About 115.6 hectares of farmlands at Tempane and its environs in the Upper East Region have been submerged following a torrential rainfall that caused the Tamne Irrigation Dam and its major tributaries to overflow their banks.
The havoc, which also partially destroyed about seven houses at Tempane, has affected some communities at Garu and Pusiga Districts and over 200 residents and crops such as maize, rice, millet and groundnuts among others that were destroyed.
The affected communities are; Zambala, Bugri, Gagbiri, Gaago, Kug-Zua, Gella-Kolgo, Napaadi, Arazim, Kolsabilgu, Zulli and Kugri.
Major roads linking Tamne, Tempane, Tuboung, Zon-Natinga, Bugri, Basyonde, Bupilsi and Nakom have also been washed away.
Residents of the affected communities attributed the unfortunate situation largely to poor construction of the spillway of the Tamne Dam which made it difficult for the excess water released from the tributaries and collected into the Tamne Dam to be spilled away.
They said the spillway had been constructed in such a manner that it was far from the reservoir of the dam and was not in the direction of the flow of the water from the dam.
Mr Williams Adams Asaana, the Tempane District Director of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that assessment was still ongoing to ascertain the extent of damage the flood had caused.
The Director who also blamed the contractor working on the Tamne Irrigation Dam said, the contractors did not take opinions of the indigenes into consideration when the survey for the construction was being done.
He said residents had complained that most of the houses in the area had annually been affected by floods and asked for a relocation package to enable them move to higher grounds, but their pleas were not heeded.
The District Director noted that the situation was likely to worsen if the rains continued and water levels of the Tamne continued to rise.
Mr Asaana stressed that the flood had halted a lot of economic activities and had cut many communities off from accessing certain social amenities such as schools, health centres and market places among others.
“We are born and bred here, so when they came to do the survey for the relocation of some houses we showed some houses that were always affected annually but they disagreed and fixed some pillars and said the water will not reach there and now those houses have been affected,” he said.
In July 2016, government cut sod for the construction of the Tamne Dam which was expected to hold more water after completion and irrigate about 1,300 hectares of farmlands in the district, to promote all-year-round farming.
It was also expected to increase irrigable lands in the Bawku enclave from 220,000 hectares to 500,000 hectares within five years.