At least 31,000 individuals in nine districts have been displaced after excess water was spilt from the Akosombo and Kpong dams, the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) has confirmed
No deaths had been reported in relation to the flood.
Farmlands have also been completely submerged, with growing fears of an increase in poverty level in the affected communities due to the loss of livelihoods of the communities which are known for fishing and farming.
Many organizations have called for immediate interventions to prevent the breakout of communicable diseases in the affected areas after the flooding. The Volta Health Network has warned of an epidemic following the spillage of the Akosombo Dam.
It asserted that the flood incidents could result in the outbreak of communicable and other contagious diseases, hence advising the practice of the necessary health precautionary measures.
The Volta River Authority (VRA) – operators of the dam – have provided mobile toilets and working with the Ghana Health Service to treat displaced persons in mobile clinics. Fourteen of the mobile toilets have been sent to Mepe and 10 to Adidome in North Tongu and the water supply system has been restored to the Aveyime community.
So far, in collaboration with NADMO, the VRA has provided relief items, such as canned food, rice, sugar, toiletries, boats, and hot meals to the flood victims.
The Volta River Authority (VRA) commenced the spillage of excess water in the Akosombo and Kpong hydro dams on September 15, 2023.
The spillage has forced many communities in the north, south, and Central Tongu districts of the Volta Region to evacuate, leaving them with no choice but to try and salvage what’s left of their belongings.
While the current inflow to the reservoir is pegged at 400,000 cubic feet of water per second, the authority says it is spilling just about 183,000 cubic feet of water, and they cannot ascertain when the spilling exercise will be over.
Despite criticism from some individuals and civil society organizations, NADMO officials have justified their actions, stating that the victims were adversely affected by the Akosombo Dam spillage because they did not take the warnings seriously.
George Ayisi, the Director of Communications explained that residents were caught off guard as previous warnings of a possible spillage in 2022 did not materialize. He emphasized that NADMO had conscientiously conducted awareness and sensitization efforts, including simulation exercises in May 2023, to prepare residents for the potential disaster.
Mr. Ayisi clarified that they had worked with the Volta River Authority (VRA) to create an emergency preparedness plan, which included the simulation exercises involving communities in the area. He pointed out that the warnings had been issued, but some residents didn’t believe the spillage would occur because past warnings had not resulted in action.