Case study of the Volta River Basin


Disasters and disaster risks do not recognise national borders. This will become increasingly true over the coming decades, as natural hazards combine increasingly with ‘man-made’ hazards, leading to risks that are increasingly complex and cascading. This places great importance on strengthening effective cross-border risk govern- ance. Yet, the political and governance systems used to manage disaster preparedness, reduce disaster risk and respond to the aftermath of a dis- aster remain deeply entrenched in the traditional conceptions of national sovereignty and are thus executed within national borders.

This paper looks at the Volta River Basin as a case study for the challenges facing West African societies with respect to transboundary and long- term humanitarian risk. It has been undertaken as part of a broader collaboration between King’s College, London, DARA, and the ECOWAS Com- mission to enhance disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts in the region through the technical support and capacity building of regional organisations.