Several recent international assessments
have concluded that climate change has the potential
to reverse the modest economic gains achieved in
many developing countries over the past decade. The
phenomenon of climate change threatens to worsen
poverty or burden populations with additional hardships,
especially in poor societies with weak infrastructure
and economic well-being. The importance of
the perceptions, experiences, and knowledge of
indigenous peoples has gained prominence in discussions
of climate change and adaptation in developing
countries and among international development organizations.
Efforts to evaluate the role of indigenous
knowledge in adaptation planning, however, have
largely focused on rural people and their agricultural
livelihoods. This paper presents the results of a study
that examines perceptions, experiences, and indigenous
knowledge relating to climate change and variability
in three communities of metropolitan Accra, which is the capital of Ghana. The study design is
based on a three-part conceptual framework and
interview process involving risk mapping, mental
models, and individual stressor cognition. Most of the
residents interviewed in the three communities of
urban Accra attributed climate change to the combination
of deforestation and the burning of firewood
and rubbish. None of the residents associated climate
change with fossil fuel emissions from developed
countries. Numerous potential adaptation strategies
were suggested by the residents, many of which have
been used effectively during past drought and flood
events. Results suggest that ethnic residential clustering
as well as strong community bonds in metropolitan
Accra have allowed various groups and longsettled
communities to engage in the sharing and
transmission of knowledge of weather patterns and
trends. Understanding and building upon indigenous
knowledge may enhance the design, acceptance, and
implementation of climate change adaptation strategies
in Accra and urban regions of other developing

Codjoe, Samuel Nii Ardey, Owusu, George, Burkett, Virginia
Climate Change and Human Health in Accra, Ghana
Changements climatiques et santé humaine à Accra, Ghana
Published date
Sunday, June 2, 2013 - 04:00
Open Access
Article Type
Keywords Raw