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GWCL spills excess water from Weija Dam

BY: Jennifer Ansah
Schoolchildren paying for a canoe ride to cross the Densu River
Schoolchildren paying for a canoe ride to cross the Densu River

The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has begun spilling excess water from the Weija Dam to maintain the strength of Accra’s only treatment plant.

Three out of five spillways were opened on Sunday, June 10, 2018 when the water level rose from its safe operational level of 45ft to a maximum of 48.7ft.

All the five spillways, according to officials, were likely to be opened depending on the amount of excess water that would have to be spilled.

 Residents in areas to be affected by the spillage have been asked to relocate immediately since the company have no other option but to begin spillage to save the strength of the Weija Dam.

The Production Manager of the GWCL at the Accra Tema Metropolitan Area, (ATMA), Mr Francis Amoah, explained to the Daily Graphic last Thursday that the level of water had dropped from 48.7ft to 47.5ft since it started spilling.

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

Mr Amoah stressed that the situation had made it imperative for them to spill excess water to save the dam.

Schoolchildren

During a visit to the catchment area of the dam last Thursday, the Daily Graphic observed that the Densu River on which the Weija Dam is built, was flooded by the spillage, making movement difficult.

Schoolchildren crossing over to their various schools were stranded and left to their fate.

 The pupils from some of the schools in the communities had to cross the river in the canoes of fishermen.

Depending on their numbers, a ride cost each pupil GH¢1 or 50 pesewas to cross over.

Those who could not pay the fare were left stranded. Some were, however, bailed out by good Samaritans.

Stakeholders

Stakeholders, including the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Pambros Salt Manufacturing Limited, National Security Service, Ghana Police Service, Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and residents, especially those living in and around the Weija Water Treatment Plant and the low-lying areas of the waterway, were warned to prepare for a possible spillage with the onset of the rains.

An official of NADMO at the Weija Gbawe Municipal Assembly, Mr Attimah Costhim, briefing the Daily Graphic on the spillage, indicated that the  exercise had so far not caused any major flooding in the communities in the catchment areas as the amount of water spilled was not too much.

Residents

Some residents who spoke to the Daily Graphic said they could not relocate because they had lived there for years and would, therefore, manage with the situation should there be flooding.

Madam Adwoa Manu, one of the residents, said she had lived in the community for 30 years and spillage was a normal thing experienced by the community, pointing out that this year’s was, therefore, not new to them.

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