Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources Freda Prempeh has emphasized the need of preventing widespread flooding like that which is now occurring in Accra and other areas of the country, including Akosombo.
She claims that the government is currently allocating funds through the appropriate agencies to help those who refused to leave even after being warned by the Volta River Authority (VRA), the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), and the Water Resources Commission (WRC) about the potential effects of the planned spillage of the Akosombo Dam.
“We don’t want what has happened in Akosombo to happen to us in Accra. The Akosombo spillage even though VRA, NADMO, the Water Resources Commission came together to educate the people in the community, did simulation exercises with them even at Mepe, yet they refused to leave, they didn’t want to be evacuated.
“They stayed on till the end when we started spilling, unfortunately, look at what is happening and government has to spend millions of money on relief items, education; the whole area, the water is contaminated,” she said at an event in Accra on October 23.
She continued by saying that responsibility is being placed on the government, VRA, and NADMO despite the significant educational and other efforts they made between January 2023 and early September, when the leak was imminent.
“A stitch in time saves nine, we cannot sit back and allow situations like that …now people are blaming government, people are blaming VRA, people are blaming NADMO but these three institutions did a lot of education right from January till September,” she added.
To prevent the hydropower project from collapsing, the VRA began dumping extra water from the Akosombo and Kpong Dams in the middle of September.
Massive floods from the leakage soon flooded towns for many kilometers surrounding the dam. Eight districts in three constituencies—North, Central, and South Tongu—were impacted.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo visited Mepe last week to have a firsthand picture of the situation. The government has created an inter-ministerial group headed by the Chief of Staff to supervise an emergency response.