VRA must engineer mechanisms to better manage dam spillages – Paramount Chief of Klefe

The Paramount Chief of Klefe Traditional Area, Togbe Koku Dzaga XI has advised the Volta River Authority (VRA) to engineer mechanisms to better manage spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong Dams.

This he said would prevent spilling from causing devastation to communities, as experienced in 2023 along the lower Volta in the Volta, Greater Accra and Eastern Regions.

He made the assertion when he led a delegation to present some relief items to support victims of the spillage in the Battor and Mepe Traditional Areas in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region.

The delegation presented bags of cereals, thrifts, and water among others to help the victims traverse through these difficult times.

The Manklalo of the Mepe Traditional Area, Torgbe Korsi Nego VI blamed VRA for the devastation caused.

He said the Authority could have begun spillage in June when the water levels started rising to avert such catastrophe brought on his people who now live under tents and struggling to survive.

“They should have opened the dam in June, so the water spills in small quantities and enters the river or sea. But they closed it and began spillage when the water level was so high and they were scared it would cause damage to the dam.

We those who had never witnessed such an incident were so scared. We thought the entire area would be flooded. But by the grace of God we moved those in the affected areas to higher grounds”, he said.

Torgbe Korsi Nego VI thanked the Klefe Traditional Area for their support in these difficult times.

The Paramount Chief of the Battor Traditional Area and Vice President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs asserted that victims are yet to recover from the effects of the flooding

Togbe Patamia Dzekley VII said the magnitude of the devastation caused in 32 communities in his area was so huge it would take some time and great efforts to restore normalcy.

“If I tell you that Battor suffered a great deal, you may not believe it. Total number of communities affected was 32. When you crossover to the other side, it was so devastating. Some [people] have been displaced. We went as close as Volo because we shared a boundary with the Volo Traditional Area.

Our people have not fully recovered from the effects of the flooding”, he lamented.

Togbe Koku Dzaga XI lamented the unfortunate incident of the flooding and lauded the unity of the residents who worked together to ensure no lives were lost.

He said his people shared in the pain of the Mepe and Battor Traditional Areas and hence pulled resources together to support the affected persons.

He, however, questioned the inability of the VRA to better manage the situation leading to such damages and failing to explain to Ghanaians what led to the man-made disaster, and if lessons had been learnt to avert such unfortunate incidents in the future.

“If the Authority has been supervising the dam for over 50 years and unable to explain to us what led to the man-made disaster, and those directly tasked to oversee the dam to prevent such unfortunate incidents are still at post and receiving salaries, I am at a loss here.

So, what VRA should do for us is to tell us what went wrong, and they had to spill all the water at a go, so we can learn from it. But if they are keeping it to their chest, then it means nothing has been learned and it will happen again.

But this sort of incident should not occur again and again, so we are requesting VRA to tell us what went wrong and encourage us that they would find a solution to it and promise us it won’t happen again because this was not the first time”, he said.

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Source: myjoyonline.com