Warning: Burkina Faso to open Bagre Dam


People living close to the White Volta basin in the Upper East and Northern regions have few hours to vacate their homes and farms as authorities in Burkina Faso spill excess water in the Bagre Dam.

The National Disaster Management Organization, NADMO, says it was only informed about the spillage on Monday.

About 10 people died after the spillage last year while some communities were cut off from the rest of the country.

NADMO officials in the Upper East region are warning people in communities likely to be affected to move out immediately.

Regional NADMO Coordinator, Alfred Sawuk told Joy News the Water Resources Commission informed them about the spillage but are unclear how the spillage would be done – regulated or at once.

Either way, he said, “whether we like it or not ones they open it water will come to our region”.

Ghanaian authorities have also been kept in the dark as to the exact time the dam would be opened.

But Sawuk said NADMO officials have been dispatched to communities along the White Volta to educate them on the impending danger.

He said farmers, persons who travel on the basin, as well as those who work at areas likely to get flooded have been advised to stay out of the place until the spillage is over and the flood receded.

The spillage of the Bagre Dam has been an annual affair. Alfred Sawuk said NADMO has been doing training and planning in addition to identifying early warning signs so that adequate measures are put in place to minimize the damage that would be caused.

He noted that after years of experience, Ghanaian authorities have realized that “sensitization and education is the key” in forestalling any eventuality.

Although they have limited time to inform people about the spillage, he is confident “information will go done well and we will not lose any soul this year”.

Joy News Upper East regional correspondent, Albert Sore fears there could be dire consequence due to the short period the notice was given.

The Interior Minister, Mark Woyongo when he was the Upper East Regional Minister said the Burkinabe authorities had agreed to give at least three days’ notice before going ahead with the spillage but it seems that has been reneged on, Albert recalled.

The minister also informed residents that the two countries agreed in 2012 that the water would be spilled gradually and would not allow the dam to get full before spilling it at once.



Source: myjoyonline