Assessment of vulnerability of assets and livelihoods to climate variability for adaptation planning in a coastal community in Ghana
Since 1970, temperature increase of over 1ºC and reductions in rainfall of approximately 20 % have been recorded in Ghana. The aim of the study was to contribute to the processes of adaptation planning to climate variability through the assessment of climate vulnerability in Akwidaa, Ghana. The methodology combined empirical historical data with active community participation and local knowledge. Historical climate data from 1970 to 2012 was collected from the Ghana Meteorological Agency and analyzed for trends using linear regression and anomalies. Data on livelihoods of communities living in Akwidaa were obtained using questionnaires and interviews. The general assumption was that livelihood options and assets in Akwidaa were vulnerable to climate variability and there would still be heavy dependence on farming and fishing. Possible adaptation strategies for Akwidaa were explored with active participation of the locals, district assembly and desk study. The results show that, rainfall in the area has reduced over the past 43 years by approximately 0.2 mm whilst temperature
has also increased by 0.02 ºC respectively. Relative humidity in the area has also decreased by 2 %, signifying reduction in moisture. Increasing temperatures and decreasing precipitation has also had negative impacts on livelihoods leading to a decline in activities. The community has not coped well with the impacts of climate variability and will need well planned community-based adaptation strategies.