The Volta River Authority (VRA) knew that the Volta Lake got full way back in December 2022 and should have spilled gradually, not in the manner it has done, South Dayi Member of Parliament Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor has indicated.
He accused the VRA of acting unprofessionally in the manner in which the spillage was done.
The opposition lawmaker stated that the VRA knew way in advance that “the lake has been pregnant with water for so long.”
“So from April, May, clearly you had to spill. I saw the water levels and I knew the level I was seeing the lake was full, it is the late spillage that has caused this flood problem,” he said on Key Points on TV3 on Saturday, October 21.
He added “There was something wrong fundamentally with the spillage that was done this time. The VRA acted unprofessionally in the manner it has done.”
He added “I have classmates and seniors who are engineers there, they tell me that the dam practically was vibrating, and people were running out of the offices but this is not something they can come out and tell you.”
His side of the House, the Minority, has demanded a thorough investigation into the flood that was caused by the spillage of the Akosombo Dam.
They are accusing the VRA of causing the ‘man-made’ disaster. The Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson further expressed disappointment at the way the VRA was going about its relief support to the people.
Dr Ato Forson told journalists after leading the leadership of the Minority to inspect the affected communities that have been affected on Friday, October 20 that “We have Saglemi sitting idle, the government must ensure that they house the people of these 11 affected communities for this constituency properly. We are suggesting that as a matter of urgency, they can relate them temporarily to the Saglemi Housing project.”
The Ajuamko Enyan Essiam lawmaker added “we are disappointed in the Volta River Authority, we believe that their conduct has not been good enough, they have not engaged communities and we in the NDC particularly in Parliament, will investigate this matter.
“We urge the Energy Committee from our side to start the process of instituting a probe into this matter immediately. Aside from this, we also believe that the VRA has not been proactive, after causing this man-made disaster their donations are coming in in trickles. A strong institution such as VRA should have done better what they are doing, we urge them to also start.”
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto accused the Volta River Authority (VRA) of causing the disaster hence the authority must compensate the victims.
“The media has been phenomenal in highlighting the grave levels of devastation following the VRA-induced disaster. We are exceedingly grateful. The over 12,000 displaced constituents of mine will never forget you. Kudos TV3 for your comprehensive coverage from the ground at prime time this morning. Together we shall survive this man-made disaster and secure justice for all victims,” he tweeted.
He further stated that “Yesterday we cut sod for construction to begin on a First Sky Group housing project to relocate a good number of my 12,000 beloved displaced constituents. First Sky’s subsidiary known as Construction Ambassadors are executing the project which they promise to complete in record time. As our contribution, we are offering free land at all agreed three locations. Additionally, we stand ready to provide communal labour support.
“The relocation will begin to restore the dignity of my beloved constituents, ensure they live in much healthier conditions, and free the 21 schools being used as safe havens so our children can return to school. North Tongu shall never forget the generosity and humanity of the First Sky Group. May God bless you all bountifully. Together, we shall survive this man-made disaster.”
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the VRA, Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa said that the lake was experiencing inflows more than expected hence the spillage was going to continue.
“We are on phase II [of the spillage] right now and it is a cycle. It is normal at this time of the year for us to experience inflows. The difference is that we are getting more than expected and to safeguard this dam means that we have to spill water, that is the standard operation for any hydro dam but the inflows that we are seeing now are in excess.
“Definitely, as the cycle goes through this will recede so we are hoping it will recede in the next time,” he told journalists on Thursday, October 12.
“The spilling may continue even though we are anticipating that the levels may drop down to phase 1, which was started on September 15 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,” he added.
The VRA was accused of neglecting its responsibilities in the Lower Volta Basin hence the huge impact of flood caused by spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong Dams on communities.