GHANA, BURKINA FASO SUMMIT COMMENDABLE

GHANA and Burkina Faso relationship has been taken a notch higher following the summit in Accra, between President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his counterpart, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

The visit could be termed reciprocal by the Burkinabe leader, after a similar one by President Akufo-Addo in the past. Anytime the two leaders meet, it is to rekindle the brotherly relationship between the two countries and to strengthen bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefits of the people of the two countries.

Indeed, both Ghana and Burkina Faso share common historical and geographical ties. The people of both countries have common interest, as they share a common border and meetings such as the one that took place yesterday among the leaders help to cement the already existing cordial relations between the two countries.

Beside pleasantries, President Akufo-Addo in a reciprocal manner honoured President Kabore, with Ghana’s highest honour of Companion of the Order of the Star, in recognition of his distinguished leadership and commitment to the progress of his people and good neighbourliness in the West Africa sub-region.

This was after the two leaders had discussed perhaps, the most crucial issue most Ghanaian are concerned about; the Bagre Dam, and the annual spillage.  The spillage that has become an annual ritual affects a considerable number of people, destroys lives, dwelling places, farmlands and livelihoods in communities along the Black and White Volta Rivers in Upper East and parts of the Northern Region, where the excess water flows.

For instance, the spillage of the hydro-dam this year by the Burkinabe authorities has claimed seven lives, destroyed thousands of hectares of crop farms, which eventually is going to affect the livelihoods in the predominantly farmers communities.

Most worrying is the fact that the spillage has affected the smallholder farmers under the government’s flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs meant to increase agriculture productivity and improve the income of rural communities. The communities are at risk of hunger and loss of incomes.

The Ghanaian Times’ concern is that these farmers are being supported with agriculture inputs on “loan” and we wonder how they would be able to pay back the loans for others to benefit from the intervention scheme.

We are confident however, that the summit would discuss and find lasting solutions to the perennial spillage of the dam and its concomitant loss of lives and damage to properties.

As indicated by the two leaders the reactivation of the Joint Technical Committee on Integrated Water Resources Management, to oversee the management of the annual spillage of the dam, to reduce the perennial flooding downstream, would go a long way to solve the problem.

 

We trust that the two leadersh would ensure that the Committee implements the agreements between the two countries, so that the challenges associated with Bagre spillage, are resolved.

It is against this backdrop that, we back the demand of the chiefs and people of the affected communities, as well as civil societies, groups to speed up the construction of the proposed Pwalugu Dam, to collect the excess water from the spillage for irrigation in the affected communities.

Long live Ghana/Burkina Faso relationship!

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