Lakes in Ghana
Ghana has many amazing water bodies ranging from seas to rivers that flow throughout the country but when it comes to lakes, the country can boast of very few, found in some parts of the country.
Ghana’s first president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah resorted to the construction of Africa’s largest man-made lake when the country needed a huge lake that it could depend on for construction of power dams. Let take look at the few lakes we have in Ghana, including of course the famous Volta Lake.
Lake Bosomtwi is located in the Ashanti region of Ghana, some 30km south-east of the regional capital Kumasi. The lake is surrounded by small scattered villages which have a combined population of about 65,000 people. In the Ashanti tradition, the Lake is regarded as sacred water, where departing souls make their last stop to bid farewell to the river god that protected them throughout their lives before making the journey to the ancestral lands. One controversial and popular tradition associated with Lake Bosomtwi is the use of wooden plank fish on the lake. Fishermen are only allowed to ride on the lake using wooden planks instead of boats. This according to the Traditions of the Ashantis is meant to show respect to the Asaase Ya, the river goddess and it is regarded as a taboo to fish on the lake using modern boast.
The Weija lake is located in Weija, a suburb of Accra. The lake is the biggest in the Greater Accra region and plays an important role in the ecosystem and economy of the region with most farmers within the area depending on the lake to water their vegetables as the surrounding area is dominated by vegetable farms. However, in recent times, environmentalists and civil society groups have expressed fear over the survival of the lake in the long term citing the building of houses close to the lake and pollution of the lake as major threats that could deplete the lake in some years’ time. The lake is also close to the Weija dam built on the Densu River to provide drinking water the residents of Accra.
Lake Volta is an artificial lake that was constructed by the Kwame Nkrumah government between 1961 and 1965. The lake is the largest man-made lake in Africa and about 78,000 people had to be relocated from their place of abode as land covering over 3000 square miles were flooded as part of the project. The lake’s northern-most point can be found close to the town of Yapei and its southern point at Akosombo Dam, which is also responsible for the generation of electrical power for the country. (Over the course of the years, other notable dams such as Bui Dam have produced electricity for the country) Today the importance of Lake Volta ranges from tourism to ecosystem enhancement and power generation making it the single most important lake in Ghana.
Lake Tadane is found in the Western region, 90 kilometres West of Takoradi in the Jomoro District. The lake is famous for its hosting of the Nzulezu stilt village, a small community built directly on the lake with the support of stilt infrastructure which are firmly rooted in the lake. The people of Nzulezu also fish in the lake and depend on it for their daily livelihood.