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GWCL spills excess water from Weija Dam

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo

The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) on Friday started spilling excess water from the Weija Dam to maintain the integrity of the dam.

According to the Public Affairs Manager of the GWCL, Mr Stanley Martey, the spillage started around 10 a.m. when the water level reached 47.8 feet (ft), exceeding the safe operating level of the dam, which is 47ft.

He said two out of the five spillways were opened, but added that the opening would not have any immediate impact on the residents.

However, he cautioned residents and organisations close to the dam to evacuate the area as soon as possible because continued rainfall could occasion more spillage.

Communities likely to be affected include Tetegu, Oblogo, Pambros Salt, Lower McCarthy Hill, Lower Weija, Bojo Beach, Ada Kope, Tsokome and surrounding communities.

Sensitisation

Mr Martey said the company had already started a house-to-house sensitisation programme to inform the public about the exercise.

“Opinion leaders, chiefs, assembly members, unit committee leaders and heads of schools have all been informed about the exercise,” he said.

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He gave an assurance that the management of GWCL was still on the ground to monitor the level of water to ensure that the dam did not overflow its banks.

Visit

Meanwhile, a visit to some communities around the dam showed that communities such as Oblogo and Weija, had not been affected except for the downpour last Thursday evening which had affected few homes.

Majority of the residents who spoke to the Daily Graphic said they were not aware of the possible spillage.

However, those who had information of the opening of the dam said they were not prepared to leave should all spillways be opened.

Residents

They explained that they could not relocate because they had lived there for years and would, therefore, manage with the situation should there be floods.

A resident, Ms Gifty Nartey, said she had lived in the community for many years and that the spillage was a normal experience.

 Naa Ayele, another resident, also said they had no choice but to be there whenever the weirs (gated barricades to control the flow rates of water) were opened.

Background

Last year, schoolchildren crossing over to their schools over the banks of the dam were faced with difficulties as they had to cross over in canoes of fishermen in precarious situations.

Depending on their numbers, a ride cost each pupil GH¢1 or 50Gp to cross over; those that could not afford it were left stranded.