Engineers from Ghana should conduct research into the possible effects of climate change on the resilience of buildings and the effects on local physical infrastructure, a Ghanaian politician says.
According to a report on the GhanaWeb news site, Ghana’s Upper West Regional Minister Alhaji Amidu Sulemana made the call during a seminar last week on climate change in the town of Wa in the northwest part of the West African nation.
In his speech, Amidu Sulemana asked the Kwame University of Science and Technology and other local engineering institutions to take on the task, saying climate change will have potentially disastrous effects on developing nations and that proper research about possible structural impacts upon buildings and other infrastructure was needed in order to develop appropriate strategies to respond.
Amidu Sulemana also appealed to the Lands Commission, Land Valuation Board, Town and Country Planning, the Environmental Protection Agency and all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and Development Agencies get on board with regard to climate change planning.
The former three bodies, he says, should not only work toward ensuring strict adherence to land use regulations but also toward devising innovative and pragmatic land use strategies to mitigate climate change hazards.
Amidu Sulemana says the latter two groups should guide strategic development toward locations which are least vulnerable to effects of flooding, erosion, storms and water shortages. He added they should also identify and sponsor climate change activities to best protect those already vulnerable.
The latest call comes as scientists and engineers around the world work to identify potential impacts of climate change on buildings and infrastructure.
In Denmark, for example, the Danish Portal for Climate Change Adaption, identifies three key areas where climate change will affect building and infrastructure design. More frequent downpours and storms, the Portal says, make it more important to direct rainwater and meltwater away from houses and paved areas such as roads. Second, a milder climate will reduce the durability of building materials and affect the indoor climate of buildings as warmer summers increase the need for cooling. Finally, the Portal says a combination of higher levels of groundwater, higher water levels in streams and other watercourses and a greater risk of coastal storm surges make it essential to undertake appropriate measures to protect buildings against seepage and flooding.