VRA commits GH¢20m to flood victims


The Volta River Authority (VRA) has allocated GH¢20million to address the ongoing challenges caused in some communities as a result of the Akosombo and Kpong Dams’ spillage.

Of this amount, the Authority has spent GH¢9million so far on the procurement and provision of food and relief items for the affected communities.

This was made known when the Authority engaged media in Accra on its humanitarian support for victims of the floods.

“VRA has also committed GH¢20million toward alleviating the adverse impacts on affected communities as a result of the unavoidable spillage of excess inflow at the Akosombo and Kpong Dams,” said VRA’s Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Services, Ken Arthur.

The move, according to Mr. Arthur, goes to acknowledge the many challenges while also empathising with affected communities and persons.

“VRA deployed an all-hands-on-deck approach, and in collaboration with NADMO, various District Assemblies and other related security and emergency services are working round the clock to ensure protection of lives and livelihoods in those affected areas through the evacuation of victims to designated safe havens. It is gratifying to note that no life has been lost in this emergency situation,” he expressed.

“It is something that is on-going, but at the last count we had spent about GH¢9million toward the procurement of food items and all the things which have been done so far. But in total, VRA is committed to spending an amount of GH¢20million toward making life comfortable for those who have been affected by the floods,” the Authority’s Deputy Chief-Finance, Dr. Ebenezer Tagoe, further said.

Apart from food items provided to affected persons, other non-food relief items procured include mosquito-repellent creams, mosquito nets, blankets, mattresses, solar-powered lanterns with telephone charging features, sanitary items and many more.

In addition to humanitarian efforts to address the issue, the Authority has also deployed water-tankers to make water consistently available for the affected people; provided medical items and personnel to screen and administer medical treatment to emerging health issues; and provided buses, trucks and pick-up vehicles to assist in the internal transportation of both goods and affected people.

It has also restored damaged community water supply pumps in Aveyime; installed a portable water treatment system at the St. Kizito School in Mepe; and distributed 5,000 solar lamps to various safe havens with support from the Ministry of Energy, among other interventions, to bring some relief in the affected areas.

According to Mr. Arthur, the Authority was compelled to commence controlled spillage of the excess inflows into the Akosombo and Kpong Hydro-electric Dams on September 15, 2023, which was within the various graduated stages of the EPP phase 1 spillage rate. On October 9, 2023, the spill rate was increased to phase 2 due to persistent rainfall that resulted in a continuous rise of the water level at the Akosombo Dam.

This event, which he described as “unforeseeable and unavoidable”, was carried out in accordance with statutes and all regulatory requirements.

The spillage however led to flooding in several communities within parts of the Volta, Greater Accra and Eastern Regions.

The districts affected include North Tongu, Central Tongu, South Tongu, Anlo and Keta municipality in the Volta Region. The rest are Asuogyaman and Lower Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region; Shai Osudoku and Ada East in the Greater Accra Region – with Mepe township in the North Tongu district of Volta Region being the worst-hit community.

Current figures collated by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) stand at about 36,000 affected people so far – thankfully, with no lives lost.

“We have deployed our Emergency Preparedness Unit, Community Relations Unit, Environment and Sustainable Development Team, VRA Hospitals Team, VRA security section and others to the affected communities. And we are literally living among them in their respective communities, to experience their issues at first-hand and provide real-time support.

“We wish to assure the public that VRA will continue monitoring the situation and provide the needed support together with NADMO and other relevant agencies, in order to ensure the well-being of affected communities,” Mr. Arthur assured.

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