The Volta River Authority (VRA) has assured residents and communities affected by the latest spillage of the Akosombo Dam that no one will be left behind as the authority intensifies the distribution of relief items.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the VRA Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, the affected communities are direct neighbours of the authority and they will do everything possible to get them back to comfort.
“VRA vows to stand with these communities until the spilling ends. We are committed to intensifying the relief supplies for the affected communities,” a statement by the VRA said.
So far, in collaboration with NADMO, the VRA has provided relief items, such as canned food, rice, sugar, toiletries, boats, and hot meals estimated to be worth millions of Ghana cedis to the flood victims.
Additionally, the VRA is providing tanker water supply services for the impacted communities as well as potable drinking water to all victims who will need it.
On September 15, 2023, the Volta River Authority started a controlled spill from the Akosombo and Kpong Dams. This was due to the heavy rainfall in the Volta River catchment, resulting in a fast rise in the water level at Akosombo Dam. The spill was, therefore, necessary to prevent the overtopping of the dam and to protect the dam’s integrity.
However, by the beginning of October, the water level was still rising rapidly, exceeding the maximum operating level of 276 feet. Following persistent rains and a continued rise in the water level, VRA increased the spill rate from October 9, 2023.
This resulted in increased flooding in a number of communities in the North, South and Central Tongu Districts, as well as Ada East District.
Since the spill began, high-level members of VRA and NADMO have been present in the affected areas not only to assess the impact of the spill but also to provide large quantities of relief items as well as carry out educational drives on safety in the communities.
VRA and NADMO have provided and continue to provide evacuation to safe havens on higher ground for the affected victims.
The statement added,” In line with its already existing evacuation preparation plan, VRA intends to provide healthcare services as well for all the flood victims”.
For the past 13 years, VRA has been holding annual stakeholder sensitization workshops, without fail, for all the districts of the communities that will be impacted by a spill activity or a dam break. The workshops focus on the likely impacts and what people are to do when they get the notification.
The heavy rainfalls this year, especially within the Volta River catchment have resulted in the the rapid rise in the water level at the Akosombo Dam.
As part of its mandate to maintain the integrity of the Akosombo and Kpong Dams and prevent the overtopping of the dams, VRA started a controlled spill from the dams.
As the spills continued, the rains continued to pour heavily and the dam’s water level rose rapidly, exceeding the maximum operating level of 276 feet. VRA was then forced to increase the spill rate even further from October 9, 2023.