Volta Flood and Drought Management project (VFDM) in the context of COVID 19

Since the end of June 2019, the Global Water Partnership for West Africa is implementing in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) the project "Integrating Flood and Drought Management and Early Warning for Climate Change Adaptation in the Volta Basin " (VFDM).

The project entered its active phase in September 2019 with the organization in the six Volta Basin countries of a mission to exchange on the capacities and needs of national services in flood and drought forecasting and warning systems in the Volta Basin.

At the beginning of this year 2020, several activities were planned for the first semester marking the end of year 1 of the project implementation including (i) the organization of national workshops to present the conclusions and recommendations of the mission to assess national capacities and needs for flood and drought forecasting and warning systems in the Volta Basin; (ii) mapping of vulnerability and capacities at the community level in the Volta Basin ; (iii) assessment of environmental services of wetland ecosystems in water/land transition wetlands in the Volta Basin; and (iv) development of the Vulnerability, Capacity, Exposure and Risk Information (VCER) database, including key hydro-meteorological data and flood and drought parameters; and (v) the development of web-based flood and drought risk maps using the VCER database and existing maps developed in Ghana under previous World Bank-funded projects.

In spite of the health crisis linked to the spread of Covid 19 GWP-WA and its project implementing partners are committed to the effective implementation of the activities. All the arrangements have been made for the forthcoming holding of the workshops in the countries after the Covid 19 episode.

The assessment reports on national capacities and needs for flood and drought forecasting and warning systems were disseminated in the countries to the various agencies consulted during the data collection phase. At the regional level, local consultants were recruited to support in-country data collection on multidimensional vulnerability and risk factors in areas of the Volta basin highly exposed to different hydrometeorological hazards (floods and droughts). Study sites are being identified with the focal points in each country. Collection tools are also available so that after the end of the disease, the mission is conduct in the countries.

For the other planned activities, the concept notes have been developed waiting for the actual resumption of the activities in the countries to start their implementation. Some operational documents are being developed including the project communication plan and the monitoring and evaluation manual for which a consultant is being recruited.

VFDM project is contributing to the strengthening of the resilience of the countries sharing the resources of the Volta Basin (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo) to the risks of floods and droughts. It aims to assist the six countries of the Volta Basin to implement coordinated and common measures to improve their existing management plans at regional, national and local levels and to build on lessons learned from past and ongoing projects related to disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation.

The project is funded by the Adaptation Fund and implemented by WMO, GWP-WA and VBA.