Executive summary

The release of excess water from behind Akosomobo Dam on 11 October 2023, following heavy and unpredictable rainfall, has resulted in the flooding on communities in nine districts along the Lower Volta River. Large displacements have been reported as a result of the flooding (over 26,000, source: EU ERCC).

In this report, we focus on medium- (5–25km) and long-distance displacements (greater than 25km). We estimate that 1,430 Vodafone Ghana subscribers have been displaced from the areas around cell clusters in the affected districts. This represents only a portion of the total number of displaced persons, as these figures do not include those without a subscription to Vodafone Ghana or those who were displaced very short distances (less than 2km).  We observe very few long distance displacements or displacements to urban centres, such as the Accra Metro area. The largest displacements observed were from the area around Mepe and Aveyime in North Tongu, to Mafi-Adidome in Central Tongu. We estimate that approximately 853 additional subscribers are residing in the area around Mafi-Adidome. We also observe that the increase in the number of subscribers displaced from the affected area has slowed. However, we do not yet observe any indications that subscribers are returning to their previous home locations.

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About the report

Authors & contributors

This report was authored by the Flowminder Foundation, by Thomas Smallwood and Veronique Lefebvre, with the contribution of Robert Eyre, James Harrison, Sophie Delaporte, Richard Attandoh, and Cathy Riley.

Thomas Smallwood analysed, interpreted and wrote the report; Veronique Lefebvre directed the analysis; Robert Eyre developed code and supported the analysis, James Harrison produced the aggregates derived from CDR data; Sophie Delaporte supported with report review, Richard Attandoh provided project support, and Cathy Riley provided project oversight.


This study was made possible thanks to the anonymised data provided by Vodafone Ghana, and the Data for Good partnership between Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Vodafone Ghana, and Flowminder.

This report was funded with UK International Development from the UK government. The analysis presented has also been possible thanks to funding by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Vodafone Foundation that support Flowminder's activities in Ghana, where Flowminder is partnered with Ghana Statistical Service and Vodafone Ghana, under the Data for Good partnership, to integrate mobile operator data into official statistics and enhance development planning.

About the Data for Good partnership

From October 2017, Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Vodafone Ghana, and the Flowminder Foundation took the first step to establish a unique partnership to produce official statistics using de-identified telecommunications data, to strengthen humanitarian and development decision-making in Ghana, and has the potential to save lives by providing accurate and relevant insights to the government of Ghana. Read more here.

Data & data privacy

The mobile network data provided to Flowminder is fully anonymised. This means that no personal data, such as an individual’s identity, demographics, location, contacts or movements, is made available to the government or any other third party at any time. All results produced by Flowminder are aggregated results (for example, subscriber density in a given municipality), which means that they do not contain any information about individual subscribers. This approach complies with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR 2016/679). Data is processed on a server installed behind Vodafone Ghana’s firewall in Ghana, and no personal data leaves the operator’s premises.

Data considerations

The estimates shown are our best current assessment of movements from non-traditional data: anonymised data from a mobile network operator. However, there are a number of uncertainties. The information should be interpreted together with other available evidence.

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