For some years spillage induced flood continues to pose a challenge to residents, especially those living along the flood plains.
It has remained a recurring event which everyone, including the authorities, know will happen yet, by some curious streak, it manages to take everyone by surprise. It has happened again this year, first was the spillage of the Weija Dam and then The Volta River Authority (VRA) initiated controlled spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong Dams on September 15, 2023, due to a consistent rise in water levels upstream of the Akosombo Dam, primarily caused by heavy rainfall.
According to available data, as of October 10, 2023, the water level in the Volta Lake measured 276.65 ft, marking an increase of 0.22 ft compared to the previous day.
The spill situation reached 2,547 m3/s, while the turbine flow for power generation stood at 1,416 m3/s. The expected total discharge was estimated at 3,986 m3/s.
Affected areas include Kokonte Kpedzi, Abume, Kudikope, Ahenbrom, Dzidzokope, Mama kope, and many others.
Simon Amedzake, a local fisherman, expressed the dire situation, stating, “Thousands of fishes are dead and being harvested. We used cables to hook some of the cages to trees to salvage them from being carried away. In fact, the situation is bad. Many investments have been lost, and sources of livelihood have been disrupted. We need VRA to compensate us because they didn’t inform us.”
What happened at Akosombo, was to a large extent not a natural occurrence, and so the situation could have been mitigated through proactive measures and plans by the authourities whose duty it is to ensure that the people likely to be affected are put in a position to manage the situation.
It is not contestable that disaster management goes beyond bags of rice, blankets and mattresses. Those, though useful, are hardly sufficient to give the required succour to distraught victims of the disaster. They are, at best, reactions when the harm is already done.
The appropriate thing to do involves taking actions that are long term and long lasting to prevent these types of spillage, in the first instance, from causing the type of dislocation in the lives of the people that has remained dreadful, even if neglected.
The necessity for the Volta River Authourity and the Weija Dam to release water on a yearly basis from it reservoirs become inevitable, what the government ought to do is to build a dams to collect the water from these sources, so as to prevent it from having a free rein on territories on its path with the attendant damages it is capable of causing.
Our worry as a newspaper is that if the country is so incapable of managing predictable flood from dams, what will happen if the country is to experience God forbid, storms hurricanes etc.