The Volta River Authority (VRA) has announced a commitment of GHS20,000,000.00 to mitigate the adverse effects on communities impacted by the unprecedented spillage of excess inflow into the Akosombo and Kpong Dams.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Ing. Ken Arthur, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority responsible for services, disclosed that approximately 9 million cedis of this amount had already been allocated to relief efforts.
He reassured the public that VRA, in collaboration with National Disaster Management Organization and other relevant agencies, will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide essential support to ensure the well-being of the affected communities, emphasising that no one will be left behind in this emergency.
Ing. Ken Arthur also mentioned mentioned that VRA have deployed its Emergency Preparedness Unit, the Community Relations Unit, the Environment and Sustainable Development Team, the VRA Hospitals Team, VRA Security section and others, to the affected communities.
He added that VRA is literally living among them in their respective communities, to experience their issues at firsthand and provide real-time support.
He indicated that it had since then intensified efforts to alleviate the pain and discomfort of the affected people, in this rather difficult situation.
Acknowledging the many challenges facing the affected communities, he noted that VRA and the entire relief team is engaged in regular supply of food items such as rice, maize, beans, gari, sugar, mackerel, cooking oil, palm oil, tomato paste, groundnut, biscuits, fruit juice, powdered milk and drinking water.
He mentioned that other non-food relief items include mosquito repellant creams, mosquito nets, blankets, mattresses, solar powered lanterns with telephone charging features, sanitary items and many more.
Ing. Ken Arthur said the VRA had also carried out the humanitarian efforts like eployed water tankers to consistently make water available to the affected people.
He mentioned that VRA had provided medical items and personnel to screen and administer medical treatment to emerging health issues.
He said it had also provided buses, trucks and pick-up vehicles to assist in the internal transportation of both goods and affected people, noting that “ VRA has restored the damaged community water supply pumps in Aveyime”.
“VRA has Installed a portable water treatment system at the St. Kizito School, safe haven, in Mepe,” he said. With the support of the Ministry of Energy, he noted that VRA has distributed 5000 solar lamps to various safe havens. He disclosed that together with ECG, power supply has been reconnected to the St.Kizito safe haven in Mepe.
“Zoom Lion has been contracted to provide mobile toilets, service them, and also to provide sanitation services at the safe havens. An access road has been created in Mepe to the St. Kizito center to avoid accessing by boat,” he added.
He stated that there is removal of weeds from the Sogakope bridge to facilitate flow of the river into the ocean. “VRA empathizes with all affected persons and is unwavering in its commitment to work with NADMO and all relevant agencies, to bring relief and assistance for restoration to normalcy,” be stated
The Deputy CEO of VRA said his outfit had deployed an all-hands-on-deck approach and in collaboration with NADMO, the various District Assemblies and other related security and emergency services, working round the clock to ensure the protection of lives and livelihood in those affected areas, through the evacuation of victims to designated safe havens.
“It is gratifying to note that no life has been lost in this emergency situation,” he revealed. He revealed that currently figures collated by NADMO stands at about 36,000 people, who have been affected so far.
The Volta River Authority was compelled to commence controlled spillage of excess inflows into the Akosombo and Kpong Hydro-electric Dams on September 15, 2023, which was within the various graduated stages of the EPP phase 1 spillage rate.
On October 9, 2023, the spill rate was increased to phase 2, due to persistent rainfall which resulted in continuous rise of the water level in the Akosombo Dam. This event, which was unforeseeable and unavoidable, was carried out in accordance with statute and all regulatory requirements.
As a result of this, flooding has been encountered in several communities within parts of the Volta, Greater Accra, and Eastern regions. The districts affected include North Tongu, Central Tongu, South Tongu, Anlo and Keta Municipality, in the Volta Region.
The rest are Asuogyaman and Lower Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region, and Shai Osudoku, and Ada East, in the Greater Accra Region, with Mepe township, in the North Tongu District being the worst hit community.