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SONABEL, the power utility of Burkina Faso, has informed the Volta River Authority (VRA) that due to the rapid rise of the water level as a result of high inflows recorded into the Bagre dam, it will commence spilling if the Bagre dam records an elevation of 234.75 meters.
The elevation as of the morning of Sunday, August 29, 2021, was 234.32 meters, compared to the maximum elevation of 235 meters.
This spilling is precautionary and aims at minimizing the rate of spillage if the inflow into the dam continues to increase.
VRA, in a statement, indicated that “Information reaching us from our SONABEL counterparts indicates that the spiling from the Bagre Dam will start any day from August 27, 2021.”
It explained that the high inflow into the Bagre dam is a result of the high level of rainfall in the Sahel region, which was predicted by the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) and other international meteorological agencies at the beginning of the rainfall season.
VRA noted that it has, together with SONABEL been monitoring the situation to ensure that they inform the relevant agencies and the public in advance of any spillage.
“VRA will also continue to engage with SONABEL to be informed on the amount of spiling they intend to undertake,” it added.
It further pledged to keep monitoring the situation and work with agencies such as NADMO, Regional Coordinating Councils, Metropolitan and District Assemblies, Water Resources Commission, security agencies, and other agencies to ensure prompt response to any emergency as well as issue regular updates on the situation to advise accordingly.
VRA also said in the statement that it has started the implementation of the Pwalugu Multi-Purpose Dam project by carrying out several pre-construction project activities.
“The Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Contractor, PowerChina, has completed the topographical and geotechnical activities necessary for carrying out detailed dam design. They have again carried out surveys to identify potential sources of construction material such as clay for the core of the dam, coarse and fine aggregates for concrete works, rocks for the rock-fill dam, and laterite material for the embankment dam,” it indicated.
“Furthermore, the VRA has completed the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) and the associated mitigation measures. Additionally, the VRA, working with the Lands Commission, has completed the valuation of assets of all project-affected persons. The Lands Commission will use the information to determine the compensation to be paid to impacted persons before their relocation.”
The spillage of the Bagre dam from neighbouring Burkina Faso is a yearly exercise to prevent any breakage of the dam’s banks.
Over the years, the dam is spilled either in August or September when it overflows its bank.
This spillage often leads to flooding and displaces residents in communities along the White Volta in the Bawku Municipality, Bawku West, Garu, Binduri, Nabdam, and Talensi districts.
The $993 million Pwalugu multipurpose dam project is expected to serve as a flood control mechanism to avert the loss of lives and destruction of property associated with perennial flooding.