Former President John Dramani Mahama says he is going to partner with the Members of Parliament whose constituencies have been affected by the flood caused by the Akosombo dam spillage to provide some support to the victims.
Mr Mahama toured communities affected by the flood on Friday, October 13. He noted that the victims need support due to the level of damage done to their priorities. Communities including Mepe and Battor in the North Tongu Constituency have been severely hit by the flood. “What is happening is real and I expect that government should take it a bit more seriously,” he said.
Asked whether he would provide some relief package to the victims, he said amidst laughter “The number of people is so huge, and unfortunately, I am not that wealthy, I am a poor opposition leader, former President. I have done my best, in the tidal waves I supplied some relief items to the victims and I have been discussing with the MPs, they have already done something and intend to do some more, they are providing, people don’t have drinking water, the MPs together with me are going to put our heads together to give our widow mite but it will not be enough and that is why I say I thank VRA.”
He further urged the Volta River Authority (VRA) to expedite the dispatch of the relief items it had promised to give to the victims of the flood. He said “The people really need help but unfortunately, my understanding is that NADMO has nothing, happily, VRA said they are going to support them with some relief items. So I will thank VRA and appeal to them that the people are in need and so whatever relief they want to give them they should expedite it so that they can assist people with the current situation.”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the VRA, Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa said that the dam was experiencing inflows more than expected hence the spillage is going to continue.
“We are on phase II [of the spillage] right now and it is a cycle. It is normal at this time of the year for us to experience inflows. The difference is that we are getting more than expected and to safeguard this dam means that we have to spill water, that is the standard operation for any hydro dam but the inflows that we are seeing now are in excess.
“Definitely, as the cycle goes through this will recede so we are hoping it will recede in the next time,” he told journalists on Thursday, October 12.
“The spilling may continue even though we are anticipating that the levels may drop down to phase 1, which was started on September 15 but of course, we did not have much excess as we are seeing now, this is an emergency as we have seen from the beginning.
“Whether dredging or no dredging it is an emergency. The volume of water that is coming into the lake right now which we have to throw out, it means that we need to evacuate people from wherever they are to ensure they are safe until the inflows recede,” he added.
The VRA was accused of neglecting its responsibilities in the Lower Volta Basin hence the huge impact of flood caused by spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong Dams on communities.
By: Laud Nartey