From William N-lanjerborr Jalulah
It is that time of the year, when the Burkinabe authorities spill excess water from the Bagre Dam in that country to avoid damage to its banks; and it is this same time that communities along the White Volta Basin in the Upper East and Northern regions get flooded.
Unlike previous years when the Burkinabe authorities gave early notice to Volta River Authority and Northern Electricity Company of Ghana (VRA/NEDCO), far ahead of the spillage, the situation was different this year. According to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in Bolgatanga, the Burkinabe authorities only gave notice of their intention to spill the dam on August 10, 2015, and started the following day.
As a result, several farmlands along the White Volta Basin in many communities in Bawku West, Binduri and Talensi were being submerged under flood water. In an interview with The Chronicle, the Upper East Regional Coordinator for NADMO, Mr. Alfred Saawug, described the situation as serious, though he could not readily confirm the number of affected communities or farmlands.
He disclosed that NADMO, in conjunction with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, were to begin a comprehensive assessment of the situation yesterday, August 17. According to him, NADMO had warned residents of the affected communities to stay away from their farms to avoid loss of lives, while monitoring of the water level at the river is also ongoing.
Meanwhile, information available to this paper indicated that some youth who were engaged in farming, but had their farms submerged in water, had begun fleeing their communities due to the disaster.
From all indications, more excess water would be spilled in the coming days, as reports from Burkina Faso shows there were still torrential rains in that country. Even though the rains delayed this year in the Upper East Region, there have been heavy and continuous downpours in recent days, and this could also aggravate the flood situation.