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Aims: The study assessed the perception of the coastal inhabitants of Winneba on climate change and its impacts.
Study Design: This study is descriptive in nature and employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Place and Duration of Study: This research was conducted in Winneba, Ghana in February 2020.
Methodology: The survey method of research was employed in this study. An annual mean temperature timeseries data of Winneba from 1980- 2017 to supplement respondents' subjective views. In addition, community interactions were conducted to get personal information from the inhabitants about the impacts of climate change. 152 inhabitants were sampled through the convenience and the purposive sampling techniques. The convenience technique was used to select 148 respondents and 3 fishermen, and 1 fish seller selected purposively. This was done through questionnaire administration and interviews. Community's interactions centred on inhabitants' perception of climate change and its impacts.
Results: The study found that temperature in the Winneba community has increased. The study again found diverse views on the most serious impact of climate change in the community. While some attributed it to rising temperatures, others attributed it to sea level rise and coastal erosion. The study also revealed that although many of the inhabitants lamented about rising temperatures as it disrupts their daily activities and cause diseases, sea level rise and erosion has also played a devastating role on the environment which needs to be addressed.
Conclusion: Local community perception and knowledge on climate change is important. Increased knowledge and awareness influence a community’s choice of mitigation and adaptation to climate change impacts. A comprehensive policy framework on climate change awareness creation and education should, therefore, be implemented and made available to local coastal community members.
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