Excess water from the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso is being spilled, which is likely to cause flooding in the Northern Regions of Ghana.
The water levels of the White Volta River and its tributaries are expected to rise with the spill discharge from the Bagre Dam and the surface runoff because of the rainfall. This means that areas along the White Volta River are at a high risk of flooding.
SONABEL, the power utility of Burkina Faso, has advised the Government of Ghana that due to an unexpected rise in reservoir water level, the spillage of water from the Bagre Dam commenced on Thursday September 1, 2022.
This was contrary to SONABEL’s earlier notice that the spillage was expected to begin on September 7, 2022.
A statement issued by the Corporate Affairs and External Relations Unit, VRA copied to the Ghana News Agency said as at August 31, 2022, the sharp rise in the water level stood at 234.88m representing 92.10 per cent.
The statement said the spillage of the dam would be done at a rate of 355 m3 /s, where the volume and rate of the spill was expected to increase the inflow into the reservoir.
It added that the level of the spill is higher than the day one spill for 2020 (76.50 m3 /s), 2018 (5 m3 /s), 2016 (148 m3 /s), 2015 (191 m3 /s) and 2014 (179 m3 /s).
The statement further stated that, the global weather prognosis from African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development indicated that, above-average total cumulative rainfall amounts were expected over the upper Volta Basin: Burkina Faso, the extreme northern parts of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo.
According to the Ghana Meteorological Agency, the ITB is expected to oscillate between Latitude 16.5◦N and 21.0◦N, indicating more rains in the coming days.
The statement said the Hydrological Services Department had indicated that the Pwalugu Station on the White Volta River is within the severity level 1 of the 10-day discharge forecast, meaning it was more than the 1-in-5-year flood.
The statement added, “The VRA and SOINABEL will continue to monitor the spillage from the Bagre Dam, the global weather conditions and the rainfall within the northern part of the country and advise accordingly.”
The statement said the National Disaster Management Organization in the Upper East Region said it had put in place mechanisms to provide relief and accommodation for persons who may be affected by the spillage.
It further said, NADMO had, however, cautioned all residents and farmers along the White Volta to move to higher grounds.
“The spillage of the Bagre dam takes place in either the month of August or September every year to prevent destruction to the dam,” it said.
“We appeal to residents to take note of this notice and comply accordingly,” it added
“Any inconvenience this exercise may cause residents and farmers is regretted,” it stressed.