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Abass, Rabiatu

Abass, Rabiatu
MPhil Environmental Science Programme (2015/2016)

I am Rabiatu Abass, had a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Resource Development with History in 2014 at the University of Ghana. My general interest in environment and climate change issues was enhanced by courses such as Weather and Climate, Climatology, Climate and Society, Regional Development and Climate Change among others which I took during my undergraduate study. This triggered my passion for further studies in climate change and gave me confidence to observe, analyze and assess issues relating to climate change, regional development and sustainable environment.

Nonetheless, the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) makes adaptation, resilience and sustainable development based research necessary to ensure the effective performance of communities, industries and services in both rural and urban economies in the future.

My recent engagement in relation to sustainable environmental development was my participation in the UG Periperi-U two-week training Programme in;

  1. Community Information Base for Environmental Health Management (EHM) & Disaster Risk Reduction.
  2. Strategies for Community Resilience Building in Urban Ghana in January 2015.

In addition, I participated in the Ghana National Expert Workshop CARIAA-ASSAR Project in March 2015 where I acted as a very good communicator and shared my views on pertinent issues at discussion.

The Environmental Science programme at IESS has an outstanding interdisciplinary and integrated approach to Environment, Sanitation and Sustainable Development studies. The programme also provides opportunities for students to interact with experts in the various disciplines that will give my research an intellectual touch and will make my study a challenging and an enjoyable one.


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Mobile; (+233) (0) 542 532 692


Thesis Title
Formal and informal institutions in climate change Adaptation: the case of Lawra and Nandom districts in the Upper west Region, Ghana
As the current frequency of climate impacts is expected to increase in semi-arid regions of Ghana, smallholder farmers will require access to new and relevant information to adapt successfully. Institutional support is increasingly gaining attention for effective and successful adaptation; however, there is limited knowledge on the specific roles of both formal and informal organizations in implementing adaptation strategies in semi-arid regions. Using the Lawra and Nandom Districts as case studies, the various roles of existing institutions in adaptation strategies were examined. A total of 135 household questionnaires, six focus group discussions (FGDs), 20 in-depth interviews with farmers, and seven key informant interviews from institutions evaluated climate risks and impacts, adaptation responses of farmers and the functions of the different institutions in supporting these adaptation strategies. The majority of respondents observed irregular and unpredictable rainfall (77%), that high temperature and extreme heat (56%) and rainfall sometimes ceases during growing season (55%) as the main changes in the past 10 years. Major agricultural adaptation strategies identified were changing of planting dates (100%), planting of different varieties of the same crop (51%), planting of trees (35%) and seasonal migration of the local farmers (21%). There is high dependence of the smallholder farmers with formal institutions’ resources to adapt, especially for developing/building the local capacity, rather than on local innovations within the communities. This is mainly due to the lack of knowledge about climate change risks and adaptation strategies and limited or no access to financial resources. Government-led adaptation is considered to be more sustained than NGO-led programmes, although the government-led adaptation comparatively lacks specific mandates and financial resources. Continued support of formal institutions will therefore enable the development of more effective agricultural adaptation initiatives.