By Dennis Peprah
Jirapa, Nov. 1, GNA – Professor Simon Adinkrah, the Director of the Institute for Oil and Gas Study, Department of Geography and Regional Planning of the University of Cape Coast, has called on the government to see the possibility of harvesting and reserving flood waters from the Bagre Dam for agricultural purposes.
He said it was imperative Ghana liaised and planned with Burkina Faso so that the annual water spillage from the Bagre Dam could be redirected, stored and channelled into Dams for the nation to derive the maximum benefit.
Prof Adinkrah made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the side-lines of the 34th Mole Conference, underway at Jirapa in the Upper West Region.
The CONIWAS, with support from its partners, is organizing the four-day conference on the theme: “Building inclusive and resilient Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) systems to reach the unserved” and attended by about 170 participants, comprising policymakers, government actors, practitioners, Members of Parliament as well as Municipal and District Assemblies.
The GAMA Sanitation and Water Project and World Vision Ghana are also sponsoring some members of the Media Coalition against Open Defecation (M-CODe) to participate in the conference.
“We have great engineers and they have great engineering beyond harvesting flood water and what it means is that they must liaise with the authorities of the Bagre Dam so that we can trap the waters and store it for useful purposes,” Prof Adinkrah stated.
Liaising with Burkina Faso, he said, the country could easily trap the flood waters from the sources, saying, that could even support the government’s flagship One-Village-One-Dam project.
“We know that the Bagre Dam spillage comes up on yearly seasons and we can have bigger dams, store and preserve and release the waters to the smaller dams to provide water for the farmers in the dry seasons,” Prof Adinkrah stated.
This would greatly help the nation to be proactive in tackling the seasonal migration of farmers to the south, during the long dry seasons in the Northern part of the country.
“When we are able to do this, then we are killing two birds with one. What I mean is that we would not only prevent the flood waters from devastating people’s homes but also store waters for agriculture use.
“In fact, we will also protect our WASH systems because whenever there is flooding, it affects the WASH systems put in place in the country”, Prof Adinkrah stated.
Earlier, Dr Freda Prempeh, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, who opened the conference commended the CONIWAS and its partners for their support in helping the nation to tackle her sanitation problems, saying more was required from the private sector in that regard.
Ms Beata Awinpoka Akanyani, the Chairman of CONIWAS, explained the conference had witnessed consistent growth of interest and importance since its inception in 1989 among civil society, policymakers, local government and development partners alike.
In a brief history, she explained the Mole Conference was named after the Mole Game Reserve, near Damongo in the Savannah Region, and expressed appreciation to DANIDA and the World Bank, USAID and other development partners, both local and international, for their continuous support.
Among other objectives, the conference would also discuss how the implementation of resilient WASH systems will address access and equity, and how current service delivery models will impact Ghana’s pace towards achieving WASH for all.