Volta Basin Research ProjectThe Volta basin refers to the approximately 400,000 sq. km drained by River Volta and its tributaries in the West African countries, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, and Ghana where the basin makes up about 70 percent of the mainland.
The Volta Basin Research Project (VBRP) was established by the University of Ghana in 1963 to carry out, through a multi-disciplinary methodology, research into the positive and negative changes within the Volta basin, following the damming of the river Volta at Akosombo and, subsequently, downstream at Akuse, and the consequent creation of artificial lakes behind the dams. As with many major river basin development projects, it was deemed imperative to conduct pre-impoundment studies on what would be lost irretrievably after the damming, scientifically monitor and appraise continuously the expected multi-faceted social and economic impacts, and formulate measures against the many adverse effects that such a major environmental disruption was bound to cause nationally and internationally.
The five major areas identified for research were fisheries agriculture, hydrobiology, public health, socio-economic development, and archaeology. Traditionally research work is vested in full-time Research Fellows who also partly teach in the Departments to which they, together with their Technicians, are attached. Through this arrangement, the VBRP has generated substantial scientific information about the Volta basin, and contributed significantly towards its socio-economic development by discovering solutions for problems associated with the damming.