The Kassena Nankana Municipality in the Upper East Region has turned to the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) for help to deal with devastation caused by the spillage of the Bagre dam.
About 800 people have been displaced in the municipality with about 600 acres of rice farm, submerged.
The situation has forced victims, who are seeking refuge in classrooms to run a shift system with school pupils.
But speaking to Citi News, Williams Aduum, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the area, said even though they were prepared for the spillage, this year’s damage has been overwhelming.
“In three of the schools, people who don’t have relatives are putting up there. We have made an arrangement in such a way that they will live there from afternoon till morning where they would have to give way for teaching and learning to take place. We’ve sent a report to Central Government. Government has responded swiftly to that, so from time to time we also talk to NADMO and when they also get relief items they push them to us and we are able to move to them and then we give them the little that we have.”
UNICEF moves in
Mr. Aduum hinted that officials of UNICEF have expressed their willingness to assist the municipality in a bid to bring relief to them.
He added that the institution intends to partner other organizations in bringing the level of destruction to its minimum.
“We also talked to UNICEF and we met last week at RCC so that we discuss to see how best they can also assist. They have also gone round with us to ascertain the damage caused by the spillage of the Bagre dam. They said they are going to talk with their partners to see how best they can come in to support. Though they haven’t specifically told us what they are going to do, but with what we have on the grounds, I am sure they may also bring relief items to help.”
Bagre Dam spillage: NADMO to find permanent solution
The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), has said that it is looking at a long-term solution for persons affected by the annual spillage.
Almost every year, the flood gates of the Bagre dam are opened and this usually affects residents along the White and Black Volta rivers.
But according to NADMO, it will soon write to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing for a possible creation of a permanent channel through which the water will be directed and collected for irrigation purposes.
Director of Communications at NADMO, George Ayisi, who cited the London famous river scenario said it was imperative to create permanent channels that will mitigate the effect of the spillage on residents.
“In the middle of London, the famous river passes there. Before 1912 almost every year, the people of London experience flood. The Prime Minister came and said, where are our engineers? Rise up and let’s put an end to this. They took up the challenge and by 1912 they had been able to build an encasement that will collect the water and spill out there without affecting the people of London.”
“We can also task our engineers. These are capital intensive projects so we task and we give the resources to do it. NADMO is a disaster management organization. We can see some of these things, make a report and send them to the authorities that are responsible for the critical decisions to be taken…..like Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing and the government itself, he added.