While several settlers along the White and Black Volta have been displaced as a result of the Bagre Dam spillage, an engineer with the Volta River Authority (VRA), Ing. Philip Tetteh Padi, has said the current location of the dam has rather helped flooding situations in the area.
According to the senior water resource engineer, the situation as experienced by some Ghanaians up north could have been worse without the Bagre Dam.
Ing. Padi indicated that huge displacement and destruction of property recorded this year can be attributed to the rampant and torrential rainfall in the area.
In an interaction with CitiNews, he noted “…all that volume of water would be coming into Ghana at an instant and that would be devastating so the Bagre Dam is rather helping the flooding situation in a way. However, this year because of the forecast they’re going to have a lot of rainfall Sahelian region or zone, they (Burkinabe authorities) also advised us…”
Ing. Padi said based on information from the Burkinabe authorities, the VRA cautioned all regional coordinating councils in affected areas about the impending spillage to prevent loss of life and property.
However, he said most of the residents did not pay heed to the caution from their respective regional coordinators; the result of which has been the devastating loss of about 11 lives.
“…quickly, we informed all the regional coordinating councils that this is what is going to happen and therefore there’s the need for all the other agencies to take action in order to prevent loss of lives and properties. However, sometimes when we advise people do not listen…,” he added.
Adding that, “the North East regional told us that two of the people that died said they were crossing the river to go harvest their farm produce and then unfortunately they died. So it’s not about they closing or opening their dam. It is about continuous engagement to see what volumes are coming down…and how we manage the situation down here.”
So far, over 750 residents from nine communities in the North Gonja District of the Savannah Region have been displaced as a result of the spillage of the Bagre Dam.