Ghana has two major lakes: Volta and Bosumtwi. Lake Volta is human-made while Lake Bosumtwi is a natural water body. As early as 1915, Albert Ernest Kitson, a geologist had floated the idea of constructing a dam in Ghana. The actual construction was launched in 1961 by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana and was completed in 1965. Both lakes add to the scenic beauty in Ghana as well as being economically essential. The article below describes the largest lakes in Ghana.
Lakes of Ghana
Lake Volta is the largest lake in Ghana, covering an estimated surface area of 3,283 square miles and 62 feet at average depth. Construction of the lake commenced in 1961. Over 78,000 people and their livestock were displaced. By 1965, the lake was completed, giving the country the largest human-made waterbody in the region. Lake Volta can hold over 124,000,000-acre-feet of water within its length of approximately 250 miles. The water provided by the lake is also used for fishing, irrigation as well as the generation of hydroelectric power for local consumption and export to neighboring countries.
Lake Bosumtwi is the second largest and the sole natural lake in Ghana, covering an estimated surface area of 19 square miles. The lake has a maximum length of 5.3 miles and 5.0 miles in width while the average depth is 148 feet. The lake is located to the South-east of Kumasi within an old crater believed to have been formed by a striking asteroid. The crater is estimated to have a diameter of 6.5 miles while that of the lake is 5 miles. The depth of Lake Bosumtwi is estimated to be 1,250 feet excluding the depth of sediment deposits. The lake is a major recreational area dominated by the people of Ashanti origin with an estimate of 70,000 people from 30 villages drawing their livelihood from the Lake. Lake Bosumtwi is regarded holy among the Ashanti people, so fishing is only done using wooden vessels due to their traditional belief that the spirits of the dead use the lake to bid goodbye to god Asase. The lake has a variety of rare fish species which among them is the Hemichromis Frimpong, endemic cichlid, near-end endemic cichlid, Tilapia busumana and T. discolor.
Large Artificial Lakes of the World
Humans make lakes to meet certain needs such as hydroelectric power generation, drinking water or irrigation water. Ghana is home to Lake Volta, which ranks among the largest man-made lakes in the world by surface area, covering almost 3.6% of the land area of the country. Volume wise, Lake Volta is the 3rd largest after Lake Kariba in Zambia/Zimbabwe and the Bratsk Reservoir located in Russia.