Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS), is currently working with the most vulnerable communities in Northern and Upper East Regions on the DRR/CCA project. The key approach for the DRR/CCA project is to create awareness, develop DRR community structures and systems, build their capacities and equip them to prepare and respond to disasters. The priority, therefore, is to ensure that vulnerable communities understand their inherent risks, hazards, and vulnerabilities, and to assist them identify their capacities to be able to protect them from disaster and other emergencies. GRCS implemented the first phase of DRR project in the Northern and Upper East Regions (2014 – 2017) mainly concentrating on the community led Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment VCA process in 45 communities, to identify the community risks, hazards their capacities to address them. The phase also developed the community disaster plans and later the Community Disaster Management Frameworks for the Northern and Upper East Regions. The Frameworks were adopted by the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) who also supported in their preparations and are the blueprints upon which all disaster management efforts within the communities are derived from. The previous phase of the project also implemented the recommendations of the Framework in 25 communities in the Northern Region in which the DRR structures were developed and currently active.

Geographical location / map   

The first project region, the Upper East Region covers 8,842 km2, occupying only 2.5% of the country’s total landmass, and inhabited by 4% (1,046,545 persons) of the national population. It has a population density of 118.4 people per sq. km. The region is 21.0% urban with an annual urban growth rate of 4.2%. The region is located in the north-eastern corner of the country, and is characterized by savannah woodland, scattered by drought resistant trees. With low annual rainfalls, low soil fertility and seasonal floods, living conditions are overall harsh.2 Poverty incidence is at 44.4%, the third highest regional poverty rate in Ghana.3 The adult literacy rate for the Upper East Region is 23.0%, less than half the national average of 53.4%. The main ethnic groups in the region are the Mole-Dagbon, Grusi, Mande-Busanga and Gurma. Locally, this ethnical distribution changes, as the different groups tend to settle within different districts. 

The second project region, the Northern Region is the largest of the ten regions of the country in terms of landmass, accounting with 70,300 km2 for 30% of the total land area of the country4, while inhabited by only 10% (2.86 m) of the population5. The Northern Region is the less densely populated region of the country with a population density of only 35 people per km2. With a poverty incidence of 50.4% in 2013, the region ranks second in poverty incidence amongst the ten regions of the country6. The illiteracy rate in the Northern Region is only 22%. The main ethnic groups of the region are the Mole Dagbon, the Gurma, the Akan and the Guan. The region has four paramount chiefs, namely the Yaa Na based in Yendi; the Yagbon Wura in Damango; the Bimbila Naa in Bimbila; and the Nayiri in Nalerigu, each representing a major ethnic group. The indigenous languages spoken by the people vary from Region to Region and from district to district. The most common languages are Gonja, Dagbani and Kokomba. Both region experience pocket of chieftaincy tensions occasionally resulting into killings. However, these tensions do not emanate from any of the project communities.