Water in Africa
- Africa, Ghana
by Nell Todd, Mafi-Dove, Ghana
I live near the Volta River and the sea. The Volta River is mostly used by fishermen. There are only two bridges that cross the river so there are a lot of wooden canoes at various points along the river to shuttle people back and forth. A launch goes the length of the river every other day, carrying goods and passengers.
Lake Volta is used as a means to transport materials and people to the northern part of Ghana. The dam is the source of electricity for much of the country.
About two hours from Mafi-Dove is the Tema Harbor, one of two main harbors in the country. This is where much of the importing and exporting takes place. Ships come from all over the world to pick up and drop off goods.
by Amy Wiedemann, Gbefi, Volta Region, Ghana
Travel is quite limited on the River Dayi. The vegetation is so dense on its banks that very few skilled oarsmen maneuver their canoes on it. Those who do are generally small-scale fishermen who sell the fish they catch as a secondary income to supplement their farm income. However, less than 10 kilometers away is Lake Volta, the largest manmade lake in Africa—and the world. There, steamers and ferries shuttle goods north to south. There are also fishing villages all along its banks, and some of those people will cross the width of the lake to attend markets where they trade their fish for yams, dry goods, etc. All of this transport on the lake is quite dangerous, though, because there are no enforced regulations on passenger numbers or cargo size. Nor is there a reliable weather service to warn of storms.
by Steve Tester, Odumase-Krobo, Ghana
Many villages along Lake Volta and the Volta River are accessible only by boat. Farmers from these villages come to market by boat to sell their produce. These long boats (from 6' to 20' in length) carry passengers, livestock, and produce to and from remote riverside and lakeside villages.
by Michael Nelson, Gbani, Northern Region, Ghana
During the rainy season there is a dam that holds back water, forming a small lake and a stream. But neither of these is navigable for travel.
Rain around my village often creates streams and water holes where none had existed before. Because of this, travel by roads and paths can be difficult. The dirt roads are swept away by erosion or become impassable streams. People complain that they can no longer reach their farms without a canoe or that their farms are flooded.