Sustainable growth for Ghana’s Lake Volta

Lake Volta shutterstock 1939252435

(Above) A view of Lake Volta in Ghana (Below)The project inception meeting in December 2022.

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SMEC, along with Surbana Jurong, has been engaged to carry out a master plan study for the Lake Volta region in Ghana, West Africa. The project will support an integrated, long-term Regional Development Plan, exploring the economic potential of Lake Volta and surrounding areas while protecting its natural environment.

With more than three million people within a 100sqkm catchment area, Lake Volta is the largest artificial reservoir in the world based on the surface area. Lake Volta, created by the construction of the Akosombo Dam, is managed by the Volta River Authority (VRA). Currently, the lake is used to generate electricity and supports fisheries, irrigation, water transport and lake tourism. The key objectives of the master plan include urban development, infrastructure, local commerce, tourism, transport, agriculture, and ecology.

Environmental concerns

A key part of the master plan includes assessing existing socio-economic activities and the potential of the lake for water transport, agriculture, livestock, tourism and other activities, assessing sensitive environmental zones, analysing urban settlements with growth potential and conducting stakeholder consultations to understand the opportunities and challenges of developing the Lake Volta area.

Surbana Jurong was first engaged in 2016 to prepare a long-term plan for the transformation of the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ), covering the northern half of Ghana. The primary goal was to accelerate the development in Northern Ghana and the project was honoured by the Singapore Institute of Planning Awards in 2017 as the Best Urban Planning Project overseas.

Mr Tutu Agyare, the Chairman of the Volta River Authority (VRA), said he looked forward to working with the team for the lake’s future, adding that undertaking a detailed commercial study is the “first step” to understanding the potential of the lake and opportunities for sustainable growth. Read more

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