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Ghana: Flooding from dam displaces hundreds in Accra July 6

Authorities release excess water from the Weija dam in Accra on July 6 as a means to prevent structural failure; hundreds of residents temporarily displaced

06 Jul 08:48 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 7/6/2017, 12:00 AM until 7/6/2017, 11:59 PM (Africa/Accra). COUNTRY/REGION Ghana

Event

Authorities at the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) released excess water at the Weija Dam on Thursday, July 6, to prevent structural damage during the rainy season. The excess flow flooded low-lying areas downstream, leaving hundreds of Accra residents temporarily displaced. Officials justified the release as a preferred alternative to the potential full-scale rupture of the dam when overfilled. The waters are expected to recede in the near future.

Context

The Weija dam provides water to approximately 80 percent of Accra’s population. The dam is built to hold a maximum of 14 m (46 ft) of water. When levels exceed that limit, authorities allow excess to spill over to prevent structural damage to the dam. This often occurs in the rainy season from April to November.

Advice

Individuals present in affected areas are advised to adhere to any advice issued by the regional authorities (e.g. potential evacuation orders). In the event of flooding, keep in mind that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products.

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