The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has, in association with the Government of Burkina Faso and Odramani Events launched the annual Bagre Dam Games.
The event takes its name from the biggest dam in neighbouring Burkina Faso which was constructed in 1992 to irrigate farms and also generate hydroelectric power. The Burkinabe authorities perform an annual ritual of spilling excess water from the dam to keep the water at an optimal level. The brilliant idea for the games was mooted in 2007 after 50 lives were lost and 300,000 others in Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions had properties destroyed by the spillage.
“Knowing that the Burkinabes will release excess water from their dam each year, we thought it’d be a great idea to turn this annual ritual into an entertainment event. It will be like the Running of the Bulls that happens in Spain,” explained one of the games organisers.
He explained that the village with the most amount of damage and fatalities will be crowned winner. “The rules of the game are simple; make sure the spillage from Burkina Faso isn’t channeled to irrigation farms in the north of Ghana. The excess water should be allowed to destroy homes and farms. The area of ground damaged will then be measured by NADMO and a winner determined.”
The games organiser also rebuked people for suggesting that the excess water from the Bagre Dam should be channelled into irrigating farms in the north of Ghana or even channeled into the Akosombo Dam. “These games are a great source of entertainment and we are certain Ghanaians are all ready in anticipation, waiting to hear those famous words: “Let the Bagre Dam Games begin!”