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VRA has lots of questions to answer – Ablakwa warns over disastrous dam spillage



Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu Constituency Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has charged Management of the Volta River Authority (VRA) to prepare answers over the spillage of the Akosombo Dam, which has left thousands displaced and homeless.

He said there was no formal engagement on the part of the Authority with MPs whose constituents were bound to be affected by the spillage.

He fears the current situation may be worse as there is no end in sight to the “controlled” spillage.

“VRA has lots of questions to answer and we are going to insist that they take care of their victims,” he warned.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP was speaking in an interview on TV3‘s New Day on Monday, October 16.

His comments are in relation to the flooding of various towns in the precincts of the Akosombo Dam, following the controlled spillage by authorities at VRA.

The power production company had issued an alert early September, warning residents in the environs of not only the Akosombo Dam but also the Kpong Dam to relocate owing to rising water levels.

“The Reservoir level as of today suggests that we may need to commence controlled spilling in the coming days should the situation persist,” the Authority said in its statement dated Tuesday, September 12.

“In line with our Emergency Preparedness Plan and Standard Operating Procedures, the Volta River Authority has duly notified its key stakeholders of its debt,” the statement concluded.

However, the North Tongu MP said had some of them -leaders of the communities – been informed, they would have embarked on a sensitisation drive to get residents to safer grounds.

‘Man-made disaster’

He lamented that the situation appears not to abate anytime soon as “it is getting worse”.

“It is a really sad situation, particularly [for] the vulnerable, aged, women and children.”

He said VRA would be made to ensure that they provide compensation for all those affected as this is a “man-made disaster”.

He called for support from corporate Ghana to reach out to victims.

The Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament says he is launching what he calls ‘MP’s Mobile Relief Caravan’ on Monday to help supplement relief efforts in the affected communities.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the VRA has promised to evacuate as many people as possible as the spillage will continue.

“The spilling may continue even though we are anticipating that the levels may drop down to phase 1, which was started on September 15,” Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa told journalists on Thursday, October 12.

“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.”

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