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12.12.2013 General News

Demolish all disused dams in the country - NDSU

By Shirley Asiedu-Addo, Agona Swedru
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The Water Resources Commission (WRC) has asked owners of disused dams to decommission the dams to avoid disasters.

The Coordinator of the National Dams Safety Unit (NDSU), Dr Bob Alfa stated that unused dams posed great danger to the life and property of settlements around them.

Decommissioning dams means gradually letting water out of the dams and demolishing them afterwards.

Dr Alfa noted that there were currently 240 major dams in the country that could cause serious damage in case of a break.

Many other smaller ones, he said, were yet to be captured on their database.

These dams, he indicated, belonged to water companies, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Volta River Authority, mining companies, district assemblies and communities.

Dr Alfa said apart from the big companies which have rehabilitated their dams and maintained same, most of these dams were in a deplorable state.

Many of them he added, were managed by unqualified persons.

He said that the lack of qualified persons in charge of dams in the country gives cause for grave concern. Dr Alfa said it was time to give dams in the country the needed attention to ensure that possible disasters were minimized.

Stakeholders are at a meeting at Agona Swedru to finalize a draft regulation on Dam Safety.

The regulation is to standardize the design, construction, maintenance and operations of dams in the country.

The NDSU would also develop the legal framework for operating of dams, ensure training of personnel for dam operations and create a database for all dams in the country.

Dr Alfa noted that though dams posed a serious threat to society and a dam break could cause serious damage to life and property, the operations of these dams were not regulated.

The Acting Secretary of the WRC, Mr Ben Ampomaa said the final draft of the regulation would soon be presented to parliament so it undergoes the required to become law.

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