Akosombo Dam Spillage: Gov’t has released GH₵40m for relief effort

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The Government has, so far, made available GHS 40 million towards provision of relief items to persons affected by the Akosombo Dam Spillage.

The funds went into provision of food items, clean water, shelter, medical supplies, toilet booths, clothing, and solar lamps for the flood victims in eight districts downstream the Volta Lake across three regions.

The Government did the disbursement of the funds through the National Disaster Management Organisation( NADMO) and the Volta River Authority (VRA).

The Government has also allocated GHS220 million in the 2024 Budget towards the Restoration Phase of the recovery process.

Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the Chief of Staff and Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on floods, announced this at the Minister’s news briefing in Accra on Wednesday.

The briefing was to update the public on the Government’s interventions and emergency response following the spillage of the dam in September, this year.

Madam Osei-Opare said the government would also source additional funding from the World Bank and Climate Change Agencies towards the restoration of livelihoods of the affected persons.

The Committee on floods, she said, was set up by the President to ensure effective and timely relief and rehabilitation efforts for the affected communities.

It had also collaborated with relevant ministries and agencies, including the VRA, NADMO, Environmental Protection Agency, Water Resources Commission and Ghana Hydraulic Authority, as well as the Roads and Highways, Health, Education and Water and Sanitation ministries to achieve its objectives, she said.

The Chief of Staff pledged the government’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that the last family in safe havens return home and restore their livelihoods.

She empathised with the victims and their families and commended all well-meaning Ghanaians for making handsome donations in cash and kind to the affected communities.

She also lauded the media for bringing to light the deplorable conditions in the affected communities and joining forces with the government to solicit support for the affected persons.

Mr Seji Saji, the Deputy Director-General, NADMO, said 39,333 persons were affected by the spillage in eight districts in Volta, Eastern and Greater Accra regions.

Of the figure, over 20,000 of them were staying with family and friends while 9,000 were sheltered in safe havens.

He said quite a considerable number of the affected persons had returned to their homes after the floods receded.

This, he said, was after they had fumigated their homes, and a structural integrity assessment was done by an Inter-Agency organisation in the affected communities.

Dr Yaw Osei-Adutwum, the Minister of Education, said his Ministry had worked closely with the District Directorate of Education of the affected communities to ensure pupils and teachers return to school.

He said more than 42,000 pupils and teachers were affected by the floods and that measures had been put in place to ensure they resume lessons in earnest.

The Ministry was making efforts to procure textbooks and other teaching and learning materials for 121 basic schools that were affected and had their teaching materials destroyed by the floods.

Mr Bob Alfa, the Deputy Executive Director, Water Resources Commission, said an assessment done by the Commission in the affected communities indicated that flood waters and underground water sources like hand pump boreholes had been contaminated by bacteria pathogens.

Therefore, it would not be advisable to drink or bath with the water, unless it is treated.

In the interim, he said, it had provided Chlorine tablets for purification purposes and, thus, entreated the people to boil the water before use. Efforts were also underway to provide clay filters for the people, he added.

So far, there has been no outbreak of water borne diseases in the flood affected communities, Mr Alfa stated.

The Volta River Authority on 15th September 2023, opened the spillways of the Akosombo and Kpong dams after the water volumes exceeded the required limit, which risked the integrity of the dams.

In view of that, the communities downstream the Volta Lake got flooded and many residents in eight districts across three regions displaced.

Anloga, South Tongu, North Tongu, Central Tongu, Assuogyaman, Lower Menya, Ada East and Shai-Osudoku districts were adversely affected by the spillage.

The controlled spillage by the VRA ended on 30th October 2023.

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