Several communities in eight Districts, mostly in the Volta Region, as well as the Eastern and Greater Accra Regions, have been displaced by the Dam spillage, and the Vice president Dr. Bawumia made the donation to support the victims during his visit to some affected communities in the Volta Region on Wednesday October 17, 2023.
So far, the Government, through the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and the Inter-Ministerial Committee set up by Government to manage the disaster, has responded by evacuating affected people to 20 holding centers, and provided emergency relief items.
He said this is necessary to safeguard the dam, lives, livelihoods, and properties amidst the threat posed by climate change.
He was speaking during a tour of communities in the South and Central Tongu Districts flooded by the spilled water from the Akosombo Dam.
“10 years ago, our worry was about the low level of water in the dam, today we are worried about the high level of the water in the dam. So climate change is bringing in new situations that we have to handle, and so I want to challenge the VRA and NADMO, let us start thinking of long-term solutions to this spillage from the dam. Is there a way we can manage the spillage?
Of course, I am not an engineer, so I want you the engineers to handle it. But one thing I have thought of is why can’t we have pipelines to the sea. But this is just someone who is not abreast in your field. Can we manage this spillage in a way that does not flood the immediate areas, divert the water as far as into the sea?”, he quizzed.
He recalled that the last time a spillage of the dam caused such havoc was 60 years ago, which led to some riverine communities migrating to their present settlement.
Dr. Bawumia commiserated with the over 26,000 residents displaced by the spillage in the 8 affected districts.
He indicated that the government was looking beyond just giving out relief items but providing sustainable livelihood support, to put back on track the lives of the victims.
“As you know, an inter-ministerial committee has been set up. VRA and NADMO are fully engaged in providing relief and the Ministry of Agriculture has also been tasked to start looking at how we will restore the livelihoods of the farmers along the banks of the river who have been displaced. And so beyond just providing temporary relief, we are looking at a more sustained approach to the victims so that they can restore the livelihoods that they have”, he said.
Dr. Bawumia’s personal donation, it was explained, is to complement the support government has so far offered to the displaced victims.
While expressing his sympathies, the Vice President also assured victims that government is not only committed to providing emergency solutions, but also committed to providing relief to restore the livelihoods of those affected.
“When I look into the eyes of our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers who are seated here, I see so much sadness. Their lives have been turned upside down as a result of what has happened,” Dr. Bawumia said.
“These are people who were going about their normal duties every day to take care of themselves, but now they have to really depend on others for livelihood and I am saddened by that.”
“I want to assure that government will do everything possible to assist the affected people to provide relief and also restore the livelihood of those affected.
“We are not only looking at temporary relief, but we are also looking at a more sustained support through the Inter-Ministerial Committee, so that those affected can restore their livelihoods.”
Among communities the Vice President visited were: New Bakpa in Central Tongu District as well as Sogakope and Sokpoe, both in the South Tongu District.
The Vice President was accompanied by the Interior Minister Ambrosse Dery, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Volta Regional Minister Archibald Letsa, the District Chief Executive of South Tougn District Assembly, Hon. Seth Kwasi Agbi, the District Chief Executive of North Tougn District Hon. Divine Osborn kwadzo Fenu, District Chief Executive of Central Tougn District Assembly Hon. Thomas Moore Zonvrah, officials of NADMO and the VRA.