Former Regional Best Farmer voices concerns over the floods

Mr David Adakabla, a farmer and 1993 Regional Best Farmer for the Upper East has described this year’s floods as most destructive compared to previous years.

He said the 2007 floods which attracted so much attention nationwide and abroad could not be compared to what the region experienced this year.

Mr Adakabla, who is one of the most affected farmers in the Namenyela community near Pwalugu and has been farming in the area since 1977, said each year the rains had different patterns.

He said this when the Member of Parliament for Talensi, Mr John Akolgo Tia, paid a visit to the community to ascertain for himself the extent of damage the floods caused to people and properties in the area.

Mr Adakabla said the 12 hour rain in the region coupled with the opening of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso might have contributed to the severity of the floods this year.

He said the rains which were expected in July peaked in August and this partly contributed and compounded the floods in the region.

Farmers who farmed near the Pwalugu Dam rushed to harvest their crops upon hearing of the water from the dam but they least suspected that the whole community would be inundated. Asked why farmers farmed around the dam in spite of advice and warnings of the dangers, he said that farming around the dam produced high yields.

He expressed gratitude to government for its plans to construct a dam around the White Volta and suggested that water tanks supported with electric pumps should be considered with the proposed project to enable farmers crop even in the dry season.

Mr Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister, said the only solution to the perennial flooding in the region was the construction of a dam at Pwalugu to harvest excess water.

He said the dam would be used for hydro electricity generation and as well as irrigate over 100,000 hectares of land adding that this is expected to start in 2014. GNA

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