Ghana and Burkina Faso have begun high-level discussions to find a lasting solution to the spillage of the Bagre Dam that causes floods in many local communities and destroys lives and properties annually.
The Bagre Dam is a multi-purpose facility on the White Volta, located near Bagre village in Burkina Faso.
Whenever water in the dam reaches its maximum level of 235 metres, the excess volumes are spilled by SONABEL, the power utility authority of Burkina Faso, to prevent the dam from possible damage.
The spilled water often finds its way into the White Volta River, which causes floods in the three regions of the north and the Eastern Region, thereby destroying lives and properties in those areas.
To give further impetus to the high-level discussions, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo held closed-door bilateral talks with President Rock Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso in Accra on Tuesday.
The meeting was part of President Kabore’s two-day state visit to Ghana.
Addressing the media after the closed-door meeting, President Akufo-Addo said the high-level meeting was necessary because the annual flooding caused great loss to human lives and properties, saying the issue should have been dealt with long ago.
He said the discussions covered many areas, including the supply of electricity to Burkina Faso, challenges concerning Fulani herdsmen and improving trade, which could lead to the strengthening of relations between the two countries for the benefit of their people.
Describing President Kabore as a very good friend of Ghana’s, President Akufo-Addo said the two countries had many things in common, ranging from history and geography to shared common views on matters affecting West Africa, Africa and the world.
He said Ghana would host the Joint Mission for Cooperation between the two countries in Accra before the end of the year, as well as the gathering of officials of the Volta Basin Authority which comprised six countries in the sub-region.
President Akufo-Addo said the two countries had also agreed on quarterly meetings between their ministers to trash out day-to-day matters affecting development.
He said relations between the two countries were cherished by the people of Ghana, adding that he was of the strong conviction that during their tenure as Presidents, the bonds between them must be enhanced in the interests of Ghana and Burkina Faso.
He expressed the condolences of the government and the people of Ghana to their counterparts in Burkina Faso on the deaths, injuries and destruction caused by terrorists that affected the peace and stability of that country.
He said through its National Security Minister, Ghana was doing its part to support the people of Burkina Faso and gave an assurance that Ghana would stand with and by Burkina Faso even as it intensified efforts to fight terrorism.
President Kabore commended Ghana for the honour done him and stated that he was excited about the growing ties existing between the people of the two nations.
He stated that the two leaders also discussed issues concerning railway development between the two countries, the supply of electricity and gas to Burkina Faso, as well as other bilateral matters of mutual concern.
He expressed the condolences of the government and the people of Burkina Faso on the death of a former United Nations Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, adding that the global icon was the voice of the voiceless and contributed to the development of world peace.
To further enhance bilateral relations between Ghana and Burkina Faso, President Akufo-Addo conferred the national honour of the Companion of the Order of the Star of Ghana on the visiting President for his role and contribution to the development of democracy and infrastructure progress in Burkina Faso.
The citation accompanying the honour said since President Kabore assumed office, Burkina Faso had been charting a new path and agenda of change, with the aim of attracting investments and strengthening participatory democracy.
“Your effort to fight terrorism is most commendable, when Burkina Faso experienced terrorist attacks in its capital in 2016, 2017 and 2018, you quickly brought the situation under control and ensured the security of the state,” it said.
In May last year, President Akufo-Addo paid a similar state visit to Burkina Faso, where he was also honoured by President Kabore with the highest honour of Burkina Faso.