Member of parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has revealed that he is waiting on the Volta River Authority to announce its non-negotiable plans for full compensation of all victims of the “unprecedented” spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong dams.
According to him, the “large-scale devastation of biblical proportion” was totally avoidable.
He explained that it would have been avoided if the VRA management had put in place the right safety precautions and adequate community engagement, particularly, as they were the only ones who knew the quantum of water to be discharged and the dire implications for life and property.
“We are still waiting on the Volta River Authority to announce their non-negotiable plans for full compensation of all victims of their unprecedented spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong dams…”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
North Tongu legislator demands justice
Mr Ablakwa revealed that if VRA had taken the necessary precautions, it would have averted the unfolding catastrophe. He noted that the Authority in this case, has to fully commit to ensuring victims of the dam spillage are taken care of.
“I sincerely hope we shall not be blamed when we begin series of legitimate actions to demand justice for VRA’s displaced victims and to end VRA’s continuous costly dereliction. We demand nothing but justice!”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Meanwhile, a 13-member inter-ministerial committee has been established to coordinate government’s response to victims affected by the Akosombo dam spillage.
Chaired by the Chief of staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the other members of the committee include the Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah; Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery; Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul; Energy Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh; Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and the Minister of Local Government, Daniel Kwaku Botwe.
Other members are Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye; Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, Minister for Environment, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie; Minister for Sanitation, Freda Prempeh; Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor and the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
Thousands of residents in the Volta Region have been rendered homeless after their homes were flooded because of the spillage of water from the Akosombo dam.
Prior to this, management of the Volta River Authority (VRA) called on residents to “expect more spillage” as engineers at the Akosombo dam are uncertain when the exercise will come to an end.
Deputy Chief Executive of the VRA in charge of services, Ing. Kenneth Arthur noted that although he wished “this will stop within about a week, but this may continue even though we are anticipating that the levels may drop down to phase one which was started on September 15, 2023”.
On his part, Deputy Minister of Energy, Herbert Krapah, indicated that there is a need to ensure saving the integrity of the Akosombo dam and mitigating the impact of the spillage on lives and property.
He explained that the government is working round the clock with the VRA and other state institutions to reduce the impact of the spillage and provide relief items to affected Ghanaians.
Furthermore, Mr Krapah stated that halting the operation over concerns of flooding downstream could cause potential damage to the dam.
Currently, nine districts have been affected by the spillage. Some of the hardest-hit districts include the South, Central, and North Tongu districts in the Volta Region, where many residents have had to evacuate.
While the current inflow to the reservoir is pegged at 400,000 cubic feet of water per second, the VRA stated that it is spilling just about 183,000 cubic feet of water and cannot ascertain when the spilling exercise will be over.