Why did the CBDRM intervention take place
Tema Manhean is one of the high risk urban communities in the Tema Metropolis with an estimated population of over 71,711 (GSS, 2010 Population & Housing Census). The community is prone to flooding, disease (cholera) outbreak, fires, environmental and sanitation challenges, health hazards, pollution, chemical/gas explosions and fast developing slums due to constant migration and population growth.
Thousands of people are always affected in the event of flooding and other forms of disasters resulting in loss of lives, livelihood, and properties.
Statistics available in the June 3rd 2015 flood disaster indicates that about 6,593 people were affected with three (3) deaths reported. The number of houses and businesses affected totalled about 4,623 with an estimated economic losses and damages (water & sanitation, roads & housing) of about GHS 39,682,000 (Source: NADMO /City Strength Diagnostics Report, World Bank, 2016).
There was therefore the tremendous need for children, youth and women to be targeted and equipped with skills and knowledge to be at the centre of disaster preparedness, sanitation and environmental cleanliness and risk reduction campaigns in the community.
The project sought to mobilize and train children and youth to play a vital role in disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities in their communities, equipping them to design and implement DRR information campaigns, education, awareness raising, advocacy and practical risk reduction activities for their communities.
In all, three schools in the community were selected for the project. About 1,327 pupils, teachers and community and traditional leaders were directly involved. Youth groups (disaster volunteers) were also formed and trained.
What were the activities
We first undertook a baseline data collection in the community and schools to help understand the people’s perspective on the environmental and sanitation and disaster risk challenges in the community.
Meetings and sensitization workshops were organized for the community and some selected schools to brief them about the project and get their buy-in and inputs.
School clubs were formed in the schools with voluntary membership from pupils. Parents/guardians were made to sign a form to allow their wards to be part of the club with support by teachers and approval by the education authority.
Youth groups were formed with support from the local assembly representative and community leaders. The project team assisted them to come up with their activities so that they own the project. Youth groups were trained on rescue and swimming to avert drowning at the beaches during holidays. They organized clean-up exercises to desilt drains and assisted the community as first line responders in the event of flooding and other disasters in the community.
Debates, quizzes and drama performance, scavenger hunting etc. were organized for the school clubs to educate and create awareness on the environmental cleanliness, sanitation maintenance, and disaster risk. Schools were supported with buckets for hand washing (veronica bucket), wheelbarrows, fan brooms, and dustbins for their activities.
An information van was regularly used to educate the people together with the local radio station in the community. The team liaised with focal persons to help organize the people for meetings and durbars.
Who funded it
The Cities and Climate Change Project, Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana, with support from the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA).
What other factors were involved
The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Project and the School Health Education Programme (SHEP) were involved.
How long was the project for?
The project period was for 2 years (2016 to 2017).