VRA starts stakeholder consultations towards spillage of Akosombo Dam  

By Maxwell Awumah

Ho, July 10, GNA – The Volta River Authority (VRA) has begun key stakeholder consultations over its intention to spill excess water from the Akosombo Dam with an inception meeting with the Volta Regional Coordinating Council in Ho. 

The team would move to North Tongu on Wednesday for a similar engagement and to the rest of the four districts, namely, Central Tongu, South Tongu, Anloga and Keta, all in the region. 

Mr Ken Arthur, VRA’s Deputy Chief Executive, Services, breaking the ice, said the meeting formed part of VRA’s continuous dialogue with major actors in the power generation and disaster management enterprise. 

He said the impact of the precautionary potential spillage by VRA’s modelling was minimal, noting that that was just an expectation which also could be dependent on developments in the Dam. 

He disclosed that many of the communities were currently inundated by rainwater with swampy patches and ponds holding some amount of water from their findings. 

The Deputy Chief Executive said when it becomes necessary, about 50,000 cubic feet per second volume of water would be spilled. 

Mr Abdul Noor Wahab, Director, Department of Water Resources and Renewable Energy, said the impact of the proposed 2024 precautionary spill from the Akosombo Dam had demonstrated that the water channel would hold much of the spill. 

“Inundation is usually experienced in places where people have developed in the water channel with low lying areas particularly Keta Lagoon protected area, Havui, Azizanya among others are highly susceptible to flooding from natural causes like high tides and heavy rains.” 

He said by their modelling and findings people living within the water channel would be impacted from the precautionary spill and expected recordings of between 0.3 to six centimetres of water, adding, many of the wetlands were already holding the resource. 

Dr Archibald Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, said VRA’s initiative was a step in the right direction recounting from the 2023 spillage experience that started from 20,00 CFS to 187,000 CFS that created lots of problems for all. 

He urged the VRA to redouble their engagements with the Regional and District Disaster Management Committees and called for deeper relationship between the power generator, the media, and Members of Parliament. 

“We believe that this time around, we shall pull everyone along.” 

Mr Seji Saji, Deputy Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), disclosed that since the end of the spillage, last year, his outfit continued to be inundated with the challenge of having to carry along communities, that suffered from the disaster. 

He however said one positive aspect of the spillage disaster was the establishment of a contingency plan and hotspot mapping for the nine Municipalities and Districts that were struck heavily in the heat of the spillage.  

He suggested a table-top simulation exercise for all nine districts in Volta, Greater Accra, and Eastern Regions, which would bring actors together including Regional and District Disaster Management Committees to dialogue on the way-forward in readiness for a future spillage disaster. 

The Deputy Director-General recommended that District Disaster Management Committees co-opted human resources in their authorities into their committees to make such a grouping more responsive to disaster management.  

“Let us mainstream humanitarian aspect of disaster spillages since we cannot refuse to spill water, when the Dam is getting inundated,” adding that haven management must be topical. 

The VRA begun releasing excess water from the Akosombo Dam in September 2023, which lasted until October 30, 2023, affecting numerous districts, displacing about 39,000 people, and destroying property worth millions of Ghana cedis. 

It was to save the structural integrity of the Akosombo Dam from total collapse.