A former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection under the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama administration, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo has joined calls for President Akufo-Addo to declare a state of emergency at the lower basin of the Volta River following food occasioned by the Akosombo and Kpong dams’ spillage.
In a media interview on Thursday, October 19 2023, the former Gender Minister indicated that the devastating damage that the Akosombo and Kpong dams’ spillage has caused to the communities in the lower basin of the Volta River in the Volta Region demands an immediate response from the government to protect the citizens in those communities.
She noted that the current situation in the communities affected by the Akosombo and Kpong dam’s spillage is in line with the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana in Article 39 which clearly states the conditions under which a state of emergency could be declared
“I support former President John Dramani Mahama’s call for President Akufo-Addo to declare a state of emergency. What the Security expert said is exactly the truth that a state of emergency is declared, the president is under a legal or a Constitutional obligation to present the fact of what has occurred to parliament”.Nana Oye Bampoe Addo
The former Gender Minister further indicated that the only reason President Akuffo Addo and the New Patriotic Party administration have failed to enforce the provisions of the 1992 constitution is simply because it want to avoid scrutiny and accountability.
According to her President Akufo-Addo and the NPP government are committed to undertaking the rigorous process and procedures of declaring a state of emergency the reason it has refused to heed calls to do so.
“What we are saying is that even when there was Covid-19 and there were calls for the President to declare a state and the NPP government to declare a state of emergency they refused simply because they wanted to escape accountability. Because if you declare a state of emergency today then certain procedures ought to be followed and key among them is informing parliament, telling us the facts and being accountable for the money you are going to spend and the intervention you are going to implement to address the situation of the flooding which has occasioned severe destruction of livelihood”.Nana Oye Bampoe Addo
She again bemoaned the lack of commitment on the part of the government to engage the general public particularly the media to update the public about the happening in the affected communities.
“Some say seven districts and three regions; Volta Region, Eastern region and Greater Accra Region are adversely affected and about 26,000 people are displaced. We have a duty as citizens of Ghana to know exactly what is happening and it is the mandate of the information service department and the Ministry of Information and not a single press conference has been organized by this entity. Well, the president has visited some of the communities affected by the flood affected by the spillage but it is not sufficient”.Nana Oye Bampoe Addo
Nana Oye Bampoh Chastises President Akufo-Addo Over His Comment
Moreover, the former Gender Minister chastised President Akufo-Addo for his comment during his tour of the communities that were affected by the flood occasioned by the Akosombo and Kpong dam’s spillage
According to her, the President showed that he did not empathize with the plight of the people affected by the flood occasioned by the spillage through his comment.
“This is a situation where 25% of the people in the communities he visited had been submerged by the flood; how will the issue of who voted for me and who did not vote for me come in even if it was a joke? A teacher shared his story saying that when he returned from work his entire house was submerged and he couldn’t pick a single of his pins while his elderly mother was sick as a president of the Republic of Ghana you go and pay a working visit to these people all that you can think of is who voted for me”.Nana Oye Bampoe Addo
Again, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo called on the government to immediately deploy an emergency LEAP programme to enhance the livelihood of people in the communities affected by the flood, particularly women and young girls.
“Under our laws where there is a disaster or humanitarian crisis of this proportion, the government can take funds from the directorate of social protection from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and use that to give some monies to those who are adversely affected. In 2015 the NDC administration set up the Ghana National Household Registry, so they in collaboration with NADMO can go on site and collect data of those who have been affected so that the emergency LEAP could be rolled out”.Nana Oye Bampoe Addo
Additionally, she recommended that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection should be included in the Inter-Ministerial Committee set up by the President to look into the flood situation mainly due to social protection and humanitarian aspects of the unfortunate crisis.