Coastal Community Resilience to Climate and Diarrhoea Project Team hold Annual General Meeting

Environment Meeting Researchers
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Researchers working on the Resilience to Climate and Diarrhea (C2R-CD) project have met in Accra to take stock of their activities and strategize to achieve the required goals.

C2R-CD is a five-year project, which began in 2020 and is being led by the University of Ghana under the Institute for Environmental and Sanitation Studies (IESS) with funding from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Aarhus University in Denmark is co-leading the project.

The overall goal of the C2R-CD project is to build resilience to climate change and improve diarrheal management in coastal communities.

Dr. Dijijo Yirenya-Tawia, principal investigator of the project, said that apart from IESS, there were other departments from the University of Ghana involved in the project.

She said the meeting provided an overview of project activities for the last three years, explored strategic directions in the fourth year and discussed issues relevant to achieving the project’s goals.

She said the project was looking at climate change and how that affects diarrhea in selected coastal communities in Ghana.

The study, she said, focused on communities found along the country’s eastern and central seaboards, which are most vulnerable to sea-level rise and flood events.

These communities are Anyako, Anyanui and Atiteti in the Volta Region, Opatekwei in Greater Accra and Mumford in the Central Region.

Yerenya-Tavia said diarrhea is a leading cause of death among children under the age of five.
He said research has shown that nine out of 10 people who get diarrhea are as a result of environmental factors.

“Therefore, environment plays an important role in diarrheal transmission and these environmental factors are associated with unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation, poor waste management, poor socio-cultural practices, our behaviour, our health system structure among other determinants that contribute to diarrheal transmission. They affect.” Added.

He said climate change has severely affected the world but the most affected are developing countries and “all are experiencing it differently”.

Dr Yerenya-Tavaiya said that this project was relevant, very important and timely as most of their studies were focused research with aspects on diarrhoea.

Professor Chris Gordon, former director of IESS, stressed the need to address synergy issues to keep the project 10 years down the lane.

He said, “We must have a succession plan for the youth to sustain the project… We need to bring youth into the picture, not just researchers who will fade away over time.”

He said that there are various sources of data and researchers should understand its usage and trace it to the source.
“We also need to change our language based on our target groups without changing the message”.

Director of IESS, Prof. Appearing Addo said that the transdisciplinary approach adopted to involve all stakeholders has set the stage for better updating of the knowledge generated and greater awareness among the target communities.

“As we share ideas, interact and collaborate, I am sure the outcome of the meeting will further strengthen the benefits of the C2R-CD project,” he added.

The study is divided into five work tasks, which include mapping the bio-physical environment and climatic conditions of the identified coastal ecosystems in the selected case study sites; Task task two consists of receiving and processing meteorological series data.

Work task three for example engages in the generation of land-use and elevation maps based on remote sensing, which can be used for spatial statistical analysis in work package four, which includes testing a range of hydrological approaches, Which can use climate data from task two.

Finally, task five involves assessing the role of climate change-induced sea level rise and storm surges in driving flood events in the study area.

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