The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says it is unacceptable that five months after the spillage of the Akosombo Dam no concrete action has been taken by the government to restore victims to their previous lives.
The government budgeted more than GH₵200 million to resettle victims but these funds have not been disbursed yet.
Speaking at the commissioning of housing units for 300 affected victims, Mr Ablakwa urged the government to address the situation promptly, stressing that tents are unsuitable for long-term habitation, especially as the seasons change.
“His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, remember your oath of office. The oath of office that they swore enjoins them to be fair to all manner of persons. I just want to ask, is it fair that for five months and counting displaced persons, they have committed no crimes, are still living in tents?”
While acknowledging the completion of new homes for some victims, Mr Ablakwa highlighted that it only covered a fraction of the displaced population.
“Yes, thanks to First Sky we delivered the first 300 (homes), today we are delivering the next 300. But that is only 600. According to NADMO, 12,633 people were displaced. So, we are only taking care of the number on top of the 12,000. We are all taxpayers. As a Member of Parliament, I know that every year we approve what is known as a contingency fund.”
“Under Article 177 of the constitution, the contingency fund is supposed to take care of emergency situations of this nature. Where is the money approved for the contingency fund? And when would the 2024 allocation be released?” Mr Ablakwa quizzed.
Read also: Okudzeto Ablakwa inaugurates homes for 300 victims of Akosombo Dam spillage
This comes months after the Volta River Authority (VRA) commenced water spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong dams.
The exercise, which began on September 15, 2023, due to a consistent rise in the inflow pattern and water level of the Akosombo reservoir, led to the overflow of the Volta River.
This resulted in massive flooding and displacement of settlements in about nine different district assemblies in the Volta and Eastern regions including North, Central and South Tongu District Assemblies, Asuogyaman, Shai Osudoku and Ada.
The flooding submerged the communities and displaced close to 15,000 people in the Volta, Eastern, and Greater Accra Regions.
Subsequently, on Thursday, October 19, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and the First Sky Group cut sod to begin a housing project to relocate about 12,000 North Tongu constituents affected by the flood.
On February 10, Mr Ablakwa and the First Sky Group inaugurated the second phase of the housing project meant for constituents
Meanwhile, Mr Ablakwa in his speech called on the government interministerial committee on flood and the Volta River Authority to honour the invitations of chiefs and the victims for engagement on how to restore them to normalcy.
The North Tongu MP added that “I look forward to the parliamentary inquiry because we have never seen anything on this scale. VRA has been discharging since 1968. The last one was in 2010. We never saw this level of devastation. Something went amiss this time and I’m not going to prejudice the parliamentary inquiry but I look forward to it and I hope my colleagues in the House will expedite action.”
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