He thus stressed that the spillage was in the interest of saving the country from a wider risk.
“There is a perspective you people have to understand. The volume of water behind the dam as we speak today is 150 billion cubic metrics. The volume of water that we are spilling per the opening of the gates is 4800 cubic metrics. That is about one-millionth of the water behind the dam. As we speak now, the maximum level of the dam is 277 feet and the maximum allowable threshold is 277.5 feet.
“But as we speak the level of the dam is 277.9 feet. We have only 0.4 to achieve that maximum allowable threshold of the dam. If you don’t spill, then you’re putting the integrity of the dam at risk which will break the dam. If the dam should collapses, just imagine, 150 billion cubic metrics of water will flood the people. It will wipe most of the Volta region, parts of Tema, and parts of Accra into the sea. Nobody will survive. Nothing will be left in the way of the water.”Edward Ekow Obeng Kenzo
He however agreed that a month’s notice that was given to residents to evacuate was too short. Notwithstanding, he explained that the resident had been far prepared for the unfortunate should it suddenly happen.
“We agree one month’s notice is not enough. We carried out an exercise in May, educating the people in this community that we may open the gates. When it happens, this is what you are supposed to do. All the protocols were to be activated under our emergency preparedness plan.”Edward Ekow Obeng Kenzo
He underscored that the situation came to the authority quite suddenly.
“These are technical issues. We don’t control how much water comes to the dam. Per all the reports that we had, even across the world, we expected less rain. We always track our water levels. However, in August metro agents updated their reports that we were going to have a lot of rain.
“In August we saw that the volumes of water that were coming into the dam had changed completely. So after tracking the water level for some time, we issued a notice in the first week of September to residents that we were going to start spilling on September 15.”Edward Ekow Obeng Kenzo
According to Mr. Edward Ekow Obeng Kenzo, the spillage began very gradually after educating residents some months ahead of such a sudden occurrence.
“Every year we carry out sensitization and go out there to educate people about this and its effects. So they have been told that anytime the dam is opened they have to leave. When it gets very critical, NADMO will come in. “Edward Ekow Obeng Kenzo
He further emphasized that VRA is committed to ensuring all lives are saved.
VRA, NADMO And Inter-ministerial Committee Support Residents
He indicated that the VRA is working closely with the inter-ministerial committee and NADMO to make lives comfortable for the residents.
“We came here today with the inter-ministerial committee members. As we speak, we are at Mepe at the moment. We are giving them relief items to make sure they are comfortable. We are making sure life is made better for them. We have sent mattresses, foodstuff and everything that will make life comfortable for them after relocating from their residences.”Edward Ekow Obeng Kenzo
He indicated that so far, NADMO has rescued about 17 000 people . Some people have moved to stay with their families. Some too are still on the island. They are very reluctant to move because they want to protect their properties.