As part of measures to prevent the recurrence of the destructive effects of the spillage of the Bagre Dam on the people in the three regions of the north, the government is to construct a dam at Pwalugu in the Upper East Region to divert water from the dam in Burkina Faso.
At the moment, contractors on the project, Sinohydro, a Chinese company, have completed feasibility study on the dam and the report is ready.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who announced this in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament yesterday, said the volume of water spilled from the Bagre Dam could also be used to generate electricity.
The multipurpose Bagre Dam on the White Volta is located near Bagré village in Burkina Faso. It is normally opened when it reaches its maximum level of 235 metres.
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
The excess water volumes are spilled by SONABEL, the power utility authority of Burkina Faso to prevent the dam from possible damage.
Some communities in the three regions of the north and parts of the Eastern Region are usually affected by the spilled water.
In September 2018, Ghana and Burkina Faso began a high-level discussion to find a lasting solution to the spillage as it causes flooding in many local communities and destroys lives and properties, including farmlands, before finally finding its way into the Black and White Volta rivers.
The discussions, which were led by President Nana Akufo-Addo and President Rock Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso, came off when the latter paid a two-day state visit to Ghana.
According to President Akufo-Addo, requisite approvals would be sought by the Ministry of Housing from Cabinet and Parliament for work to begin on the project.
He said the construction of the Pwalugu Dam formed part of measures being put in place “to avert the perennial flooding caused by the spillage of the Bagre Dam which has resulted in the constant loss of lives and property over the years.”
In the short term, the President said the White Volta would be desilted this year, while the government would continue to hold discussions with Burkinabe authorities to regulate the flow of the spillage to mitigate its impact on Ghanaians.
Nana Akufo-Addo also touched on the poor drainage system in the country, stating; “Another big problem is that of poor drainage in our towns and cities which leads to flooding during the rainy season. It also causes serious problem of sea erosion along the coast that endangers the lives of our coastal people.”
According to the President, “The nation needs to deal with those challenges by finding long-lasting solutions, and we are doing just that.”
He said the Odawna storm drains in Accra, which had caused many tragedies over the years, were being re-engineered by a team of experts to fix them permanently.
The President also mentioned the Dichemso drainage system in Kumasi which, he said, was also “on our list of priorities.
“We will also begin others in Amanful Kumah, Dansoman Phase II, Komenda, Anomabo, Cape Coast, Mensah Guinea, Ningo Prampram, New Takoradi Phase III, Apam, Kokrobite, Bortianor, Blekusu Phase II and Aboadze-Shama Phase II, Maritime University, Nungua, Takoradi, Anyanui and Essipong,” the President added.