The Spillage of the Bagre Dam coupled with torrential rains between the period of August and early September this year, has brought a devastating effect in the entire region leading to loss of lives and properties running in to millions of Ghana cedis.
The torrential rains which the region and Burkina has experienced over the period necessitated the spillage of the Bagre Dam causing a lot of havoc.
The Bagre Dam was spilled on the of August 31, 2018 at 6:49 am, when the dam reached its maximum spillage level at 235m at 6.00 am that day.
In line with this, the National Disaster Management Organization NADMO Upper East Region has organized an emergency stakeholder forum at the Conference Hall of the Regional Coordinating Council to highlights the destruction caused to lives and properties as a result of the spillage.
The Forum brought together 23 representatives of stakeholders made up the various government institutions, development partners and NADMO Managers of the affected Districts.
The aim of the forum was to update participants on the floods situation, solicit more support for the victims and plain for a joint rapid assessment.
The update was a collaborative work of NADMO, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ghana Red Cross Society in the Upper East Region.
In an interview with gbcghanaonline.com, the Deputy Upper East Regional Director of NADMO in charge of operations Paul Wooma noted that, the Flood Disaster situation is fluid and changing and statistics provided cannot be constant.
He indicated that as of September 10, 2018 the Dam was still being spilled as water level still remained at the maximum of 235m saying, it has since not abated and the gauge level at Pwalugu continues to read high.
The implication is that many farmlands around the river are likely to remain submerged. Mr. Wooma stated that, damage done to crops in fields submerged as a result of the Spillage are yet to be assessed thoroughly as flood waters begin to recede slowly.
He however, gave the provisional figures of damage done to farmlands, houses and WASH facilities as a result of the torrential rains in the Municipalities and Districts as One hundred and twenty-two 122 communities and Eleven thousand seven hundred and 39 farmers are affected made up of 7,556 males and 4,183 females.
A total number of children between the ages of 0-17 years affected stood at 18,286. He said 29,899 acres are affected an equivalent of 11,959.6 hectares of farmland, stressing that large quantities of food and non-food relief items are required to mitigate the situation.
Regarding the death toll, Paul Wooma, stated that, 15 deaths so far have been recorded with 2 mission and attributed those deaths to the torrential rains and its effects and not as a results of the spillage of the Dam.
Figures recorded in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal Navrongo and the Builsa North District indicates that they are the hardest hit in the Upper East Region.
The Regional NADMO Secretariat and the Ghana Red Cross Society have visited these hard hit communities to help in relief operations and also for psychosocial counsel to disaster victims. A total of Fifteen 15 Communities have had their buildings affected in the Kassena-Nankana East Municipality.
One Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty Six 1, 456 people have had their buildings either partially or completely destroyed in Kologu alone.
Relief items had been sent to 156 displaced victims living in Kologu Primary School in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality.
The Upper East Regional Director of NADMO, Jerry Asamani, stated that this year’s spillage and the torrential rains only bring back memories of the 2007 floods disaster saying the threshold of the 2007 was much greater than this year, there was no death recorded.
In all these developments, NADMO Upper East Region together with Operation Thunderbolt, 2018 have been monitoring the situation and carrying out sensitization and education and doing emergency response to the vulnerable population.
The flood disaster situation is still unravelling and disaster assessment and monitoring on-going.
Story by : GBC’s Emmanuel Akayeti