https://www.myjoyonline.com/akosombo-dam-spillage-ablakwa-questions-governments-silence-on-resettling-victims/-------https://www.myjoyonline.com/akosombo-dam-spillage-ablakwa-questions-governments-silence-on-resettling-victims/

The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu in the Volta Region, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has lamented the government’s continuous silence on resettling victims of the flooding incident cause by the spillage of the Akosombo hydroelectric dam.

He said it was unfortunate for his constituents to continue living under harsh conditions in classrooms while grieving their loss..

Mr. Ablakwa was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a seven-member Accountability Council tasked to ensure equitable distribution of relief items received by the office of the MP and the victims.

He was bitter about the government’s refusal to allocate apartments at the Saglemi House Project to the victims, who have their basic human rights infringed upon, while living mostly in school structures.

“Nobody deserves to live in a classroom under those conditions, particularly when they [government] have refused to open Saglemi Housing Units for us to move to, which is not far from here.

"If they will not allow people to move to Saglami, then this is what they must do, reconstruct the houses - land is available - and compensation. The silence of the government is unacceptable”, he said.

Livelihoods have stalled in the North Tongu District as 69 of its riverine communities have suffered a flash flood, following the spillage of the Akosombo Dam.

Mr. Ablakwa, touching on this, chastised the Volta River Authority for exhibiting redundancy in compensating the victims who have lost lifetime investments, and properties to the man-made disaster.

He lamented that the Authority is yet to undertake any data collection, which could be used to verify and compensate the victims fairly.

“Why is the VRA silent on compensation? Why have they not asked the community leaders to submit data, the evidence and documentation which they could get on what has been lost?” he quizzed.

Livid Ablakwa condemned the authority’s inability to control the spillage of the dam to ensure less impact on communities along the downstream of the Volta Lake, as experienced in 2010.

He blamed the devastating impact of the spillage on negligence by officials of the hydroelectric dam and questioned why citizens should be subjected to such a man-made disaster at a time of advanced technology.

“People should not think that they can create this man-made disaster and get away with it”, he stressed adding that the parliamentary committee would do an extensive probe and bring persons culpable to book.

“In 2010, when you look into the records, the water level was much higher than this time and the spillage was done in a controlled and professional manner. We didn't see this level of destruction and devastation.

"This time when technology has improved, when things could be done in an improved way, when we have the benefit of hindsight, we have better know-how and expertise, we rather have this kind of very suicidal act. It was as if some wanted to commit murder."

"We will not accept this level of negligence and I am glad that parliament is going to look into it”, he stressed.

Background

69 communities experienced flash floods in the North Tongu District in the Volta Region when the Volta River Authority spilled water from its hydroelectric dam. The controlled spillage was carried out at the Kpong Dam as well.

The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) reported that about 27,000 residents were displaced by the floods along the lower Volta River in about 4 regions.

The preventive exercise which lasted between 15th September and 30th October 2023, compelled residents to abscond from their homes and seek shelter at about 15 safe havens.

The VRA in a press release that communicated the end of the spillage, assured of “continuing its relief and rehabilitation efforts until lives and livelihoods are restored”.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.



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