A group of students and teachers from Delft University of Technology has teamed up with Ghanaian students of KNUST to develop integrated solutions for the complex challenges of the Volta Delta in Ghana.
The Volta Delta is experiencing interacting problems due to a combination of climate change, coastal erosion, intensive urbanization and poor land use planning. One of the major problems is severe coastal erosion that affects coastal communities.
Engineering solutions, such as the construction of groins and revetments have stabilized parts of the coast, but also blocked access to the beach, which is affecting traditional marine fishing activities, and have led to increased erosion of neighboring areas.
In the lagoons, industrialization of salt mining and the development of intensive agriculture and unplanned urbanization put pressure on the delta’s ecosystem.
The workshop funded by the Delft Deltas, Infrastructure and Mobility Initiative (DIMI) and Delta Alliance sought to improve the understanding of the complex challenges of the Volta delta.
Although the workshop did not aim to develop a comprehensive master plan, it helped to better understand the complexities of a delta that is urbanizing rapidly and that is threatened by climate change, reports TU Delft.
During the workshop, the participants discussed whether coastal protection and infrastructure development could serve as a mechanism to steer urbanization to more preferred locations. While at the same time, setting up a network of local chiefs within the delta to guide long-term and integrated development.
The students will continue working on the challenges of the Volta Delta within their individual MSc projects both at TU Delft and Ghanaian universities. A follow-up meeting will be held in Delft in April 2018.