SONABEL spills Bagre Dam

SONABEL, Power Utility of Burkina Faso, has started spilling the Bagre Dam due to the rise in the water level.

It informed the Volta River Authority that the Dam would be spilt if it recorded an elevation of 234.75 meters due to the rapid rise of the water level.

A press release by the Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Volta River Authority (VRA), said SONABEL started spilling the Dam on Friday, August 27, 2021, and that the elevation as of the morning of Sunday 29th August 2021, was 234.32 meters compared to the maximum elevation of 235 meters.

The release said the spilling was precautionary and aimed at minimising the rate of spillage if the inflow into the Dam continued to increase.

It said inflow into the Dam was a result of the high level of rainfall in the Sahel region, which had been predicted by the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) and other international meteorological agencies at the beginning of the rainfall season.

The VRA and SONABEL, it said, had been monitoring the situation to ensure that they informed the relevant agencies and the public in advance of any spilling and information from GMet showed that an average to above-average rainfall level was expected in most parts of northern Ghana.

The release said that the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) had already issued a statement on the situation and advised the population around the White Volta to be on the alert and be ready to move to higher grounds, in the event of flooding.

It said VRA would also continue to engage with SONABEL to be informed on the amount of spilling they intended to undertake while they kept monitoring the situation.

The release said they would 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.

It said the long-term solution to flooding in the White Volta Basin would be the construction of the Pwalugu Multi-Purpose Dam and that the VRA had started the implementation of the project by carrying out several preconstruction project activities since November 2019, while PowerChina, the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractor, had completed the topographical and geotechnical activities necessary for carrying out detailed dam design.

The release said VRA had completed the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) and the associated mitigation measures, adding that the RAP had developed a programme for the resettlement of the 335 affected households, including a livelihood restoration programme.

It stated that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Lands Commission would hold public hearings in the North East and Upper East Regions on the EIA on September 15 and 16, 2021 respectively, to allow affected communities and other stakeholders to express their views on the EIA and the RAP.

The release said the VRA had collaborated with the Lands Commission to complete the valuation of assets of all project-affected persons and that the Commission would use the information to determine the compensation to be paid to the impacted persons before their relocation.

It said the completion of the project development activities was a prerequisite for the large scale construction work.

Source: GNA

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