The Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Francis Asenso-Boakye has charged the country’s professionals with the Ghana Metrological Authority (GMET), the Hydrological Services Department (HSD) and Water Resources Commission to continue to explore ways of developing and instituting innovative data analysis tools that will help forecast and determine the country’s current and future water risks.
This, the Minister noted, will be crucial for decision makers to make available, the appropriate resources to combat such hydrological disasters.
The Minister made this call when he opened a technical workshop for personnel from HSD, GMET and Water Resources Commission for the establishment of a Global Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS) yesterday in Accra.
The HydroSOS is a system that is able to monitor global freshwater hydrological status and subsequently predict and mitigate its associated conditions of floods and droughts.
According to the World Resources Institute, approximately 20 million people are at risk of flooding globally, with the resulting damage totaling close to US$80 billion. This number could increase to 50 million in just 15 years.
With frequent global perennial floods and droughts as one of the biggest challenges and risks facing the world’s population, Asenso-Boakye said the establishment of the HydroSoS system should equip hydrologists, meteorologists and other relevant experts from various state institutions with state-of-the-art tools, skills and expertise to develop relevant indices which would be used as proxies to track and quantify droughts and flooding occurrences.
The sector Minister expressed confidence that the system will provide the much-needed platform for increased collaboration among key stakeholders to better manage hydrological disasters while building the country’s resilience against climate change.
Hon. Asenso-Boakye reiterated that the leadership of President Akufo-Addo will continue to support state institutions such as the HSD, soon to be Ghana Hydrological Authority, GMET, Water Resources Commission, among others in their effort to collect and disseminate critical hydro-climatic data and information to inform our social-economic development.
The Acting Director of the HSD, Dr. John Kissi assured of the needed collaborative work among agencies responsible for managing the country’s water resources for the system to work effectively.
The workshop brought together experts from the World Meteorological Organization, HSD, the GMET and the Water Resources Commission.