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Regional News of Wednesday, 29 April 2020


Damaged Tono Dam spillway still not fixed ahead of torrential rains

The situation has raised concerns from residence ahead of the rainy season The situation has raised concerns from residence ahead of the rainy season

Correspondence from Upper East

The spillway serving the Tono Irrigation Dam, in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region, has still not been fixed several months after torrential rains damaged portions of it last year.

A massive overflow from the dam in last year’s two-week October torrential rains caused extensive damage to the floor and retaining walls of the structure built-in 1975.

The strong moving water from the dam, aside submerging over 800 hectares of rice and other crop farms, pulled down the concrete walling and uprooted the floor, leaving it loose and uneven.

The impact of the rain damage caught the attention of authorities who visited the farms and dam to assess the extent of damage and assured that all the necessary actions would be taken to immediately reconstruct the spillway.

A notable visit was that of the Vice President, Dr. Alhaji Mahammudu Bawumia, who climaxed his tour of flooded areas in the Upper East Region, there.

The Vice President gave the assurance that government would reconstruct the dam and repair the spillway within a short time to boost agricultural production in the area.

He said the design and technical aspect of the affected components of the facility would be changed so that it can be able to withstand torrential rains in the future.

“As you already know, government is taking giant steps to address the perennial flooding that occurs in the Northern regions as a result of the spillage from the Bagre dam. We will soon commence works on the Pwalugu multi-purpose dam to provide irrigation for about 25,000 hectares of farmlands, drinking water and also check flooding.

With this and the Tono dam, we will be able to cover large tracts of land for farming in the north and so we will do everything to ensure the Tono dam is in good shape to serves its purposes”. Dr. Bawumia assured during his visit to the dam.

But several months after the damage, the spillway which plays an important role in ensuring the wellness of the dam embankment, is lying there unattended to.

Our Upper East Regional Correspondent, Senyalah Castro, who has visited the dam reports that there is no visible activity anywhere around the damaged structure, indicating authorities have made efforts to reconstruct it.

The damaged area, according to him is getting worse as the earth on the sides, which was previously blocked by the retaining walls, is collapsing and widening.

He added that the poor state of the spillway would make it difficult for it to spill water when the rains begin.

Our correspondent reports that the lukewarm attitude of authority towards the repair of the spillway has become a great worry to settlers and farmers. According to him, they fear the damaged spillway will not be able to efficiently carry excess water to prevent flooding.

“if the spillway wasn’t able to carry the rainwater when it was in good shape resulting in the damage and destruction of farms, what will make us feel safe that it will be able to do so now that it is damaged beyond repair. This time the water will even get our houses”. A farmer said.

Efforts to get the management of the Irrigation Company of Upper Region (ICOUR) to comment on the issue proved futile. But information from sources said the technical investigation for work to begin has been completed.

Our sources said the company has also put in measures, including reduction of the amount of water in the dam through the canals, to prevent the incidence of flooding this wet season.