Climate Action in Northern Ghana improves water access and promotes diverse, sustainable livelihoods


Access to potable water is a basic human right, and yet over a billion people in the world currently live without it.

And as populations grow and the climate changes, surface water and catchment areas that naturally help power progress and give people water are coming under extreme pressure.

In Ghana, close to six million people (nearly 22 per cent of the country) rely on surface water to meet their daily water needs, leaving them vulnerable to water-related illness and disease.


In response, the Government of Ghana is implementing a UNDP-supported Adaptation Fund-financed project, Increased Resilience to Climate Change in Northern Ghana through The Management of Water Resources and Diversification of Livelihoods.

Understanding that water and water resources management are at the centre of adapting to climate change in Northern Ghana, the project is working to improve water access and to increase climate-resilient water management. In addition, the project is making sure enhanced water access is also used to support diverse, sustainable livelihoods by rural communities.

Working with 50 local communities in 10 project districts, the project is supporting each community in pursuing a suite of activities that collectively build their resilience as they widen their livelihood options, and adapt to the impacts of climate variability already experienced.

FROM THE FIELD: Sourcing clean water in Ghana

water transforms

UNDP Ghana | In northern Ghana some 50% of people lack access to safe drinking water.

28 January 2020


Communities in northern Ghana are benefiting from the rehabilitation of water sources which is expected to boost livelihoods and build resilience against climate change, thanks to a project supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

water transforms

UNDP Ghana Communities in northern Ghana are benefiting from improvements made to water sources.

Around 50 per cent of the population in the north of the West African country does not have access to clean drinking water, leaving them vulnerable to illness and disease.

But now the rehabilitation and construction of new boreholes and dams as well as irrigation systems in 50 communities is helping meet domestic water needs and provide innovative opportunities for growing crops in a region affected by climate change. One group of farmers has discovered a new crop which is boosting incomes. Read more here about how fresh water is bringing fresh hope to some of the most vulnerable people in Ghana.