Accra’s resilience journey

The capital of Ghana, Accra is one of the safest cities in Africa. But sustained water pollution threatens the economic stability and growth of this sprawling metropolis.

Extreme water pollution from human and industrial waste has stymied private-sector investment in waterfront development. It has also left Accra’s two lagoons uninhabitable for local species, threatening local cultural rituals based around the lagoons.

The city’s worst fear, however, is the threat of cholera outbreaks driven by the polluted floodwaters that arrive with the rainy season. Cholera strains the city’s healthcare systems and can impact larger business operations and markets.

Accra’s leadership is now thinking about the problem in an innovative way. From recent experiences with outbreaks, officials know that taking a holistic approach to resilience involves not only improving waste management and flood management, but also “sensitization infrastructure” to promote good sanitation and hygiene in local communities.

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