Challenges and opportunities for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into WaSH development planning in Ghana
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Climate change threatens water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) facilities and services, as these are intimately linked to the water cycle and are vulnerable to changes in the quantity and quality of available water resources. Floods and droughts, which pollute and reduce water delivery respectively, have now become a perennial issue to deal with in the northern regions of Ghana. This study aimed to assess the degree to which climate change adaptation measures are mainstreamed into the water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) development planning process in Ghana. Stakeholders from government and non-government agencies were interviewed to gain perspectives on the threat of climate change, the inclusion of climate change in WaSH planning and the barriers preventing mainstreaming. Despite awareness of climate change, adaptation measures have not been considered, and the immediate WaSH needs remain the priority. Overall, stakeholders felt the adaptive capacity of the Municipality was low and that mainstreaming has not yet occurred. Despite the lack of progress, there are great opportunities for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning through increasing awareness and capacity, legislative and institutional changes and the development of participatory systems to provide early warning systems and disaster risk analyses that will inform future planning.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Copyright 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Natural Resource Management