FINDING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION TO BAGRE DAM SPILLAGE

CLIMATE change and other vagaries of the weather have resulted in heavy rains across the country with attendant perennial floods. People who live along   river banks, and make a living from the water resources through fishing and farming, have become vulnerable to perennial flood.

Most communities in the Upper East and Northern regions live close to the White Volta. But they have often found themselves at the wrong side of the water resource during the rainy season, especially in the month of August and September when the rains are heavier.

Already, the people are reeling under the heavy rains and news filtering in are that, hundreds of farms lands in the Upper East and Northern regions, have been submerged in water. Some dwelling houses have also been washed away by the floods. Indications are that famine is looming!

As if that is not enough, those living along the White Volta face the annual ritual of spillage of the Bagre Dam in neighbouring Burkina-Faso.  This is as a result spillage of excess water from their hydro dam to save the dam from collapse during heavy rains.

The annual spillage of the dam, following heavy rains, takes heavy toll on communities who live along the lowland areas in the Upper East, Northern, Volta Regions and the parts of Afram Plains in the Eastern Region.

Often, we have National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and other stakeholders undertake sensitisation campaigns to get the people move to safer and high land areas, to avoid the flood waters.

Besides NADMO also supports victims with relief items but it is overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the floods and the number of victims involved.

The Ghanaian Times thinks that NADMO alone cannot do much and needs more support from other institutions to undertake the operations to ensure the safety of the victims.

It is, for this reason also that we advocate a joint efforts by Ghana and Burkina Faso to find a lasting solution to the Bagre Dam spillage that affects the dwellings and the livelihoods of these vulnerable communities along the White Volta.

Fortunately Ghana-Burkina Faso already have a Permanent Joint Commission on Cooperation (PJCC), that, provides the framework of their bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefits of the government and people of both countries.

We wish to appeal to both countries to give the issue of the spillage, especially its attendant problem of flooding which affects the vulnerable priority attention in their framework of bilateral cooperation in order to ensure the safety of the people in those areas.

With the Sustainable Development Goals, Ghana and Burkina-Faso, as signatories to the Global Agenda 2030, are obliged under goal 15 “to make cities and human settlement inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

Indeed, both countries are expected to put in place mitigation and adaptation to climate change,  resilience to disasters and develop and implement , in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels.

Let us be proactive in implementing the plans and programmes that we sign up to as members of the international community and under the framework of bilateral cooperation, to bring relief to vulnerable communities.

 

 

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