NDC’s parliamentary candidate elect for South Tongu, Maxwell Lukutor, has lamented the flooding situations recorded in communities in the Volta region, following the Akosombo dam spillage.
According to him, the spillage has rendered schools and homes in Agobledokui inaccessible, including some areas within his constituency.
He revealed that although Agobledokui is not under his jurisdiction, South Tongu constituency shares boundary with the Anlo, Akatsi South, Central Tongu and even North Tongu constituencies.
“So, those are the number of constituencies we share with. We are along the Volta River, same as Central Tongu, North Tongu and Anlo constituency. So, the situation is similar around our place. It’s unfortunate that we are experiencing, not out of the natural rain within our areas, but as the effect of rains at the northern portions of Ghana… So, it’s out of the spillage of the Akosombo dam…”Maxwell Lukutor
Mr Lutukor stated that naturally, when it rains, those areas get flooded, however, such incidents are due to poor planning and settlement issues. He explained that with the current happening, the rise in water levels at the Akosombo dam and subsequent spillage has led to the crisis.
“You know the level of water should have been about 278ft but what they are experiencing is that when it’s getting to that, it becomes an issue, and they have to spill to make sure that the integrity of the dam is kept intact… Unfortunately, those at the low-lying areas of the Anlo Volta River area begin to experience these things and you know there are creeks that are linked to the Volta Lake. So, when it happens like that, the creeks also begin to overflow to the inland areas. So, those are the things we are experiencing.”Maxwell Lukutor
Furthermore, Mr Lutukor highlighted that the spillage has affected the livelihoods of individuals in the communities. He stated that the spillage particularly affected a lot of people who have aquaculture businesses within the Volta River itself.
“So, most of the people have their cages within the water and it really affected them… Beyond those ones, people who have their residencies within the inland areas also had the water rising and so it’s entering in their homes… So, it’s a terrible situation for us”Maxwell Lukutor
Dealing with impact of Akosombo dam spillage
Commenting on how to deal with the situation, Mr Lutukor expressed the need for government to revisit the construction of the sea defence. Nonetheless, he noted that constructing a defence in this case against the sea is a very “daunting task”.
“On few occasions and once awhile, those things happen but they are not things we can do along the whole of the sea’s width to prevent the rising level of the sea from entering our homes. But as much as we can, we have to reconstruct and make sure that we safeguard some of these situations.
“I believe that if the seaport that is to be constructed at Keta is also done, it will create some gauge for the level of water to come inland and prevent the tide from rising so high. So, if the Keta Sea defence is done, and the harbor is also done, I’m sure it’ll create a more serene atmosphere and reduce the effect of the rising sea level on the people.”Maxwell Lukutor
Meanwhile, Mr Lutukor emphasized that stakeholders and the assembly must collaboratively work to help affected areas and displaced victims of the spillage. He revealed that one thing that can be done “immediately is to get them places that will be more convenient to house them for some few days until the water recedes”.
Beyond that, he noted that the assembly must be proactive in ensuring individuals avoid building along waterways and places that are susceptible to flooding.
“Assemblies will always complain about lack of resources to be able to undertake some of these processes, but when it happens, it’s the same assemblies we come to crying for help. So, when the assemblies begin to do their work so well, it takes away most of these issues.”Maxwell Lukutor