Volta Lake

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The creation of the Volta Lake in 1965 resulted in a situation where the inhabitants of the Volta basin had to depend almost exclusively on lake transportation for their social and economic activity. Over the years however accidents on the lake have become rampant.

The GMA with the mandate to ensure the safety of transportation on the lake has put in a number of measures to address the increasing incident of lake accidents.

These measures include:

Naval Task Force
The GMA in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport (then Ministry of Harbours and Railways) and the Ghana Navy have deployed Task Forces of Naval personnel in six boat landing and embarkation stations at Tapa Abotoase; Kete Krachi, Dambai, Yeji, Dzemini and Kpando-Torkor all along the Volta Lake catchment area. The Task Forces are empowered to check overloading, improper loading, drunkenness and behavior of boat operators and to prevent boat sailing in bad weather and after sunset. So far the effect of this measure is yielding good results as more discipline has been restored to boat operations in these areas. 

Boat inspections and surveys
The GMA has intensified its programme of boat surveys and inspections by its marine surveyors. As a result old and weak structured boats have been pulled out of operations. Existing and new boats have also been surveyed, marked with new load lines and assigned maximum passenger and cargo carrying capacities to prevent overloading. 

Boat Safety Educational programme
Safety educational programmes and exercises have been conducted at Yeji, Kpando-Torkor, Tapa Abotoasi, Kete Krachi, Dambai and Dzemeni. This programme is designed to train boat operators who will ultimately be licensed and certified by the GMA to operate on the Volta Lake. The educational programme included free distribution of leaflets on Inland Waterway Safety Code, demonstration in basic seamanship and the use of navigational safety devices such as life jackets and fire extinguishers. 

Safety Code
A Lake Safety Code has been prepared by the GMA to provide information and educate boat operators and users on safety guidelines. It is worth noting that for the first time in the history of lake transportation in Ghana, weather forecasts are now being sent to District Assemblies through fax for use in boat sailings. This development has been made possible through an arrangement between the GMA and the Ghana Meteorological Agency.

Removal Of Tree stumps
To ensure safety of navigation, the removal of the tree stumps and charting up the Volta Lake continue to be a top priority for the GMA. In furtherance of this objective the Government of Ghana has entered into contractual agreement with a foreign firm to remove tree stumps in fairways on the Lake.

Once the tree stumps are removed the GMA will initiate action to have the Lake charted and the fairways buoyed. An operational boat has been imported into the country to conduct feasibility studies for work to begin on the removal of the trees stumps.

Lake safety regulations
Draft regulations on the Volta Lake have been prepared with technical assistance from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and are currently being finalized by the Attorney-General’s Department for presentation to Parliament for passage. 

 

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