Twin disaster: flood, Bagre Dam spillage kill 10 in Upper East, North-East regions

Ten people are reported dead in the Upper East and Northern regions as the Bagre Dam spillage wrecks havoc in the two regions, the National Disaster Management Organisation says. 

While six people died in the North-East Region, four others passed away in the Upper East Region.

Two children are also reportedly injured in Chereponi in the North East Region.

Hundreds of people have fled their homes as the flood from the perennial spillage of the dam submerge homes.

Days of torrential rains have compounded the situation for the residents with scores of farmlands underwater while roads remain inaccessible.

Injured children

Joy FM reported that overnight downpour caused a building to collapse on the two children.

They were sent to the hospital, treated and discharged.

It has been raining for days, resulting in several communities cut off, bridges washed away while residents are trapped in their homes.

NADMO officials say it will take days for residents of the affected communities to move out of their homes, especially in Chereponi.

“It is a very desperate situation,” Joy News’ correspondent, Illiasu Tanko reported.

In the Upper East Region, scores of houses have been submerged with hundreds of people displaced.

In the Bawku West District, the White Volta is overflowing its banks with a trans-ECOWAS road running through the district flooded and inaccessible.

The regional administration has dispatched NADMO and Police teams to the area to stop motorists from plying the route as the extent of damage is unknown.

At least 40 people, from three different, are reportedly using a school and an uncompleted fuel station as a shelter as the rain pounds their communities.

The North-East Regional NADMO Coordinator, John Kweku Alhassan, told Joy FM that the difficulty in accessing the communities has affected the distribution of relief items.

He, however, said the items will be airlifted from the regional capital to the Mamprugu area, which has been hit by the twin disaster.

At least 14 communities in the area have had their farmlands inundated.

He said the NADMO is also doing needs assessment on the houses submerged.

“Some of the major roads are cut off because of spillage of the dam. I have just been told that some of the houses in the West Mamprusi Municipality are submerged and they are working to give us the figures. In Walewale, many farmlands are submerged in water,” he said.

North East region: Four persons confirmed dead in flood - Graphic Online

In the Upper East Region, its NADMO Coordinator, Jerry Asamani, said organisation was evacuating the affected residents before they begin the count and the needs assessment.

However, some relief items have been distributed. They include blankets and basic necessities the affected persons would need.

He said they would know the extent of damage on the farmlands after the water subsides.

“The current situation is too bad because a combination of the Bagre Dam spillage and the torrential rains have really worsened the situation in the Upper East Region, particularly Nabdam, West and Talensi districts.

He warned that when the flood does not recede soon, the Kubori township, which is at the lower end of a bridge on the White Volta, would be the next disaster zone as erosion is fast eating away the protected zones around the bridge.

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 I advised to the bank of the Black and White Volta to relocate to other communities for shelter and safety.

Death toll in North East Flood rises to 6 - Graphic Online

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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