Volta Basin to be harnessed for economic activities

Adoba Echono

Scene from Volta Basin
Member countries of the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) are set to enhance coordination to protect and utilise water resources in the Volta basin.
 
This formed part of issues discussed at the 7th meeting of the VBA Council of Ministers in Abuja on Thursday.
 
The Volta basin is shared by six countries in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo.
 
The Chairman of the council, Mr Niouga Ouedraogo said the establishment of the VBA in 2007 was to enable member states have a coordinated approach to harnessing the natural resources of the basin.
 
Mr. Ouedraogo, who is also the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Burkina Faso, said member states had begun planning common projects that would enhance integration among them.
 
“The setting up of the VBA is in the interest of the populations.If each country decides to do what it wants with the resources in the basin it will be a catastrophe.
 
The projects have not yet been implemented yet but one example is a project that deals with the integrated management of water resources,” Mr. Ouedraogo said.
Master plan
 
On his part, Mr. Samuel Adusei, Deputy Minister, Water Resources, Works and Housing, Ghana, said that meeting would develop modalities to address challenges faced in the basin.
 
Mr. Adusei said that the meeting would develop a master plan that could help countries work towards the conservation of the basin.
 
“We also want to look at the economic advantages and utilise the potentials  of the natural resources in the basin.We are also going to address the challenges of environmental degradation due to lack of awareness among populations.
We are trying to align our vision taking into consideration populations who live around the Volta River so we would protect it for our future,” he said.
 
Mr. Adusei explained that the policies developed by the VBA would be geared towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
 
He added that the authority would develop policies that could be integrated in national programmes of member states towards achieving a common goal.
 
The Council of Ministers meeting will make recommendations that would be presented to the second Assembly of Heads of State of the Volta Basin Authority.
 
The Assembly of the Heads of State of Volta Basin Authority will be meeting on Friday ahead of the 50th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government holding in Abuja on Saturday, 17th December.