Complex twist of fate: The geopolitics of flood management regimes in Accra, Ghana

Clifford Amoako, Patrick Brandful Cobbinah, Rhoda Mensah Darkwah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Accra, the capital of Ghana, has been experiencing severe flood events since 1939, with the most affected often being the people living in vulnerable communities. Unfortunately, the flood management regimes by state agencies 2 have been limited to weak urban planning response in terms of demolition exercises, forced evictions or distribution of relief items. How successful have these regimes been? How have affected communities responded? What should be the urban planning response? These questions remain unanswered. This paper responds to these questions using cities as complex systems theory, and Agbogbloshie and Old Fadama communities in Accra as case studies. This study used a qualitative research approach comprising agency and community interviews, and document reviews. Findings indicate that flood management regimes have been ineffective due to city planning authorities 3 and state agencies' limited recognition of the urban space as a complex system. As a result, constructs, responses and contexts of urban floods are determined based on land use legality and acknowledgment of urban communities by city planning authorities, evidence of urban planning, and community initiatives. Recommendations to improve the situation are proffered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
Early online date27 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


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