Pack Your Things & Leave Quickly -NADMO advises residents affected by spillage

The Deputy Director General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Seji Saji Amedonu, has advised residents in communities in the Volta Regionyet to be affected by the spillage of water from the Akosombo and Kpong Dams to leave the area as soon as possible.

He made this known when the inter-ministerial committee, set-up to coordinate government’s response to the unfortunate flooding, visited the affected communities yesterday.

The committee, led by the Minister of State at the ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, also donated some relief items to the displaced residents to help them cope with the situation.

“The spillage is still ongoing, it is most likely that the water will get to communities which have yet not been affected, so everybody must move as soon as possible,” he advised.

Mr. Sajj further stated that those who have difficulties in moving should contact the Assembly, or Nadmo Officers to assist them to move. He explained that the situation was still unfolding and that everything must be done to avoid more displacements.

On recovery, the Deputy Director General said the VRA forecast had assured that it would not take too long for the situation to come to an end, adding “we just pray that the volume of inflows upstream into the reservoir will reduce and when it starts reducing, we will see a reduced spillage”.

The Volta Regional Minister, Archibald Yaw Letsa, also expressed his gratitude for government’s intervention by setting up an inter-ministerial committee to support them resolve all the issues in the communities.

He revealed that the interventions made by government began long ago before the spillage started and that a lot of education and sensitisation were carried out.

The Deputy Minister of Energy, Andrew Agyapa Mercer, who delivered a speech on behalf of the Minister of Energy, said the spilling was necessary to prevent the over-topping of the dam and to protect the dam from collapsing.

According to him, the normal operational level of the dam is 276ft and the maximum level is 278ft.

“The water level at the start of the spilling was 272.5 ft and was about 277.14 ft on October 13, 2023. This was above the normal operating level of 276 feet and approaching the maximum level of 278 feet, which necessitated the increase in the spillage volume”, he added.

This proactive approach, according Mr. Mercer, was aimed at systematically releasing excess water to minimise the potential adverse impacts on the downstream communities, thereby safeguarding lives and property.

In accordance with the VRA’s Emergency Preparedness Plan;the VRA, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and District Assemblies, he said, deployed personnel to monitor the situation and to respond to emergencies.

Speaking on measures taken to help affected communities, he disclosed that National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the VRA launched comprehensive relief efforts, which included distributing essential supplies and relief items to communities in the path of the rising waters.

Also, a high-level delegation, including the Deputy Chief Executive (Services) of VRA, Ing. Ken Arthur and the Director General of NADMO, Eric Agyemang Prempeh and his team, visited the impacted areas to assess the situation at firsthand, whichled to the provision of immediate assistance to the affected people.

Furthermore, extensive community education and awareness campaigns were conducted to inform residents about safety protocols and actions they should take to minimise risks.

The deputy Minister concluded saying, “the ccombined efforts of VRA, NADMO and various stakeholders will aim at alleviating the hardships the affected communities face and reinforce their resilience in the face of natural disasters.”

Deputy Minister for Information, Fatimatu Abubakar, on her part said government was deeply concerned about the safety of residents of the affected areas, and as a matter of urgency had taken appropriate steps to safeguard their lives.

“We are deeply concerned about the plight of our fellow citizens who have been adversely affected by the flooding, due to the dam spillage. Our primary goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of these communities and accordingly we have taken appropriate steps with regard to that,” she said.

The floods have affected access to communities, with roads cut off and leaving commuters stranded, whiles others are resorting to the use of boats and canoes, which further endanger their lives.
The most affected communities are in the Asuogyaman District in the Eastern Region, where the Akosombo Dam is located, and in the North, Central and South Tongu districts in the Volta Region.

Explaining the rationale behind the spillage, a Deputy Chief Executive of VRA, in charge of Services, Ing. Ken Arthur said this was not the first time the VRA was spilling water from the Akosombo Dam. The last was in 2010, having spilled water from the dam in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974 and 1991.

He said the spillage began at a low rate for about one and a half weeks, with no impact on downstream communities.

He said before the spill rate was increased, the authority, in collaboration with National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) evacuated some of the residents of the affected communities to higher grounds and designated safe havens for the communities.

This notwithstanding, he said the authority decided to provide the essential relief items, in keeping with the VRA’s commitment to alleviate the plight of the communities.

Mr Ken Arthur said the items were to mitigate the difficulties and challenges being faced by the communities that had been adversely impacted as a result of the intensified spill rate.


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