To combat the growing menace of aquatic weeds at the Kpong Dam’s Headpond, the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) has handed over two trash skimmers to the Volta River Authority (VRA) to facilitate the removal of aquatic weeds and boost power generation.
The amount of aquatic weeds on the Kpong headpond dam is rapidly increasing and negatively affecting VRA’s operations. The Volta River Authority (VRA) between 2019 and 2021 incurred a revenue loss of GHc 4.1million due to aquatic weeds, particularly, water hyacinth.
The Director of Environment and sustainable Development at the Volta River Authority, Ben Sackey said the weeds in the river have been draining the river since 40% of the water area of the Kpong Headpond dam is covered by the weeds.
He also disclosed that, the water hyson weed came to the Lower Volta on June, 2009 and since then; it has taken over the river and sometimes the weeds clog their machines and the turbines.
This informed the initiative of the GMA further to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Volta River Authority and the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) in respect of the handing over of two trash skimmer vessels by GMA to VRA to facilitate the removal of aquatic weeds at the Headpond of the Kpong Dam to protect the marine environment by ensuring the country’s hydroelectric dam are clean and hygienic.
Mr. Ben Sackey disclosed that the skimmer vessels would increase VRA’s production and increase power generation and improve healthy fishes and other marine products. He called for collaboration from stakeholders to deal with the situation.
Director in charge of survey and inspection for Ghana Maritime Authority, Capt. William Thompson explained that there was a global concern and urgent need to develop concrete action plans to remove plastics and other marine debris from the ocean hence the move.
He added that the Authority will engage in educational exercises so that the officials stationed at the harbour will continuously sensitize the people to keep the place clean to ensure sustainability.
He explained that the skimmers were designed exclusively for the removal of trash and pollutants. He indicated that they were made from sturdy hardware and industrial-grade motors and components, which enable them to operate in all water conditions.