Two collaborate to improve Volta Basin water management


(Note: The IUCN -- "International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources" -- appears most interested in "managing" all resources. Control the water and the people become subservient. This is happening in America/The United States, as well, with German and other companies buying American water companies, and The Nature Conservancy -- a self-proclaimed "non-profit" organization working hand-in-glove with the IUCN -- acquiring land and water on a massive scale. This is rife with Language Deception. To prove the serious interest and intent, a quick Google search gave this result: Results 1 - 10 of about 33,900 for "Ghana" "Nature Conservancy" "Burkina Faso" management water IUCN.)


February 22, 2006


By Akwasi Ampratwum-Mensah, Zebilla

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Ghana and Burkina Faso are jointly implementing a project which is designed to improve water management in the Volta River Basin.

The 1.3 million euros project, commonly known by its French acronym, PAGEV (Project d'amelioration de la Governance de l'eau dans le bassin de la Volta) is being funded jointly by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Directorate General for International Cooperation of the Netherlands, (DGIS).

PAGEV is part of the Water and Nature Initiative (WANI), a worldwide initiative of the World Conservative Union (IUCN), that seeks to demonstrate how to mainstream the ecosystem approach into river basin planning and management.

The project seeks to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between Ghana and Burkina Faso on shared resources and to demonstrate how water management can be improved through the implementation of joint pilot activities.

The long-term goal of the three-year project is, however, the equitable and sustainable management of the Volta River, through international cooperation.

In Ghana, the project is being piloted in the Bawku municipality, Bawku West and the Garu-Tempane districts in the Upper East Region.

The targeted communities are Sapelliga, Mongnori, Kugrasia and Sakom.

The Coordinator of PAGEV, Mr Kwame Odame-Ababio, said at a consultative forum of stockholders of the project at Zebilla in the Bawku West District that the Volta Basin was the ninth largest in Africa, but unfortunately it had no coordinating structure to manage water resources, "that is why PAGEV has come in."

"The basic thing is that, we are trying to conserve water for our future generations and to remove suspicion among our two peoples who are now eager to accept the project and enjoy its outcomes," Mr Odame-Ababio said.

About 50 participants, including some from Burkina Faso, attended the forum, which also drew a plan to preserve the water body.

The Bawku Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Abdul Rahman Gumah, said the project was a relief and meant to address the poverty and hunger that confronted the people.

He explained that the Volta River Systems had about 70 per cent of the country's river networks and that it had its connections with other rivers in neighbouring Burkina Faso, hence the need for collaboration and cooperation.

”We cannot lose sight of the fact that, we both depend on trans-boundary waters for our irrigation and others, and this calls for the need for water resources management," he stressed.

Mr Gumah indicated that the government realised the need for the management of water resources and therefore established the Water Resources Commission under the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to see to the regulation, management and coordination of activities of users of water bodies.

He said to ensure the sustenance of the activities of users of water bodies, there was the need to collect, collate, store, analyse and disseminate data or information on water.

This, Mr Gumah noted, would enable policy makers to make informed decisions to better the living standards of the vulnerable and excluded groups through the users of water bodies.

The MCE pointed out that negative farming practices had the tendency of affecting the basin, as it was already the case”, adding that farming along the river banks caused siltation, thereby making the river unable to hold water during and after the rains."

"It is only when we are able to respect and adore the Volta Basin as a means of livelihood and address our poverty situation, that we shall enjoy its benefits and be able to achieve this lot.”

He stressed the need to put certain community structures in place, such as village committees for the restoration of river banks, which would serve as a watchdog to the negative activities of farmers along the river banks," he stressed.       

The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Abraham Dwuma Odoom, urged the participants to be serious with the project, so that they could transform the semi-desert area into a food basket zone.

He added that there was great potential for food production in the north, but equally a great deal depended on the availability of water.

Mr Roy Ayariga, the Upper East Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said the ministry was relying on the Volta Basin as the hope for food security in the region, in particular, and stressed the need for effective management of water resources since there was competition.

The Bawku West District Chief Executive, Mr Moses Abaare Appiah, observed that negative farming practices had the potential of destroying the Volta Basin, so an improvement in the management of water in the Volta Basin was a welcome programme which the people should embrace.


Copyright 2006, Graphic Ghana.