Volta Lake AFR-16

Riparian Nation(s) Ghana
Surface Area 8502 km2 Mean Depth 18.8 m Volume 148 km3
Shoreline 4800 km Catchment Area 385180 km2 Residence Time 4.3 yr
Frozen Period None Mixing Type Polymictic Morphogenesis/Dam Akosombo dam (1965)
Related Info/Site Digya National Park


The Volta Lake is a man-made lake created after the River Volta was dammed at the Akosombo gorge. The lake is dendritic in shape and has a generally north-south orientation with an average length and width of 400 km and 25 km respectively. It has a catchment of 385,185 km2, excluding its own area of 8,730 km2. Nearly 60% of this area lies outside of Ghana.

The lake was created to store up water primarily to generate hydro-electricity. Additionally it was envisaged that it would improve inland water transport, boost fishing, ensure enough water for domestic and industrial use and for irrigation, etc.

The project was implemented by Impregilo (Italian Civil Engineering Firm) under the supervision of the Volta River Authority of Ghana, at the cost of £ 70 million, and was completed in 1966 (5).

Photo of Volta Lake
Photo: N. B. Ayibotele