Original Research

Assessing the impact of sea-level rise on a vulnerable coastal community in Accra, Ghana

Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Michael Adeyemi
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 5, No 1 | a60 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v5i1.60 | © 2013 Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Michael Adeyemi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 August 2012 | Published: 15 August 2013

About the author(s)

Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences, University of Ghana, Ghana
Michael Adeyemi, Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences, University of Ghana, Ghana


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Abstract

Climate change and its associated sea-level rise are expected to significantly affect vulnerable coastal communities. Although the extent of the impact will be localised, its assessment will adopt a monitoring approach that applies globally. The topography of the beach, the type of geological material and the level of human intervention will determine the extent of the area to be flooded and the rate at which the shoreline will move inland. Gleefe, a coastal community in Ghana, has experienced frequent flooding in recent times due to the increasing occurrence of storm surge and sea-level rise. This study used available geospatial data and field measurements to determine how the beach topography has contributed to the incidence of flooding at Gleefe. The topography is generally low-lying. Sections of the beach have elevations of around 1 m, which allows seawater to move inland during very high tide. Accelerated sea-level rise as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will destroy homes of the inhabitants and inundate the Densu wetlands behind the beach. Destruction of infrastructure will render the inhabitants homeless, whilst flooding of the wetlands will destroy the habitats of migratory birds and some endangered wildlife species such as marine turtle. Effective adaptation measures should be adopted to protect this very important coastal environment, the ecology of the wetlands and the livelihoods of the community dwellers.

Keywords

Climate Change; Sea Level Rise; Flooding, Ghana; Accra; Shoreline Change

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Crossref Citations

1. The three-dimensional causes of flooding in Accra, Ghana
Clifford Amoako, E. Frimpong Boamah
International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development  vol: 7  issue: 1  first page: 109  year: 2015  
doi: 10.1080/19463138.2014.984720