The Disaster Management Committee of the south Tongu District Assembly met on Wednesday, 11th October 2023 at the District Chief Executive’s office to assess the impact of the spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong Dams on the people in the District. Amongst the people present were the Honourable Member of Parliament for South Tongu Constituency, the District Chief Executive, Hon. Seth Kwasi Agbi who also doubles as the chairman of the committee.
The Hon. District Chief Executive informed members that his office received a message from the Volta River Authority informing him of the high-water level of the Akosombo Dam which stood at 276.80 ft which was far above the maximum limit. Hence, the need for urgent spillage to avoid breakdown of the dam. He further indicated that the VRA had already started spilling water since Tuesday, 10th October 2023 and the aftermath was visible for all to see. He therefore invited the NADMO officer to brief the committee on the extent of damage on communities along the river and possible strategies to reduce the impact of the spillage.
The District NADMO Official led by the District Director, Hon. MP, Hon. DCE and other committee members toured some flood-prone community zones downstream of the river in the district to ascertain the level of the flood, due to the spillage. Amongst the communities visited were Agorme, Ziwoenu, Tsatsukope, Fievie, Sokpoe, Agbeve, Alikekope, Asidovui. The Committee in all these areas sympathized and engage community members on the need for them to be conscious ad ready to evacuate should the situation worsen.
Nine (9) communities from South Tongu District were totally submerged and the affected communities were as follows: Tefle, Vume, Sogakope North, Alikekope, Sokpoe, Tadze, Agordomi, Tadame, Anaosukope and other areas such as Comboni Technical School, GRIDCO Sub-station. Eight (8) Fish Farms namely Dongazi Fish Farm, Decko Fishpond, Best Fish Farm, Flosell Fish Farm, Eagle Farms, Gedza, Farms, Dordor Farms, Reinbees Farms and all the beach resorts along the river were also affected.
The NADMO officer, Mr Collins Avornu informed the committee that most of the communities along the Volta River had been affected. He added that the previous night’s spillage had submerged most of the communities leaving the people in disarray. According to him communities like Sokpoe, Tefle, Vume, Alikekope amongst others have all been submerged into the water.
The Member of Parliament for the Constituency, Hon. Mensah Kobla Woyome also indicated that the spillage had done a lot of damage than good because expertise were not engaged to study the impact before the spillage, dissemination of information on the spillage was also low coupled with the fact that the support or relief items were not ready. He concluded by saying both the first and second spillage have heavily impacted on the lives of people within the communities along the Volta River.
The committee having deliberated on the various issues surrounding the spillage, agreed to profess the following strategies or solutions to help minimize the impact including a field visit to the affected communities.
- Intensification of education to the populace
- Possible evacuation of people whose houses or homes have been submerged.
- Provision of wellington boots to affected communities.
- Removal of weeds around the Sogakope bridge for easy flow of the water
- Tanker services to supply water to some affected areas including health and educational facilities.
- Engagement of Community Information Centres (CICs) to carry out more education/sensitization on the spillage.
- Procurement of canoe to Anaosukope and some selected communities.
On 08:00 hours of Friday 15th, September to 11th October 2023, regarding the spillage of the Akosombo Dam of Water Level: 276.80 ft.
Spillage Situation: Currently 5,094 m3/s.
Turbine flow for power generation: 1,416 m3/s.
Expected Total Discharge: 6,512 m3/s.
Emergency Phase: 2
Inflows: High at this time of the year.
The finding(s) revealed that most of the flooded communities and farms were situated downstream the Volta River because of the dam, hence, the impact felt due to the spillage of the Akosombo dam. Thus, these communities were worse affected.
It is recommended that the Regional outfit liaises with the District Assembly and VRA to take pragmatic measures in addressing this situation by providing relief items, shelters and other logistics to the affected communities on time to avoid any unforeseen calamity.