DAM SAFETY REGULATION, 2016 L.I.2236
The Dam Safety Regulations L.I. 2236 is to ensure the safe design, construction, operation and maintenance as well as decommissioning of dams in the country.
Prior to the passing of the Dam Safety Regulation, 2016 L.I.2236, there was no single authority responsible for the safety of dams in Ghana. Dam safety lay entirely on the shoulders of dam owners without any formalised and standardised requirements to construction, operation, maintenance and safety routines or for disaster and emergency preparedness. The need for a centralised body to ensure that all dams are safe was essential. By L.I. 2236, a National Dam Safety Unit is established.
Application of Regulations
The Regulations apply to all dams and appurtenant structures with a safety risk and all activities related to it including, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, to the design, construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of dams and all activities necessarily required to ensure their safe operation. A dam under these regulations refers to an artificial barrier created / constructed to impound water.
The Regulations also apply to existing dams and appurtenant structures that fall within any of the categories of dams. The WRC has the power to reclassify a dam and its appurtenant structures if the National Dam Safety Unit determines that such dams and appurtenant structures constitute a safety risk to human life, property and the environment.
Establishment of National Dam Safety Unit
The duties of the National Dam Safety Unit is to - conduct of investigation into and inspection of dams ,review of dam safety procedures and guidelines for purposes of ensuring dam safety, enforcement of these regulations, coordinate policies in relation to dam safety, steer an inter-agency coordination with respect to dam safety, develop technical materials on dam safety, create public awareness on dam safety and related matters, and such other responsibilities as the Commission may from time to time determine.
The classification of dams to be regulated and the construction
Every dam, which in the opinion of the Commission has a safety risk, should be classified under this regulation on the basis of hazard potential in accordance with a Schedule provided to these Regulations.
A person intending to construct a new dam with a safety risk or to enlarge, alter or repair an existing dam with a safety risk shall apply for a licence to do so.
Once a licence has been procured and a dam owner is operating the dam, the owner or person in control of a dam should ensure that the dam is sufficiently secured to prevent unauthorized operation of the dam by a person other than the owner or an agent of the dam owner or person in control of the dam.