The formal groundbreaking ceremony for construction works to begin on the multipurpose dam at Pwalugu in the Upper East region is expected to take place in November, Government officials have disclosed.
This follows a successful meeting chaired by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, with key stakeholders, including officials of the Ministry of Finance, Volta River Authority, and the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund on Monday, August 26, 2019.
Construction of the dam, which has been on the drawing board since independence, has become imperative due to the annual floods and deaths that occur in the areas that are within the flow-way of the Bagre Dam from upstream Burkina Faso. According to officials of the Upper East Region, 7,488.94 hectares of farms were destroyed by floods whilst livestock were carried away in the waters in 2018.
Sensitisation and evacuation plans have already began in the Pwalugu flood area, following plans by the Burkinabe authorities to open the dam in a few days.
When completed, the multipurpose Pwalugu dam will have an elevation of 165M near the Pwalugu Bridge on the White Volta River and with a maximum reservoir area of 350KM2. The project will also have a powerhouse consisting of two turbines with 60MW of installed capacity and 16.5MW of firm continuous capacity as well as, a 15KM overhead line for export of power to an existing transmission line.
It also comes with a twenty-five thousand-hectare irrigation scheme— the country’s biggest bulk so far, according to experts— which will boost annual rice production by up to 117,000 tonnes and maize by up to 49,000 tonnes in Ghana. Included in the anticipated production boost are other crops like tomatoes, sugar, sweet potato, sweet pepper, and onions.
The dam will also be a source of water supply to communities in the catchment area.
Aside the thousands of jobs to be created for those who will be engaged to build the project, it will also have a solar component to balance hydro energy with solar power to enhance the reliability of supply.
Among other benefits, the completed dam would reduce the cost of power distribution to the northern regions of Ghana while industrialisation, modern commercial agriculture and value chain activities as well as the general socio-economic environment, would be given a push.