Slow spillage of water from the Akosombo Hydroelectric Dam is causing devastating floods upstream of the Volta Lake in the Upper Manya Krobo District in the Eastern region. As the waters continue to rise, residents in fishing communities in Upper Manya Krobo face an uncertain future.
Rising water levels upstream of Volta Lake have submerged homes, leaving at least 1,200 residents displaced in the district. Fishing communities such as Akanten, Ayesu, Battorkope, Agajajeter, Akorkorma sisi, Kumakuma, Puorkper, Djogbe, Akrusu, Kpersebi, and others, have been inundated, with many houses underwater.
David Kojo Narteh- Secretary for the traditional council in Akaten and Regional Coordinator of the inland canoe fishermen Association told Starr News ” When the Water submerged the area for the first time in 1961 we know that the area was a cocoa farm with lots of farmers but the construction of the Akosombo dam flooded the area so whenever the water level rises, and they spill the water, the water level begins to recede in this area. When they close the dam or the spillage slows it affects the area (Akaten) and all the other areas in upper Manya because the spillage helps us here. When they open the spillage then the pressure here is coming down.
Most of the houses have been submerged here”. The Electricity Company of Ghana had no choice but to cut power to the affected communities as electricity poles became submerged The vibrant Akaten market, once bustling with life, now lies submerged, leaving traders, farmers and residents in despair.
Member of Parliament for Upper Manya Krobo, Bismark Tetteh Nyarko, on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, visited the affected communities along with officials from the Ghana National Fire Service and NADMO. He witnesses firsthand the economic activities disrupted by this calamity.
“The submerging of the market means that economic lives will be affected. Aside that over 500 households have been submerged by this water which has displaced a lot of people. The cost of resettling these people is the headache that we need to all as stakeholders need to get for them” the MP lamented.
Hon. Bismark Tetteh Nyarko called on the Upper Manya Krobo District Assembly to release the 3% allocation of the District Assembly Common Fund for disaster management to NADMO, the National Disaster Management Organization, to provide aid to the flood victims.
“The Act that established NADMO provided for 3% of the Assembly Common Fund to be given to NADMO. The NADMO Act 2016 section 39(C) provided for that 3% but my enquiry show that not even a pessewa has been allocated to NADMO and that is very bad as a people we need to take some of these things seriously. So that at times like this we don’t find ourselves wanting”.
The MP allocated a building earmarked for the Police station as a temporary shelter for the victims.
Akor Samuel Odehi, the Upper Manya District NADMO Director, reveals that the number of victims is increasing by the day, but Initial data of 1,200 victims have been sent in an urgent report to the regional headquarters of NADMO for assistance.
DOII Walter Drayi, the Upper Manya District Fire Commander, expresses concern about the potential fire disaster posed by premix fuel stored in these flood-affected homes. Proactive measures are being taken to prevent further tragedy.
He appealed for silver boats to enable the Ghana National Fire Service to attend to emergency cases during floods. On September 15, 2023, the Volta River Authority (VRA) initiated controlled spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong Dams in response to the rising water levels upstream, triggered by heavy rainfall. However, this controlled spillage has intensified in recent days, leading to the displacement of around 26,000 residents in numerous communities.
An Inter-Ministerial Committee has been established to coordinate government efforts to manage the disaster.
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Kojo Ansah