Six dead in North-East flood, dam spillage

Six people, including a three-year-old girl, are dead after a flood from torrential rains and runoff from the Bagre Dam spillage swept through communities in the North-East Region, the National Disaster Management Organisation says.

The worst-hit communities are in East and West Mamprusi districts, including Bunkprugu and Janga, NADMO’s North East Regional NADMO Director, John Kweku Alhassan, said.

“We had two more deaths [in addition to the four] from the Mamprugu Moaduri District because their farmlands have been submerged in waters.

“One of the deceased comes from Fumbisi, a town around Builsa South District in the Upper East Region.”

“Due to the water level, we are unable to carry a proper assessment. We are planning to brief the minister and see if we can begin monitoring by Tuesday,” he told journalists.

He said personnel of the Operation ThunderBolt, a disaster taskforce have been dispatched to the affected areas to rescue the victims.

“So far I can’t quantify the extent of damage caused but I can confirm that four persons have lost their lives in the weeklong heavy downpour and floodwaters from the spillage of the Bagre dam. Our teams are on the ground rescuing victims and taking stock of the damage caused,” he said.

Perennial flood and dam spillage 

Apart from the annual heavy downpours, the spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso has consistently posed a threat to lives and properties in the region.

According to SONABEL, managers of the Bagre Dam, the spillage had become necessary due to the 81%  increase in the water level.

As a result, residents close to the bank of the Black and White Volta were advised to relocate to other communities for shelter and safety.

The devastation caused by floods is not new in the North-East Region(then part of the Northern Region). As far back as 1998, floods caused by the White Volta destroyed about 270 hectares of cereals and legumes at Duu, Nabari, Sariba and Kpasenkpe. It also affected 369 farm families in the West Mamprusi district of the Northern Region. Similar floods destroyed about eight hectares of food crop farms and displaced more than 50 people at Nabogu in the Savelugu-Nanton District.

In 2007, then part of the Northern Region, communities in the Mamprusi area affected more than 300,000 people, resulting in loss of lives, infrastructure, livelihoods and food security

In September 2013, victims of floods in Bunkprugu and East Mamprusi districts in the then Northern Region appealed to the government and benevolent organisations to come to their aid.

About 700 houses were said to have been submerged in floodwaters while several farmlands were destroyed.

One person was confirmed dead and more than 6,000 displaced. The displaced took shelter in classrooms and market centres.

In September 2018, communities along the White Volta in the Northern Region impacted by the spillage of excess water from the Bagre Dam called for a quick response to the plight of victims of the spillage.






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