Barriers to climate change adaptation in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from northeast Ghana & systematic literature review

Produced as part of the Adaptation to climate change and human development CCCEP research programme theme

Despite the international significance attached to climate change adaptation, there remains a lack of understanding of the key barriers that impede the effective implementation of adaptation strategies by households across sub-Saharan Africa. Better understanding of the vulnerability of agriculture-dependent households to climate variability requires exploration of the barriers that constrain the implementation of adaptation strategies.

This paper uses case studies from northeast Ghana and a systematic literature review to assess the barriers that restrict effective implementation of climate adaptations in sub-Saharan Africa.

Results suggest that households are constrained by a range of barriers, the most important of which included financial barriers, institutional barriers and a lack of information on climate change characteristics.

Findings highlight that the provision of credit facilities, development of early warning systems, effective communication of climate information and an understanding of the local context within which adaptations take place, are necessary pre-requisites to enhance climate adaptations and rural livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa.

Households need to be supported through the provision of micro-credit schemes, community empowerment and extension initiatives aimed at enhancing social networks within farming communities in order to reduce their vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate variability.