Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the North Tongu Constituency, has called on the Volta River Authority (VRA) to slow down the spillage of the Akosombo Dam to allow for the safe evacuation of residents.
The spillage of the dam has resulted in flooding in the Tongu districts. This has led to the loss of many properties and livelihoods while displacing thousands of residents.
The Member of Parliament made this appeal and indicated that his constituency has been the worst affected in the district.
“It’s a really difficult situation. I’m still here touring communities. It has been a depressing day. Thousands have been displaced, and properties running into millions of Ghana cedis have been destroyed. I can inform you that based on what NADMO officials and PR officials are telling us, North Tongu is the worst affected. They are currently here with us and it’s a tragic situation. I’m lost for words!
“I will urge the VRA, if it is possible, in terms of the engineering because we know that if the dam also, if you like, if its banks are broken the situation will even be more dire. But if they can, [they should] slow down the discharge a bit to make sure that all our compatriots are relocated to higher ground.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP
He further stated that the floods have blocked roads, hence they have resorted to canoes.
“It’s really difficult to see entire villages that have been submerged and hundreds of households that have lost their homes. Some buildings are underwater. Places that you would need to commute to on land either in a car or on a motorbike, you now have to use a canoe. I have been using canoes all day moving from place to place.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP
Ablakwa Appeals For Relief Items
Mr. Ablakwa declared the situation a humanitarian crisis and called on the public to come to their relief.
“So it’s a really difficult situation and this is a humanitarian crisis.
“They’ll need food items, they’ll need shelter, clothing. I have provided a few life jackets to help them cross from one point to the other. We are also setting up a fund which I have contributed to help with transporting items. But we will certainly need more support if the fund can be populated. People who have good hearts and humanitarian desires can reach out and help us keep these people warm and alive. We would appreciate it.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP
He underscored that, though the VRA put out a statement warning residents of the spillage, there were not enough community engagements, especially on the enormity of the spillage.
“We were told a few days to September 15th when the discharges began, but truth be told the sensitization was low, and public education was very low. So even though they put out a statement, to be fair to the VRA they put out a statement, I do not think that the community engagements and the sensitization were adequate; was deep enough. Even as a member of parliament, I was not engaged nor we didn’t have a meeting and sat down to see how we could prepare ourselves.
“We were not also told the enormity of this. Many elders are telling us that the last time they saw something of this nature was 60 years ago. Since I’ve been MP I’ve never seen uh discharges on this scale. This is overwhelming and if they knew they were going to carry out this historic uh spillage they should have done more engagement.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP
He, however, emphasized that it was not the time to be pointing accusing fingers, rather he would like all to rally behind the community to “keep human beings alive and to salvage what is left”.
Furthermore, he expressed his noting of the lessons of the devasting event to circumvent future reoccurrence.
“So urgently, we are relocating the people to a higher ground”, he reiterated.