Editorial: VRA Engaging Stakeholders On Upcoming Dam Spillage Is Laudable

The Volta River Authority (VRA) has notified over 40 stakeholders, including the Minister for the Interior and local assemblies within the catchment areas of the Akosombo Dam, about the possible spillage of excess water from the dam.

According to the notice, these measures are part of VRA’s commitment to maintaining the safety protocols around the dam and responding swiftly to any potential risks posed by the water levels.The VRA emphasised that while the spillage is not confirmed yet, preparing and engaging stakeholders promptly was essentialfor the safety of residents within the catchment area.

The Chronicle applauds the VRA for its timely communication, which underscores the importance of proactive engagement. The last time the VRA decided to release water from the Akosombo Dam to prevent it from collapse, it seriously affected low-lying communities along the river. North and Central Tongu districts were the most hit in areas such as Mepe, Battor, Sogakope, Mafi, Adidome and Ada.

The dam spillage displaced an estimated 35,857 people, including women and children.The spillage also had a profound impact on education in the region. Schools were forced to close down, leaving pupils and students without access to education. The interruption in learning could have long-term consequences for the affected children, depriving them of their right to education and hindering their future prospects.

The area is already reeling from the severe consequences of the last dam spillage, with government still making efforts in providing assistance, including temporary shelter, food, water and medical aid to alleviate the suffering of affected the communities. Therefore, any action by the VRA to worsen an already precarious situation of the residents in the catchment area must not be allowed.

The Akosombo Dam has long been a crucial source of energy supply for Ghana. Much as this precautionary measure is crucial to maintaining the structural integrity of thedam, ensuring the safety of the communities within the catchment area is also important.This announcement, while precautionary in nature, resonates deeply with the memories of past incidents where controlled spillage resulted in significant displacement and devastation of communities downstream. This reminder is timely and commendable, and reflects a learned response to past challenges.

As the discussion progresses, it is incumbent upon the VRA and all stakeholders to continue to uphold rigorous safety standards and environmental responsibility in its operations. This includes ongoing maintenance of dam infrastructure, continuous monitoring of water levels and adherence to international best practices in dam management.

Furthermore, as discussions progress, VRA should encompass a comprehensive discussion on the potential implications of spillage, mitigation strategies to minimize harm to communities and transparent communication channels to keep residents informed and prepared.Local authorities, community leaders and affected residents must have a voice in decision-making processes to ensure that their perspectives and needs are considered.

While the potential for controlled spillage from the Akosombo Dam serves as a precautionary measure, it also demands a concerted efforts from all stakeholders to ensure that the safety and well-being of communities are safeguarded.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here