|Title:||The Volta Lake System in Ghana: An Overview of the Physical Attributes Resource Management and Environmental Challenges|
hydroelectric power generation
|Abstract:||This paper presents an overview of the Volta lake system in Ghana, highlighting key issues which need urgent public attention and policy response. Data for the study were derived from both published and unpublished literature, as well as from remotely sensed sources. The paper discusses the physical characteristics of the lake and its basin, resource management and environmental challenges of the lake system. The strategic location of the Volta Lake in the heart of the Volta basin is noted together with its importance as a reservoir for hydro-electric power generation, fishery resources, lake transportation, opportunities for irrigation, lakeside commerce and tourism. The paper catalogues environmental issues affecting the lake system, which include lakeshore deforestation, loss of biodiversity, fluctuating water levels, seasonal flooding of riparian areas, water-borne diseases, growth of aquatic weeds, climate variability and water quality degradation. Other challenges as highlighted by the paper include lakeshore erosion and sedimentation, proliferation of aquatic weeds, problems associated with lake transportation, water governance and downstream hydrological changes and the consequential changes in the ecological conditions of the residual river and the adjoining floodplain. The main concern presently is that the threshold or conflict situation has emerged where people have to choose between extensive exploitation of the lakeshore resources for economic livelihood enhancement and environmental protection for sustained power generation. The paper concludes that a better way forward is to begin looking at the Volta Lake system as a shared responsibility with a transnational concern, if the future of this resource is to be sustained.|
|Appears in Collections:||Geography|
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