Population: 1.8 Million (2010 estimates)
Accra is the capital of Ghana and one of the safest cities in Africa, however, serious and sustained water pollution threatens the sprawling metropolis’ economic stability and growth.
Extreme water pollution from human and industrial waste has stymied private-sector investment in waterfront development and left the city’s two lagoons uninhabitable for local species, threatening local lagoon-based cultural rituals.
But the city’s worst fear is the threat of a cholera outbreak, driven by polluted floodwaters that arrive with the rainy season. Cholera strains the city’s healthcare system and can impact larger business operations and markets.
Undaunted, the city’s leadership is thinking about solving 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 within local communities.