There have been growing demands for accountability from the Volta River Authority following the multi-region-wide destruction of homes and livelihoods by the spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong dams,
Many Ghanaians have expressed their suspicions that a dereliction of duty may have resulted in what many have now called a man-made mayhem.
Joining the call, the 2020 Parliamentary Nominee of the National Democratic Congress for Essikado-Ketan Constituency, Grace Ayensua Danquah has emphasized the need for accountability in the Volta Floods caused by the Akosombo and Kpong dams’ spillage.
She believes that authorities at Volta River Authority (VRA) ought to have planned and prepared to avert the disaster or minimize its impact.
She further argued that the central government is culpable as well, since the buck stops with it.
“Someone must be held responsible. The people at VRA who made that decision without the preparedness, without planning; how much money, and the logistics it would take to evacuate the people? People must be held accountable!
“But like I said, I truly believe this is solely on the shoulders of the government. The government should have known that we were in a crisis when the water levels were rising. We have known this for over a year. So there have been, even before the 15th, micro spillages and little bits of spillages. So from that time; a year ago when we started seeing that this is a looming problem happening to even the integrity of the dam itself, we should have put a lot of resources into this and planned well, because a disaster is mitigated when the planning is done before the disaster happens.”Grace Ayensua Danquah
Contrasting the Volta floods to the Apiate disaster, she highlighted the differences in the instances and, however, bemoaned government inefficiencies in both instances.
“The thing about Apiate is that the disaster was not managed properly. This one is even more unique because we knew we were going to spill the water. Apiate was just an accident and you know accidents happen. So one day, when they happen [and] your systems are not in place, you will now be running around to figure out what to do.
“Even the Apiate report we still haven’t seen it. The investigative report still didn’t come out. All we know is that they charged the company and we don’t even know where all those monies went to. The people in Apiate have not been given anything. They are still suffering from the side effects. One of them [I know] is a cripple now. And so that even worsens now, because let’s say that was an accident. That was an accident.”Grace Ayensua Danquah
Governemnt Disaster Management
Madam Grace Ayensua Danquah could not fathom how the danger was not preempted by the VRA even with the glaring impact of climate changes and significant rise in water levels.
“This is somebody having to remove the barrier or stop guard to open the water to come out. Before they made that decision to take off the stoppers, they should have done some planning before. That is why things are different. This is a man-made disaster. That is the point we are talking about.
“Global warming and climate change is happening. So we expected that it might overflow its banks and the integrity of the dam was at risk. All that we knew and now decided to open it. What do we do? What are the communities in line with this water? Where is this water going to go? How do we protect human lives? How do we protect against a bigger disaster than we expect?“Grace Ayensua Danquah
Thus, she strongly insisted that persons whose neglect may have caused the disaster must be brought to book when the disaster is over.
“That is why when it comes to disaster management there is a formula. You don’t need to reinvent the formula”, she added.