The government of Ghana has approved US US $700m for the construction of a multipurpose dam at Pwalugu in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.
Upper East Regional Minister, Mrs Paulina Patience Abayage, disclosed the reports and said the dam will mitigate the perennial flooding in the area caused by the annual spillage of excess water from the Bagre Dam in neighbouring Burkina Faso.
“Cabinet has approved that we have the Pwalugu dam and as I speak with you, we have a lot of interest groups including the African Development Bank and the vice-president and president are so committed to it that if there is any project that is so sure to happen, sooner before the end of the year we will cut the sod to start work,” said Mrs Abayage.
The proposed multipurpose dam at Pwalugu will benefit the region’s population in terms of irrigation development and flood management as well as power generation. Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will be in charge of the project.
The Regional Minister, Mrs Paulina added that a series of social and environmental studies to assess the possible impacts of the project on their livelihoods are being conducted by Sinohydro, a Chinese company, to mitigation measures. Construction of the dam has been slated for November 2019.
The multipurpose Bagre Dam on the White Volta is located near Bagré village in Burkina Faso. It is normally opened when it reaches its maximum level of 235 metres. The excess water volumes are spilled by SONABEL, the power utility authority of Burkina Faso to prevent the dam from possible damage.
In September 2018, Ghana and Burkina Faso began a high-level discussion to find a lasting solution to the spillage as it causes flooding in many local communities and destroys lives and properties, including farmlands, before finally finding its way into the Black and White Volta rivers.
The discussions, which were led by President Nana Akufo-Addo and President Rock Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso, came off when the latter paid a two-day state visit to Ghana.