Damage Assessment in The Agriculture Sector: A Case Study The 2018 Floods in The Volta River Basin
Recurrent floods can derail efforts that aim tocurb food insecurity and environmental degradation in the Volta River Basin of western Africa, where 2 million smallholder farmers live but face high risks to pluvial and fluvial floods.This paper attempts to examine the nature of the floods in the Volta River Basin and quantifythe damage caused by the 2018 flood to the agriculturesector.Using the purposive sampling technique,we conductedfield observation and a questionnaire survey and gathered data from 238 farmers in the watershedwithin the Burkina Faso-Ghana boarder area. This was supported with secondary data from government agencies. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and the paired sample t-test. The results revealed that Ghanaian respondents (91%) tended to suffer more from the floods than those in Burkina Faso (69%). The reasons for flood damage was somewhat contrary to media reports that mainly blamed the spillage from Bagre dam in upstream Burkina Faso.Our result showed that only 43% of the respondents in Burkina Faso and 34% of those in Ghana perceived that the spillage was the reason of the flood. The mean flood duration the respondents claimed to have endured was 3.65 weeks in Burkina Faso and 1.61 weeks in Ghana. The extent of the damage to their farming was severe as about half of the respondents in Burkina Faso (51%) and Ghana (49%) could not replant within the same cropping season after the flood. Our statistical analysis showed that damage to crop, livestock and farm asset were statistically significant at 5%, implying the damage suffered inthe agricultural sector was mainly caused by the 2018 flood. In Ghana, maize was the most affected crop with 127.3 MT of damage.In Burkina Faso rice was the most affected crop with 126.2 MT of damage. The Ghanaianrespondents also lost532 chicken, 516 guinea fowls, 185 goats and 168 sheepto theflood.Thispaper then reflects on the nature and effects of flood loss and damagedue largely to transboundary water mis-management.
Keywords - Flood, Agricultural Damage, Volta River Basin, Burkina Faso,Ghana.