impacted. The consequences go beyond mere land loss; they also extend to the fishing industry, as changing ocean conditions force fish stocks further offshore, making them more difficult to access. To combat this erosion, Ghana is undertaking strategies to minimize these impacts. This includes the construction of protective seawalls, the restoration of ecosystems, and community-based adaptation programs.

Strained healthcare system

The Healthcare system in Ghana and many part of Africa are not robust. Both infectious and non-infectious diseases are impacted by change in climate. High temperatures provide favourable conditions for the spread of many pathogenic diseases, and this pose a growing threat to the well-being of the population. Additionally, extreme and unpredictable weather can disrupt healthcare systems, making it difficult for people to access essential medical services. This, in turn, increases the vulnerability of already at-risk populations to various health risks.


The average Ghanaian seem unconcerned about climate change. However, It is crucial to recognize that the global nature of climate change necessitates collaborative international action. It demands comprehensive and sustained attention from the global community to mitigate its negative impacts for a more prosperous world. The Ghanaian government must pay significant attention to climate change and roll out measures to empower its citizens against this ongoing phenomenon.


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