THE construction of the Pwalugu multipurpose Dam will commence in November this year. The dam, which will be located in the Upper East Region of Ghana, is the largest investment any government has ever injected into infrastructure expansion in the northern sector since Ghana’s independence.
The multipurpose dam will be built near the Pwalugu Bridge on the White Volta River and will have a maximum reservoir area of 350km. The project will also have a powerhouse consisting of two turbines with a capacity of 60MW each and 16.5MW of firm continuous capacity as well as a 15km overhead line which will transmit power to an existing transmission line. The construction of the dam will be funded with a loan from China and will take about three and a half years to complete.
The project includes a 25,000 irrigation scheme, which will boost annual rice production by up to 117,000 tonnes and maize by up to 49,000 tonnes in the country. Other plants included in the anticipated production boost are crops like tomatoes, sugar, sweet potato, sweet pepper, and onions.
Upon completion, the project will serve as source of electricity and also help to improve irrigation farming in local communities in the farming area. The dam will also help reduce the cost of power distribution to northern sectors of Ghana while industrialisation, modern commercial agriculture and value chain activities as well as the general socio-economic environment, will be given a push.
The project will also be vital in solving the perennial flooding in parts of the region, that lie within the flow-way of the Bagre Dam from upstream Burkina Faso.
In 2018 a total of 570 irrigation dams were earmarked for construction in the three northern regions of Ghana continuing into 2019. Dams in the country are constructed to even-out floods and droughts, thus regulating water supply. This helps to store water when there is more than enough and using it when there is less than enough.