The Seventh Ghana-Burkina Faso Joint Technical Committee on Integrated Water Resources Management (JTC-IWRM) meeting has been held in Tamale with a call on the core neighbouring countries to help marshal the needed resources to ensure effective management of the Volta River.
The process of setting up the JTC-IWRM started in April, 2004 when a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the Ministers in charge of Water in the two countries in Accra.
The MOU emphasised the need to strengthen the JTC-IWRM to consolidate the consultation mechanism for joint management of natural resources of the Volta Basin.
The other core countries also referred to as Riparian States are Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali.
According to the acting Executive Secretary of the Water Resources Commission (WRC), Mr Ben Ampomah, the seventh meeting sought to update and educate the member states on the planned and ongoing developments, especially on dams and other infrastructure in Ghana and Burkina Faso.
It was also to enhance the bilateral collaboration on risk management.
“Another step that has been taken is to invite to this meeting our colleagues from Togo who are also concerned and seek to promote co-operation towards the proper use and management of our shared water resources,” he stated.
Mr Ampomah further explained that the establishment of the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) that included all the six riparian countries sharing the Volta River, had been one of the significant strides made since the introduction of the JTC-IWRM meetings.
The acting Director of the Volta Basin Observatory, Dr Jacob Tumbulto, said one of the challenges had been mobilising funds for the continuous operation of the JTC-IWRM.
He commended Ghana and Burkina Faso for institutionalising and sustaining dialogue between them.
According to him, the exchange of hydro and meteorological data among the member countries was very important and that his outfit was also vigorously supporting that activity.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, said in Ghana, the major concerns in the use of trans-boundary water resources included trans-boundary pollution, accidental flooding, spills from upstream reservoirs and protection of local communities.
Mr Mabengba recommended to the meeting to place more emphasis on greater involvement of the remaining riparian countries in the subsequent meetings.
He also stressed the need for building local community mechanisms, improving political will to continue nurturing the opportunities for trans-boundary co-operation and encouraging the involvement of all actors, including the civil society and the private sector.
Source: Daily Graphic