Coastal Community Resilience to Climate and Diarrhoea
InfoStart date: 2 March, 2020 End date: 3 March, 2025 Project type: Research collaboration projects in Danida priority countries (Window 1) Project code: 19-10-GHA Countries: Ghana Thematic areas: Aquatic environment and resources, Climate change, Health, Lead institution: University of Ghana (UG), Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, Ghana Partner institutions: Aarhus University (AU), Denmark University of Ghana (UG), Ghana People´s Dialogue on Human Settlements (PD), Ghana Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana Project coordinator: Dzidzo Yirenya-Tawiah Total grant: 11,969,990 DKK
Global climate change will impact human health in various ways, including increasing the occurrence of waterborne enteric diseases such as diarrhoea, especially in poor and vulnerable communities that have low adaptive capacity. The relationship between climate change and health is complex as many factors are interlinked, including mediating drivers such as ecosystem disruption and social and economic conditions. Diarrhoea is estimated to cause 1.31 million deaths per year, with nearly half a million deaths in children under 5 years. It impairs growth and cognitive development, as well as increases susceptibility to other infectious and chronic diseases. Evidence show a positive association between temperature, rainfall, drought, flooding and diarrhoea. The quantification of climate-related health impacts is limited due to lack of high-quality long-term empirical data and complex multi-directional impacts from cause-effect relations, hampering ability to address climate-mediated population vulnerabilities. Ghana is among the countries at most risk from climate change and diarrhoea.
Within the country, coastal communities have been identified as high-risk areas with increased incidences of flooding due to sea level rise, coastal erosion, storm surges, surface runoff, etc.
They are not only prone to regular flooding events but also to risk of unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene practices, and inadequate health care services leading to poor disease management. Alluding to all the complexities of climate change impacts and diarrhoea, amidst the socio-demographic and institutional linkages, the Coastal Communities Resilience to Climate and Diarrhoea project aims to generate long term data series to model the interactions between climatic, hydrological, environmental, epidemiological, institutional and socio-cultural determinants of diarrhoea. This research will help explore the dynamics of diarrhoeal diseases under various climatic, social and environmental scenarios, towards co-developing innovative and effective resilience solutions in coastal communities.