Original Research

Urban flooding: Coping with Weija Dam spillage by downstream communities in Ghana

Gloria Asare, Michael Tuffour
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 16, No 1 | a1476 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v16i1.1476 | © 2024 Gloria Asare, Michael Tuffour | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 January 2023 | Published: 06 March 2024

About the author(s)

Gloria Asare, Faculty of Development Studies, Presbyterian University, Akropong, Ghana
Michael Tuffour, School of Sustainable Development, University of Environment and Sustainable Development, Somanya, Ghana


This study adds to knowledge by specifically focusing on the dam spillage-induced floods within a fast-urbanising city with weak law enforcement in a developing country. Employing a sequential mixed-method approach, we first selected and analysed data from 120 respondents through a survey and complemented it with key informants residing in the communities affected by flooding. The findings revealed that dramatic ramifications of dam spillage-induced floods disrupt the livelihoods of many individuals in the form of disruption to income-generating activities and substantial property loss. Notwithstanding the devastating effect of the dam spillage, residents lack advance and adequate preparedness. In coping with such challenges, most flood victims rely on support from nongovernmental sources. The challenge of flooding from the dam spillage is multifaceted and deeply rooted in complex factors which includes growing urbanisation, poor urban planning and weak law enforcement. Residents’ adaptive strategies remain limited, demonstrating a dearth of resilience against such shocks.

Contribution: In light of these challenges, the authors advocate a close collaborative working partnerships among stakeholders to provide flood risk management interventions, strategic planned dam spillage that minimises the effect of dam spillage-induced floods on the local communities, early warning systems and planning and enforcement of building regulations.


dam; spillage; flooding; urban; communities; coping.


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