The Volta River Authority (VRA) has announced an end to the spillage exercise that began last month to save the Akosombo dam from damage.
This was communicated in a press statement on Monday, October 30, 2023.
That notwithstanding, the Authority said it would continue providing relief services to persons hard-hit by the exercise.
“The end of the controlled spillage notwithstanding, VRA is committed to continuing its relief and rehabilitation efforts until lives and livelihoods are restored.”
“VRA wishes to take this opportunity to acknowledge the various Government agencies and stakeholders for their support to the impacted communities.”
This comes as the flood waters have begun receding in all the affected areas.
The spillage began on September 15 and few days later, rendered parts of the Volta Region, Greater Accra Region and Eastern Region inundated.
It was reported that South Tongu, Central Tongu, North Tongu, Shai Osudoku, Anlo, Ada East and Asuogyaman districts were the hardest hit.
The situation has led to the displacement of over 26,000 residents, destruction of properties, loss of livelihoods and disruption of healthcare, education and other critical services in these areas.
The spillage exercise was described as a man-made disaster by a section of the public who held the VRA could have mitigated the effect with proactive measures and proper simulation exercise.
The VRA defended itself and blamed residents for ignoring their frequent sensitization. It said residents were reluctant to relocate, a claim victims have denied.
On Friday, October 13, the government announced a 13-member committee to coordinate the government’s response to the situation.
Headed by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare, it includes the Minister for National Security, Kan Dapaah, the Minister for Interior, Ambrose Dery, the Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister for Energy, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister for Local Government, Dan Botwe and the Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso Boakye.
The rest are the Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwaku Amoako Atta, the Minister for Environment, Kwaku Afriyie, the Minister for Sanitation, Freda Prempeh, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor and the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
The event also saw government officials, politicians, corporate institutions, agencies and religious bodies attend to the aid of the victims.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta, Minister for Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum and the Ghana Education Service, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President John Dramani Mahama, and others visited the victims.
Relief items such as water, food, blankets and mosquito nets were also donated to the victims.
The destruction by the flood runs into billions of cedis and calls have intensified for the government to compensate the victims.
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis Xavier Sosu and the Alliance of Feminists CSOs (AFCSOs) have been calling for decent compensation for the victims.
As Sosu tweeted, “VRA owed a duty of care to this community. They negligently breached this duty and must pay adequate compensation to alleviate the pain and suffering of these people. This is an unpardonable failure on the part of Engineers of VRA. Serious violations of rights to life and property.”
Ablakwa indicated his outfit was awaiting “non-negotiable…full compensation of all victims”.
The group of CSOs in a statement said, “We also call on the government to prepare adequate compensation for the victims to help minimize the impact of the flood especially the women and children as they would eventually be most affected in these areas.”
It is not known if the government will compensate the victims for their losses, however, the government has announced an amount of $40m will be disbursed to farmers affected by the spillage.