Assessing Climate Change Related Events on the Rights of Subsistence in the Rural Coastal Communities of Ghana

Abstract

From the perspective of international human rights law, people are in no case be deprived of their own means of subsistence. However, weather and climate change pose both direct and indirect threat to a wide range of universally recognised human rights, by depriving millions of people of their rights of subsistence. This study looks at climate change and its effects on rights of subsistence in the rural coastal communities. The following research questions guided the study: (1) what are the climate change related effects on the right to adequate clean water?  (2) what are the climate change related effects on the right to food?; and (3) what are the climate related effects on the right to adequate housing? The population for this study included the residents in the two coastal communities, namely, Ampenyi in the Central Region and Anlo Beach, close to Shama in the Western Region. Mixed method approach with a sequential design was employed. Triangulation was used to test the consistency of findings obtained through different instruments used. Purposive sampling technique was employed in selecting the two communities and the respondents. Instruments for the data collection were questionnaire, interviews and observation. The quantitative data was analysed into simple percentages, whilst the qualitative data was done by interpretative technique whereby the outcomes were put into thematic areas based on the research questions. It was revealed from the study that, climate change related events have directly or indirectly affected rights of subsistence of the residents in the study areas. The study therefore, recommended that, rights-based approach should be applied in effective coastal planning and resiliency building to help the affected communities cope and adapt to living in a dynamic climatic environment.

Keywords: Climate Change, Coastal Communities, Rights of Subsistence, Rural Coastal Communities.


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