Accepted paper:

Disrupted utilities: the impact of extreme weather events in urban Ghana

Authors:

Katherine Gough (Loughborough University)
Ebenezer Amankwaa (University of Ghana)
Sam Kayaga (Loughborough University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores how extreme heat and flooding impact on water and electricity provision in urban Ghana. These extreme weather events result in fluctuating and increasingly over-stretched utilities, which especially impact on living conditions and livelihoods in low-income communities.

Paper long abstract:

Many cities in sub-Saharan Africa are facing new challenges as they increasingly experience extreme weather events, linked to climate change, which disproportionately affect the urban poor. Focussing on extreme heat and flooding, this paper explores how these extreme weather events impact on infrastructure provision in low-income communities in urban Ghana. Climate data is linked to qualitative interview data collected in eight neighbourhoods within the cities of Accra and Tamale, and key informant interviews with water and electricity officials. The paper demonstrates how extreme heat and flooding events result in fluctuating and increasingly over-stretched utilities, and the ways in which disruptions to electricity and water provision are mutually reinforcing. These interruptions to public utilities especially impact on living conditions and livelihoods in low-income communities, whose inhabitants can least afford such disruptions. The paper argues that a better understanding and prediction of extreme weather events, and the ways in which they impact on infrastructure provision, would help contribute to introducing measures that can help public utilities reduce such disruptions and hence the vulnerability of low-income communities.

panel Econ11
Non-existing public utilities that disrupt… and existing public utilities that are disrupted