Water Resources Commission recieves 1.3 million support for dam safety

Water Resources Commission recieves 1.3 million support for dam safety

Agona Swedru, July 26, GNA -The Norwegian Government has released 1.3 million dollars to Water Resources Commission (WRC) to support the establishment of a National Dam Safety Unit to regulate and ensure the proper utilization of water.

Mr Amir Messiha, Project Director of International Department of Norway, made this known at a three days workshop on “Establishment of National Dam Safety Unit (NDSU)” Project at Agona Swedru in the Central Region.

The workshop was aimed at assisting the participants to have an insight of dam safety and prevention and the minimization of damage to property, the environment and people.

The participants were drawn from the Law Faculty of University of Ghana, Environment Protection Agency(EPA), National Disaster Management Organization, NADMO), Hydrological Services Department and Volta River Authority.

The others were from the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Ghana Irrigation Development Agency and other relevant Agencies in connection with the National Dam Safety Unit.

He said the Water Resources and Energy Directorate in Norway decided to offer more knowledge to enhance effective management of public dams to promote socio-economic advancement of Ghana.

Mr Messiha, who is also the Senior Engineer of Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, said Norway had had more than 35 years of experience with the regulations and protection of the environment, as well as people living around the dams in that country.

According to him, they wanted to extend similar practice to Ghana, adding, the Norwegian government has given the financial support to Water Commission to help reduce dangers pose to the construction and decommissioning of dams.

Mr Messiha assured the participants that Norway would continue to offer financial and technical support to Ghana to sustain the project.

Mr Ben Ampomah, acting Executive Secretary of Water Resources Commission, said the programme has made significant progress with the completion of technical guidelines for dam structure, safety standards, training and education for stakeholders.

He called for a centralized body to address issues to ensure that a uniform and adequate level of safety is maintained for all dams throughout Ghana.

Mr Ampomah said the workshop would put together reports of two documents adopted by stakeholders last year to help them review the acts on dams regulation.

Mr Bob Alfa, Project Coordinator National Dam Safety Unit, said technical guidelines has been completed to ensure that rules for construction, operations, maintenance and decommissioning of all dams are complied.

Mr Alfa said the mandate of the NDSU was to “provide good design and breach of dams to avoid incidents of destruction of the facility”.