Several hectares of farms in the Bawku enclave, Upper East Region, have been completely destroyed with livestock carried away by flood as a result of a weeklong torrential rains.
The situation, which affected all the six administrative districts in the area, Bawku Municipal, Bawku West, Binduri, Garu, Tempane and Pusiga Districts has been compounded by the spillage of the Bagre and Kompienga Dams in Burkina Faso.
It caused the tributaries of the White Volta, which passes through the districts in the region to overflow their banks, submerging the Kobore Bridge in the Bawku West District and flooding all farms in the area.
It affected maize, sorghum, millet and rice farms, while vegetables such as pepper, cabbage, cucumber and onion had also been laid waste.
Mr Francis Ennor, the Upper East Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture, noted that all though the various districts had not done assessment of the impact of the floods yet, a visit to the affected areas indicated that “it is very bad”.
He said all the six districts in the Bawku Zone had been affected, “Many hectares of crops have been completely submerged and several animals such as cattle, sheep and goats and carried away but the extent of damage on crops and agriculture production in general would be assessed after the rains subside and the water reduces”.
The Regional Director noted that the situation was so bad that people could not cross the Kobore bridge which links the Bawku area to Bolgatanga.
Mr Charles Akwotiga, the Bawku Municipal Director of Agriculture, said it was too early to know the full extent of the damage on farmlands along the tributaries of the White Volta which have been submerged.
The Director who mentioned Jantiga One, Jantiga Two, Moagnori, Tempizua, Baribari, Badoo, Gumaputari, communities as some of the areas immediately identified as completely destroyed by the flood, said this year’s flood had gone beyond what was usually experienced in previous years.
Mr Isaac Azunaba, a 40-year old commercial farmer at the Binduri District, said the flood had completely destroyed his 80 – hectare farm and washed out his two dug outs at Bazua in the Binduri District and Bawku.
The farmer who described the situation as terrible said his five- hectare rice farm had been submerged for the past two weeks, “the destruction, I don’t know how we will recover, because this year is different. I have been doing active commercial farming for over ten years and my farm has never been affected this badly.”
He appealed to government and other organizations to assist the farmers to recover when the rains subside.
The situation has further compelled travelers and vehicles plying the main Bolgatanga-Bawku-Pulmakom road to be stranded on both sides along the Kobore Bridge.