Bagre (Burkina Faso), Aug 25, GNA – The spillage of the Bagre Dam, which started August 23rd in Burkina Faso will not affect citizens of Ghana, Mr. Oudraogo Nexime, Director of Production of the Bagre Dam told the Ghana News Agency at Bagre in Burkina Faso on Saturday.
Residents along the White Volta basins in Ghana will not be affected because the authorities in Burkina Faso said this year’s spillage would be gradual.
Mr. Nexime said the spillage started with only one valve at the pace of 300 cubic metres per second stressing that it had not reach its maximum stage of spillage at 235 cubic metres deep.
He explained that the spillage was being done gradually for security reasons in order not to cause havoc to the people who live along the water basins, both in Burkina Faso and Ghana.
Mr. Nexime said these when he met authorities in Ghana to tour communities around the dam to see the rate of the spillage and its impact on the people.
The Ghanaian delegation was led by Mr. Mark Owen Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister, Alhaji Gilbert Iddi, Chief Executive Officer of the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and some district chief executives in the Upper East Region.
The perennial spillages over the years have been causing devastating effects to lives and property in Ghana. Two years ago when it was spilt, eleven people lost their lives as a result of the flood that followed with several parcel of farm lands destroyed including livestock.
It will be recalled that before the spillage, the Upper East Regional Minister Mr. Mark Owen Woyongo entreated people to move from the lower areas of the White Volta basin to higher grounds and to harvest their grounds to avoid any calamity.
Mr. Nexime assured the Ghanaian authorities that the Bagre spillage would henceforth be spilt at a reasonable rate so that the citizens of both countries would not suffer much and promised effective collaboration in future.
Mr. Woyongo expressed gratitude to the Burkinaba authorities for their humanitarian interventions and said unlike two years ago when the two of the four volts were opened, only one was opened this year.
He said plans were far advanced to construct a similar dam in Ghana at Pwulugu in the Upper East Region to harvest the spillage water from the Bagre Dam to be used for multi-purpose functions including agricultural and hydro electrical generation.
He commended the Burkinaba authorities for making good use of the dam for the benefit of the people in that country who have been cultivating cereals along the dam and improving their lives, adding “Ghana will copy from the good example”.
Alhaji Gilbert Iddi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) announced that the Government in collaboration with the World Bank would start the feasibility study on the Pwulugu dam construction and officially begin the construction in 2014.
He said funding had already been secured for the feasibility study of the project and noted that the project was going to take a period of four years from 2012 to 2018 when it would be completed.
Alhaji Iddi said SADA would collaborate with the Ministry of Information, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) to begin educating the people living along the White Volta to move upwards as the immediate measure.
He said SADA was also considering dredging the water basin to ensure that even if the Bagre Dam was spilt at larger quantities, it would not affect the people.
The Bagre Dam was constructed in 1992 with funding from the World Bank at a cost of 67 billion CFA France. It contains seven billion cubic meters of water and produces 450,000 tons of agricultural produce of cereals of various kind benefiting 3,325 families of farmers aimed at fighting food insecurity.
It is the biggest dam in Burkina Faso with 40 meters deep, 400km long and 90km wide and has 40,000 to 80,000 arable land but currently only 4,000 hectares was being utilized.
It produces 20,000 tons of rice annually and produces hydro electricity with two turbines with 16 kilo volts capacity with an intention to diversify its activities for the benefit of the people.