The ongoing spillage of the Akosombo Dam by the Volta River Authority (VRA) has taken a catastrophic turn as the move has become an environmental disaster for inhabitants and businesses in many communities in the downstream section of the dam’s catchment area.
The 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.
In recent days, this controlled spillage has intensified to address the persistently rising water levels, which posed a significant threat to the dams.
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.
Tragically, this spillage has led to catastrophic flooding in numerous fishing communities, displacing hundreds of residents.
Affected areas include settlements in the Asuogyaman District, which include Kokonte Kpedzi, Abume, Kudikope, Ahenbrom, Dzidzokope, Mama Kope, and many others.
Residents in communities in the North, Central and South Tongu Districts and Anlo of the Volta Region are also counting their losses after the spillage of excess water.
Numerous houses have been submerged, and fish cages containing substantial quantities of fish have been swept away, with others resulting in the death of fish due to high turbidity and shock.
In Kokonte Kpedzi, seven children have been reported injured, several houses have collapsed, and fish cages were carried away by the surging waters.
This disaster highlights the urgent need for coordinated response and support for the affected communities and emphasizes the importance of proactive communication and assistance from authorities.
Many communities, private and even some state institutions affected by the floods blame VRA for poor communication and preparedness hence the devastation.
Story by: Isaac Clottey