GARID project to roll out Accra Flood Early Warning System

The Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project is working with relevant state agencies to roll out a comprehensive early warning system to mitigate the impact of floods in Accra.


The Flood Early Warning System Greater Accra (FEWS-Accra) initiative will run on a model that collects weather and rainfall data, and disseminates warnings automatically for prompt response to flood situations.

The centre, which is expected to be fully operationalised before the next rainy season (2025), is being implemented with the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet), the Ghana Hydrological Authority (GHA), the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), and the Water Resources Commission (WRC).

As part of preparations for the deployment of the system, the GARID project has provided the required equipment to the state agencies and is also helping to build the capacity of the technical staff to work efficiently.


The Coordinator of the GARID project, Dr Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh, who made this known to the Daily Graphic last week, said approval had been given for the procurement of a service provider to put in place a central system that would connect the standalone weather and flood data from the state agencies to a central system for prompt dissemination to the public.

“The service provider will come latest by the end of this month and then take some time to set up the system. Once that person comes on board, the rollout will then depend on when he sets up the system and does the connection,” he said.

Dr Sarfoh explained that the service provider would be required to train technocrats who have been seconded from the four state institutions to work with the service provider for the next three years.

He added that within that period, the officers from those institutions would learn how to run the system and eventually take over the operation of the FEWS.

Institutional support

The GARID coordinator said because of the critical role GMet played in the delivery of weather and climate services, the agency had been resourced with modern equipment, including S-band radar, to predict weather patterns accurately and specifically.

“The agency will move away from the generic naming of places in Accra to specific locations so that people can have specific information on potential floods when it rains,” he said.

 He said the GARID project had also provided GMet with equipment that would allow the agency to automatically calibrate how much rain was coming. “These automatic and compact weather stations are being installed in various locations across the Greater Accra Region,” he added.

Dr Sarrfoh explained that the information that would be transmitted from GMet would be shared with GHA, which had also been provided some equipment to help measure the speed of the flows within the channels.

He said with those equipment, the GHA would be able to measure the rate of the rise of the flows so as to predict flood effects ahead of time. “The information will also be shared with NADMO which will then issue alerts to the specific localities where floods are expected,” he added.

The GARID coordinator added that NADMO was in the process of identifying safe havens for residents to move to safety anytime the flood alert messages were relayed to them.

He said when the early warning system was functional, it would help to address the phenomenon of loss of lives and property during flood events. “When this is done, it will mean that even if the drainage capacity we have are unable to take the runoff, people will be better informed because the information will be transmitted to them through various channels,” he said.

Dr Sarfoh also said the GARID project was engaging the National Communication Authority (NCA) and mobile telecom operators for the possibility of sending alerts on rainfall patterns and flood events to people through mobile phones.

Boost for GMet

The Deputy Director in charge of Forecasting and Synoptic Meteorology at GMet, Joseph Tetteh Portuphy, confirmed to the Daily Graphic that through the support from the GARID project, the agency had installed 18 telemetry ranges and two automatic weather stations in readiness for the deployment of the FEWS in Accra.

He added that plans were underway to set up a radar latest by October, this year, to help GMet give accurate rainfall and flood predictions at specific locations within Accra. Mr Portuphy explained that the radar would give GMet data on the intensity of rainfall and also scan the atmosphere to give actual quantity of rain.

Touching on what difference the equipment would make to rainfall predictions by the GMet, he said it would address the cumbersome nature of accessing data on rainfall. “The system we operative with is such that when it rains, someone has to go and get the data from the weather stations, but with the telemetry ranges, the data is transmitted automatically,” he said.  

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