Rainfall pattern has changed in Ghana – EPA

By Yaw
Ansah/Rita Adjeley Adjei, GNA 

Accra, Oct. 10, GNA – Dr Emmanuel
Tachie-Obeng, the National Focal Person on Climate Change Education and
Awareness, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on Wednesday said the
country’s rainfall pattern has changed and become unpredictable over the past
30 years. 

“Statistical analysis over the years shows
that the change has occurred significantly in the savannah zone, which is the
country’s breadbasket,” he said. 

The savannah zone, over the past 30 years, did
not record any rains in January and February; but used to experience few rains
in April and May until the main raining seasons starts in June and ends in
November, Dr Tachie-Obeng said.

He explained, however, that in recent years
the raining season, which goes with the planting period, had been pushed to the
end of June or early July and ends in November.

Dr Tachie-Obeng said this at a workshop
organised in Accra by the EPA, in collaboration with the Ghana News Agency, for
a cross section of journalists on the overview of climate change in Ghana.

The EPA/GNA media training aims at equipping
journalists, especially those of the GNA, with the tools and skills in the
reportage of climate change issues.

Touching on the shift in the rainfall pattern
in the southern sector of the country, Dr Tachie-Obeng said there had been a
decline in the volumes of rain in the months of February and March.   

“A critical study of data over the period
shows that generally the volume and distribution of rains has reduced. In the
past, we experienced some drizzling in May but now all these have stopped,” he
said.  

The impact of the change is being felt by the
country in many sectors including economic, energy, health, water, and agriculture,
especially food production. 

While describing the trend as worrying, Dr
Tachie-Obeng said the decline in rainfall had a direct effect on the production
cycle of maize, rice, cassava and cocoa.

He said due to the changes, studies had
projected that the number of regions where the country’s main cash crop cocoa
was cultivated would reduce from five to two. 

Dr Tachie-Obeng suggested that in order to
build resistance to the situation and help food production, there was the need
for the Government to fast track the One Village One Dam to conserve water for
farming activities all year round. 

He said through the Green Climate Fund, some
climate-smart agricultural projects had begun to help increase food production
and ensure food security. 

Dr Tachie-Obeng hinted that the country was
expected to mobilise nearly 22.6 billion dollars of investment from both domestic
and international public and private sources of which 10.11 billion dollars was
needed for mitigation and 12.42 billion dollars for adaptation.

Mr Kwaku Osei-Bonsu, the Acting General
Manager of the Ghana News Agency, said the training sought to enhance the
media’s role in monitoring and reporting on the local issues of climate change.

The training formed part of the new broader
scope of the Agency to continue to play active role in national affairs, he
said.  

Mr Osei-Bonsu, therefore, challenged journalists
to use their reportage to accelerate climate change action through advocacy and
information dissemination aimed at achieving national climate goals.

He said the lack of public interest and the
ever increasing complexity and geographical scope of climate change were some
of the challenges that journalists faced when trying to report on climate
change and environmental issues.

“Climate change news can be boring,
scientific, complicated and full of doom and gloom, but these issues are
nevertheless important and the journalists have to make sure the audience find
these topics interesting,” he said.

GNA

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