General News

‘Volta Lake Fraught With Challenges’

DEPUTY Minister for Transport, Fredrick Obeng Adom, has disclosed that despite the huge potential of the Volta Lake for the socio-economic development of communities within its catchment area, transportation on the lake is fraught with challenges.

According to him, the existing vessels and landing stages were in poor conditions or non-existent in areas where informal boat operations abound.

Delivering an address at the opening of a stakeholder consultative workshop on the feasibility study for the development of the Volta Lake Inland Water Transport System (VLIWTS) in Accra last Friday, the Deputy Minister noted that: “Port operations are poorly equipped to handle existing shipments and several unregulated boats provide services for passengers and goods around the lake with a consistently poor record of safety and increasing death toll of passengers.”

The workshop was to enable consultants of the study to present the key findings of the assignment as well as recommendations for the best options and practices to be adopted by the government.

It also sought to provide an opportunity for individuals, groups, associations, persons with disabilities, professionals and traditional leaders, market women, boat owners and operators, fisher folks etc. to make inputs and suggestions into the Draft Feasibility Report.

Mr Adom said with the Volta Lake being a key part of Ghana’s transportation system and a major transport link within the Eastern Multimodal Transport Corridor, the inland water transport system had been identified as a key component of an integrated, multimodal transport network to provide cost-effective transportation for socio-economic development as well as provide strategic, cost-effective long-distance transportation of bulk wet and dry cargoes in Ghana.

“Unfortunately, transportation on the lake and its surrounding regions, both formal and informal remains underdeveloped,” he bemoaned.

The Volta Lake Transport Company Ltd (VLTC) incorporated in 1970 is currently the main institution responsible for the operation of transport on the lake and provides a range of cross-lake ferry services, long north-south services and supplemented by an increasing number of private boat operators.

He said the ministry with support from the World Bank under the Transport Sector Improvement Project had engaged Messrs Vision Consult in joint ventureship with KPMG Ghana to undertake a comprehensive assessment study for the development of the VLIWTS.

Consultative sessions, he revealed, had already been held in Tamale in the Northern Region, Dambai in the Oti Region, Kpando in the Volta Region and Koforidua in the Eastern Region.

Prof. Kwesi Kwafo Adarkwah, Team Leader, Vision Consult in Joint Ventureship with KPMG Ghana, said the study was to develop the full potential of the Volta Lake within the framework of an integrated multimodal transport system while expanding and improving the inland water transport infrastructure and its inefficient transport services.

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