Work visit to North and South Ghana

From 4 to 11 November a Blue Deal work visit took place in Ghana. The Dutch team met with their Ghanaian partners in several parts of Ghana, both in the North and the South. We talked about the current projects, saw the progress during field visits, and made plans for 2024 and further on.

In Ghana the Dutch Blue Deal team works in the North in the White Volta Basin and in the South in the Lower Volta Delta on various projects concerning governance, reforestation, planning, water safety and water quality.

Transboundary collaboration with Burkina Faso

During the visit in November the team in the North of Ghana had several meetings about the governance structure of the water resources management. For example, a delegation of the Blue Deal Burkina Faso team also joined the Ghana visit and talked about transboundary collaboration. The purpose of this meeting was to explore how to enhance the transboundary cooperation between Ghana and Burkina Faso. Since Ghana and Burkina Faso share the same water basin, it is imperative to exchange knowledge and to adapt the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) plans to one another. It was decided that a plan will be made to achieve better and structural cooperation. The first action is to set up a monthly online meeting between Ghana and Burkina Faso.


Also in the North there was a field visit to the Bongo Reforestation project. This project is implemented by Tree Aid Ghana and funded by Trees for All. The proposal for funding for this project was supported and facilitated by the Blue Deal team and the Water Resources Commission. This is to rehabilitate degraded areas in the catchment of the Yaragatanga River which feeds the Vea Reservoir and protects the Buffer Zones of its tributaries. The Blue Deal team visited a reforestation site and spoke with the community members about the challenges they face in keeping the planted trees alive. Challenges mainly concern water shortage in the dry season and cattle and other livestock who eat the young trees. Fortunately, many trees that were planted 2 years ago have already grown taller than some of the tall Dutch Blue Deal members.

Flooding in the South

In the South of Ghana the recent flooding in the Lower Volta Delta had an effect on the programme for the visit in November. Major damage was done to the livelihoods around the Volta River, but fortunately no human lives were lost. Since the area is still flooded and local stakeholders are focussed on offering help to the local communities, many of the meetings took place in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. The Blue Deal team discussed the flooding with the Water Resources Commission and other relevant stakeholders, such as the involved Ministries, in relation to the current plans that we work on together. The saying ‘never waste a good crisis’ is tough, but during a crisis we often become resourceful and see opportunities that we would otherwise miss. This situation emphasises the need of better integrated water management and the set-up of a Delta program. During the visit in November important steps were taken to set-up the Delta programme and start with the pilot project of the Sand Motor, a nature-based solution that has to help against flooding from the sea.

Difficulties with dams

Next to this a part of the Dutch Blue Deal team in the South visited 2 dam sites, the Owabi Dam and Barakesi Dam, together with local stakeholders. Here we investigated whether or not a pre-feasibility study would be beneficial for 1 of these dams. On site, we discussed the problems the stakeholders are experiencing in regards to the dams themselves (structure) and the catchment of the reservoirs. For example for the Owabi Dam, there are serious worries about the safety of the dam and silting is a big issue. For the Barekesi Dam, mining and deforestation for agricultural purposes (encroachment) are the most pressing issues. Together with the Ghanaian partners the Dutch team will further explore for which dam Integrated Water Resources Management might be a good process to start solving the issues.