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The Climate Change Menace, Food Security, Livelihoods and Social Safety in Northern Ghana

Mamudu A. Akudugu


Abdul-Razak Alhassan

Mamudu A. Akudugu 1
Abdul-Razak Alhassan 2

  1. School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading P. O. Box 227, Reading, RG6 6AR, United Kingdom 1

  2. Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM), School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, United Kingdom 2


Since 2007, Northern Ghana has continuously experienced the double tragedy of droughts and floods which are manifestations of climate change. How these climate change manifestations are affecting livelihoods and social organisations of affected people and communities, especially the poor and vulnerable in Northern Ghana remains largely underestimated. This paper examines how climate change affects household food security, livelihoods and social safety in Northern Ghana. The paper conceptualises the transmission mechanisms of the effects of climate change on rural livelihoods. Observations and a desk review were the main methods employed. The main conclusion drawn is that, climate change is being felt in almost all parts of the world, particularly in the developing world including Ghana. Climate change makes affected communities and people vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity and reduces social safety. It challenges the resilience of the poor and vulnerable across Ghana, especially those in the Northern part of the country where poverty is endemic to cope with emergencies triggered by natural and related disasters. To mitigate the effects of the climate change menace on the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable, the development and implementation of a holistic climate change adaptation framework across the country and Northern Ghana in particular is recommended. Concerted efforts must be made to ensure that such a framework is socially acceptable, environmentally sustainable, economically viable, gender sensitive and politically stable.  

Contribution/ Originality


Climate Change, Food Security, Livelihoods, Northern Ghana, Social Safety


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