Yvette Tetteh makes history by swimming across the Volta River

Yvette Tetteh, a Ghanaian-British agribusiness businesswoman, athlete, and campaigner, became the first person to swim 450 kilometers across the Volta River from Buipe to Ada.

In celebration of Yvette’s remarkable accomplishments the surrounding communities’ stormed the riverbanks with drummers and dancers to wait for her.


Yvette, 30, set out on this arduous journey as part of an expedition led by The Or Foundation.

The goal of the journey, which was accompanied by the research vessel “The Woman Who Does Not Fear,” was to conduct a thorough investigation into the microfiber pollution caused by textile waste and to increase public awareness of the harm that trash colonization causes to the ecosystems in the area.

The crowd who gathered in Ada to witness the journey’s end warmly celebrated Yvette’s amazing accomplishment.

While the expedition potentially marks the longest distance kayaked it also showcased the first-ever deployment of a solar-powered research vessel in Ghana and groundbreaking scientific research conducted on water quality in the Volta River System and Accra

According to Yvette, the final leg presented a formidable upstream current caused by the Gulf of Guinea at the Ada estuary. However, her unwavering perseverance led her to triumph, reaching the resort where a joyous celebration awaited her.

The expedition began on March 7th, with the launch of a locally built aluminum research vessel. Yvette and her team, the Swim Team, navigated the Black Volta and Volta Lake, stopping in towns and villages to observe the effects of rising waters and connect with local communities. Despite choppy waters and slow progress, their determination and teamwork prevailed throughout the journey.

The chief, community leaders, and ecstatic spectators hailed Yvette as she emerged from the ocean in her custom-made recycled swimsuit. The festive mood allowed Yvette and her colleagues to show appreciation while also fielding questions from community members and local and international journalists. The backdrop of the solar-powered research vessel represented The Or Foundation’s dedication to preventing water pollution by measuring its breadth along Accra’s coast.

Yvette’s safety in the water was secured by a kayaker during the mission, while expedition documentarian Ofoe Amegavie and Science Lead/Communications Manager Edwin Dzobo, who were both crucial in the kayak tasks.


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