An Accra-based civil society organization, Upsilon Pi Delta Institute (UPDI), has conducted a field visit to assess the aftermath of the Akosombo Dam spillage.
The spillage, which occurred due to a combination of factors, including increased water levels and heavy rainfall, has left both negative and positive impacts on the affected communities.
In a press statement issued by UPDI, it stated that its representatives who traveled across the flooding areas to observe the situation says the spillage has had a significant adverse effect on the affected areas.
The statement noted that the rising water levels and heavy rainfall, have damaged homes, infrastructure, and agricultural lands, leading to the displacement of residents and loss of livelihoods. This has resulted in a challenging situation for the affected people, who are struggling to recover from the aftermath of the spillage.
It pointed out that poor preparation towards the spillage is evident that inadequate preparations
were not made to address the escalating situation, resulting in severe consequences for the affected communities.
The statement further added that the VRA monitoring failed to incorporate geographic information systems and variables within the Volta basin from the headwaters of the Fouta Djallon highlands in Guinea, weather patterns in Mali and Burkina Faso as well as the Oti River headwaters in northern Togo and Benin.
It reiterated that uncoordinated management of the relief process has been marred by under-staffing and a reliance on volunteers who may lack the necessary professional expertise and capacity to address the complex challenges posed by the spillage.
The statement noted that NADMO, an organisation set up in response to migration challenges of the 1980s has been found to be slow in responding to contemporary human insecurities and dynamic changes within the sphere of the risk society and forced migrations pose to humanity.
UPDI expressed concern over government’s response to providing support that has been marked by delays and sluggishness, which has exacerbated the suffering of the affected population adding that; while many government functionaries claim that sensitisation efforts were carried out prior to the dam spillage, the response of
the state agencies shows clearly that the state was unprepared and unaware of the consequences of the dam spillage.
It further stated that observations made during UPDI’s field visit underscore the urgent need for a coordinated and effective response to address the devastating effects of the Akosombo Dam spillage.
However, amidst the devastation, UPDI also observed moments of resilience and determination among the affected communities. Despite the difficulties they faced, the affected people have displayed remarkable strength and perseverance in coping with the situation. Local residents have come together to support each other by providing shelter, food, and other essential supplies to those in need.
This collective effort demonstrates the spirit of solidarity and community resilience in the face of adversity.
UPDI emphasizes the urgent need for comprehensive support and assistance to help the affected communities recover and rebuild their lives. They call upon the government, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to take immediate action and provide the necessary resources to aid in the rehabilitation process. Additionally, they stress the importance of implementing long-term measures to mitigate the impact of future spillages and ensure the safety and well-being of the communities living near the Akosombo Dam.
UPDI’s field visit report serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by the affected communities and the resilience they have shown during this difficult time. The findings of their assessment provide valuable insight to guide relief efforts and foster a more coordinated response from relevant authorities.
UPDI, therefore called upon all stakeholders, including government agencies, civil society organizations, and the international community, to prioritize the well-being and recovery of the affected communities.
The statement recommended that transparent and accountable relief efforts are essential to ensuring that aid reaches those who need it most, and the resilience and community spirit displayed by the affected people should be acknowledged and supported.
The statement concluded by urging all concerned parties to work together to alleviate the suffering caused by the spillage and to ensure a more prepared and resilient future for these communities.
Upsilon Pi Delta Institute (UPDI) is a civil society organisation based in Accra, with representatives across Ghana.
UPDI seek to contribute to the national development discourse and debates, asking critical questions and illuminating subject matters that are dear to the heart of many Ghanaians in particular, Africans and the international community.