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A look into Ghana’s Lake Volta: the largest man made lake in the world by surface area

Spanning nearly 4,000 square miles across central Ghana, Lake Volta is an immense reservoir that holds special significance for the nation. Created in 1965 by the construction of the Akosombo Dam on the Volta River, Lake Volta is among the largest man-made lakes in the world based on surface area. Its creation enabled rapid development for Ghana through improved electricity generation, flood control, and transportation, though the project also required resettlement for many communities.

As one flies above or traverses Lake Volta by boat, its scale is striking with the massive expanse of water ringed by verdant shorelines dotted with small villages. The lake has a storied ecology below its surface as well, serving as one of Africa’s most productive inland fisheries with nearly 100 fish species present. This fishing industry provides livelihoods for many lakeside inhabitants who rely on wooden canoes and nets to harvest tilapia, catfish, and other native fish.

The lake has become renowned for its natural beauty too. Birdlife abounds along the marshy edges of the lake, which contains both open water habitats and winding channels through dense grasses. Tourists can explore sights like Dodi Island for its peaceful beaches or visit partially submerged trees protruding hauntingly from the lake’s surface. Lake Volta also draws adventurous travelers with watersports like kayaking through its picturesque coves.

With time, Lake Volta has become integral to Ghana’s national identity and economy. The lake’s scenic vistas and livelihoods sustained are an inspiring example of both human engineering and nature’s resilience coming together to shape a country. Even over 50 years from its creation, Lake Volta stands out as a man-made marvel blending industry, ecology, and community in a united landscape.

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