Prelate, Caritas Officials in Ghana Call for Sustainable Solution to Perennial Flooding

Bishop Alfred Agyenta, Local Ordinary of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese in Upper East Region of Ghana with the Chief Executive Office of Caritas Ghana, Mr. Zan Akologo during a presentation ceremony to the Diocese on September 28, 2020 to support people impacted by the recent floods in the Region due to heavy rains and spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso.

For the past 19 years, a section of Ghanaians has battled with flooding that has led to massive destruction of property, displacement and deaths. And now, the Church in Ghana, through its charity arm, is calling for a permanent solution to the challenge.

This follows recent floods that were preceded by heavy rains and the spillage of the Burkinabe Bagre Dam, displacing many people in the Upper East and North East Regions of the west African country.

The spillage of the dam, which began on August 10, is reported to have destroyed food crops of mainly small-scale farmers who have been facing perennial flooding around this time annually through rainfall and spillage of the dam.

A Catholic Prelate whose jurisdiction has been hit the most owing to the disastrous downpour has called for humanitarian assistance from the government, corporate bodies and other organizations for the victims of the floods.


“So far, eight rural parishes in our diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga are the most hit by the disaster as most of the people have been displaced while others have lost their means of livelihoods and are taking temporary shelter in the parishes and Schools,” the Local Ordinary of Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese, which covers the two political regions, Bishop Alfred Agyenta said Monday, September 28.

The story on the effects of the Bagre water spillage has for nearly two decades remained unchanged while the spillage continues to cause massive floods in communities in the five Northern Regions of Ghana leading to devastating impact such as loss of human lives and livelihoods.

Typically, crops such as rice, corn, soya bean, groundnuts and watermelon are all reported to have submerged in the affected farm areas around the White Volta in the Upper East and North East regions.

Speaking at a brief ceremony to receive a donation from Caritas Ghana, the Relief and Development Agency of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC), Bishop Agyenta lamented about the seriousness of the disaster.

The Ghanaian Bishop noted that “the full humanitarian situation is yet to fully emerge since there are potential health implications from polluted water sources from the floods.”

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He said that there is an expected poor harvest that cannot sustain families into the next farming season and appealed for more help from benevolent organizations to especially relocate those who had been displaced.

The Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocesan Director responsible for Governance and Justice, Joseph Bangu presented a brief report highlighting the situation of victims in the eight parishes, which covers seven political administrative Districts in the Upper East and North East Regions.

His statistics had 2,653 households and 19,013 individuals comprising 6,197 adults, 5,962 Children, 1,586 women.

“There were seven deaths and 11,487 acres of farm lands with crops have been destroyed,” Mr. Bangu said, highlighting part of the report.


The devastating situation led the GCBC Humanitarian Agency, Caritas Ghana, to respond by donating various food items and shelter materials comprising mats, clothing and blankets estimated at GHc70,000 (about US$13,000.00) toward those affected in Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese.

A cheque of GHc10,000 (US$1,900.00) was also included to procure more food items locally to supplement the deliveries from Accra by Caritas Ghana.

Making the presentation at the ceremony that was held in Bolgatanga on September 28, the Chief Executive Officer of Caritas Ghana, Mr. Samuel Zan Akologo, thanked Bishop Agyenta for the passion and sense of mission with which the Diocese has responded to the humanitarian situation.

He reiterated the Prelate’s appeal to corporate bodies to work with faith-based organizations like Caritas Ghana and others are capable of reaching out to communities at different levels to respond to the needs of those affected directly.

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The Caritas Ghana CEO indicated that his outfit would always be guided by the admonition of Pope Francis “to never feel overwhelmed by any humanitarian situation but instead respond to it in fraternal solidarity, no matter how small the resources available.”

Referring briefly to the COVID-19 and other environmental calamities that have exposed the vulnerability in society, Mr. Akologo echoed Pope Francis' Laudato Si’ message, which states in part, “the cry of the earth is also the cry of the poor.”

Meanwhile, the Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has described as “disheartening”, the damage caused by floods which have led to complete disconnection of the main Bolgatanga-Bawku road.

Upon a visit to the Upper East Region within the jurisdiction of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese on September 10 to assess the impact of the recent torrential rainfall and spillage of the Bagre dam in Burkina Faso, Dr. Bawumia said, “It is quite disheartening to see how badly the Kubore river has divided the road making movement difficult.”

“The government will find a lasting solution to the perennial problem,” the Vice President of the West African country promised during his September 10 visit.