Akosombo Dam spillage: Sanitation minister blames residents for refusing to evacuate

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The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Freda Prempeh, has blamed the victims of the Akosombo Dam spillage for failing to heed early warnings and evacuate to safe havens prior to the spillage which has caused havoc in Mepe and its surrounding communities.

According to her, there were simulation exercises organised and an attempt to relocate the victims of the flooding by the Volta River Authority, National Disaster Management Organisation, as well as the Water Resources Commission yet, they refused to leave.

In Madam Freda Prempeh’s view, if the residents of the affected areas had moved, the level of devastation would have been minimal.

“We don’t want what has happened in Akosombo to happen to us in Accra. The Akosombo spillage, even though VRA, NADMO, and the Water Resouces Commission came together to educate the people in the community, did a simulation exercise at Mepe, yet they refused to leave, they didn’t want to be evacuated, they stayed there till the end when we started spilling,” she said during a forum organised by Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL.

Speaking further, she expressed worry about the amount of funds that government would have to spend to assist the affected victims and bring them some form of relief.

“Unfortunately, look at what is happening, the government has to spend millions of money on relief items, the whole area the water is contaminated, and Ghana Water Company and Water Resources Commission will have to spend millions of money to treat the water before we can thrust into our pipes. So a stitch in time saves nine, “she said during the accounting to our customer/Media press bringing in Accra on Monday, October 23.

Meanwhile, over 20,000 people in the Volta and Greater Accra regions have been displaced following the flooding caused by the spillage. So far, the media, individual Ghanaians, CSOs and businesses are mobilizing support for the victims who are facing precarious economic and health challenges.

The VRA has committed GH¢20 million to alleviate the adverse impacts on the affected communities as a result of the unavoidable spillage of excess water into the Akosombo Dam.

Also, BKQ Foundation, an Accra-based NGO noted for its philanthropic projects, has donated assorted items including food stuff and cash to residents in three constituencies namely, North Tongu, South Tongu, and Ketu Northin the Volta Region.

Speaking at a short ceremony to present the items, Founder of the BKQ Foundation, Mr. Benjamin Kofi Quashiesaid “I came with my team to commiserate with our people who have been affected by this unfortunate and catastrophic situation.”

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