The Development Institute South Africa
The DI is a Ghanaian non-governmental, not-for-profit sustainable development organization with a branch registered in the United States, Minnesota. It was formed with the goal of creating an enabling environment for empowering Civil Society Organizations and communities to facilitate the linkage between micro and macro levels of society for sustainable development. The Ghana branch became fully operational in 2005 having met all the legal requirements in Ghana.
Our range of projects are being implemented around the beautiful lowlands including coastal areas and picturesque mountainous parts of the Volta Region of Ghana. We work in other regions as well through partnerships and in the process of expanding to Africa and other continents of the world.
The DI has been able to build a solid reputation in its first decade of existence focusing on building locals capacity and influencing policies for a secured, sustained forest resources and people’s livelihoods. We have been consistent in our commitment to sustainable development in Ghana, ranging from the international level to the grass roots, believing that what matters is to make a lasting impact on the ground and to give a voice to those who are overlooked by global and national politics.
Working in the changing dynamics and context of development initiatives, we have learned and unlearned along the way – to work towards a better and more inclusive future for the planet and its peoples. Our programmes are designed based on real needs as identified by the project beneficiaries and all relevant stakeholders. We thrive to deliver our projects in different ways, responding to particular circumstances of places, communities and individuals – ensuring that programs are adjusted to suit changing circumstances and realities.
To enable African communities confront their development challenges with passion and commitment towards social stability and care for nature.
A secured and just world where individuals and communities are free to explore their potentials for the benefit of the society.
Improved Resilience of Coastal Communities in Ghana
According the World Bank, 25 to 80 percent of the population in West African countries live in coastal zones, totalling more than 88 million people.
Coastal cities and communities in West Africa are facing the combined challenges of rapid urbanisation and climate change, especially sea level rise and related increased risks of erosion, inundation and floods. For cities and communities in West Africa not to be literally washed away in the next decade(s), they would need to protect the coast, strengthen livelihoods more ‘land-inwards’ and promote a climate change resilient urban development path. This can be done by using a combination of climate change sensitive spatial planning strategies as well as innovative and ecosystem friendly solutions to protect the coast and livelihoods, by applying building with nature or ‘living shorelines,’ which use the forces of nature rather than fights it.
Ghana is in a complex climatic region, impacted by tropical storms and by the Sahel and the Atlantic Ocean. Its climate is tropical, and it is highly influenced by monsoon winds from the region. Coupled with climate change trends are human processes such as unsustainable development, poverty, inequality and environmental degradation playing a critical role in exacerbating risks.
The government has established that coastal areas are already extremely vulnerable to flooding and erosion. Erosion, submergence, and sea water intrusion will lead to the loss of economic, ecological, cultural and subsistence values through loss of land, infrastructure, and coastal habitats. Sea level rise and changes in freshwater inflows could affect the habitats and biodiversity of coastal and marine ecosystems.
To address these challenges, national and local governments and communities need to better:
- (spatially) plan coastal development considering climate change risks;
- protect the coastal ecosystem and related livelihoods from climate change risks and impacts;
- invest in infrastructure to strengthen resilience and environmental protection;
- strengthen their capacities to shift to a more sustainable and resilient development pattern and governing system of the coast.
The Development Institute together with partners sought to address some of these challenges with the “Improved Resilience of Coastal Communities in Ghana” project. This project seeks to address two main challenges in the coastal zones – coastal erosion and coastal flooding.
To increase the climate change resilience of coastal settlements and communities to climate-related coastal hazards in Ghana
- Climate change resilient coastal development promoted through climate change mainstreamed sub-regional and district-level Spatial Development Frameworks (SDFs), and strengthened institutional capacities to develop, implement, and update these SDFs
- Community awareness and capacities strengthened to adapt to climate-related coastal hazard and threats through community planning
- Increased climate change resilience of coastal areas through increased ecosystem / natural environment resilience
- Increased climate change resilience of coastal communities through diversified and strengthened livelihoods
- Strengthened institutional / organisational capacity and tools to identify and manage coastal climate change-related risks / impacts in Ghana and knowledge on innovative (building with nature) coastal climate change adaptation practices diffused / shared in West Africa
Project Location: The Volta Delta
Funding Partner: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Implementing Partners: Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (Ghana) and Project Communities
Projected time for commencement: 2022
Location & Contact
Accra Office: Adenta SSNITS flats, Block 55A2, Adenta