Thomas Musah — General  Secretary of GNAT
Thomas Musah — General Secretary of GNAT

Akosombo Dam spillage: GNAT rallies support for victims

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has backed calls for a state of emergency to be declared in areas affected by the floods in the Volta Region following the opening of the Akosombo Dam.

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That, it said, was because of the circumstances under which a state of emergency could be declared, whether natural or manmade disasters, was being experienced currently.

It said the situation was not only threatening the very existence of the people, but also depriving the communities of the essentials of life.

“The declaration of the emergency would secure public safety, maintenance of public order and guarantee the supply of essential goods and services required by the communities,” it said in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Thomas Musah. 

Spillage

Tracts of land, including farmlands and communities downstream the Akosombo and Kpong dams, have been flooded following the spillage of excess water from the two dams used to generate about a third of Ghana’s electricity supply.

The VRA started the spillage at the Akosombo and Kpong dams, both in the Eastern Region, from September 15, 2023, following a rise in the water level of both reservoirs due to appreciable levels of rainfall.

In the South Tongu District capital, Sogakope, for instance, the Comboni Centre, which houses the Comboni Hospital, mortuary, technical vocational institute, basic schools, and the

In Vitro laboratory has been closed down.  

More than 893 basic school children in the district are now loitering after five basic schools were shut in the area over mounting health and safety concerns in the wake of the floods.

The children include 395 boys and 498 girls.

The affected schools are Cuniberto RC Memorial Basic School in Sogakope, Anaosukope PCG Primary School in Sokpoe, Sogakope RC Basic School, Gonu Agbokope DA Primary School, and Gonu RC Basic School.

The spillage affected almost all the communities along the lower Volta Basin, resulting in widespread power cuts in the affected communities.

The GRIDCo sub-station in Fievie, Sogakope, in the Volta Region, was also inundated with floodwaters, leading to the shutting down of the station.

GNAT asked teachers in the region to remain steadfast and calm, and assured them of “our utmost assistance to enable them to carry out their duties when the storm is over.

Our learners are also not left out, as we would make sure their education is neither disrupted nor thwarted for whatever reason”.

It called on the government and international bodies and agencies to go to the immediate aid of the affected communities following the spillage from Akosombo.

That, it said, was to bring relief to the people and save them from further calamity. 

Solidarity

The statement expressed solidarity with the people of the Volta Region, as a result of the calamity which had befallen them because of the spillage of the voluminous amounts of water from the Akosombo Dam by the Volta River Authority.

“Footages of scenes from the region are indeed catastrophic, with the whole place inundated with water, and buildings, farmlands and personal belongings submerged.

It is indeed a pitiful sight to behold, and our hearts go out to them!

“The situation is quite tragic, more so when it is manmade.

We of the GNAT wonder, whether the people lower stream the dam were educated or warned of the fate that awaited them, arising out of the spillage, and the steps to take so as not to be overwhelmed as is now the case.

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If this was not done, then this is unfortunate, and we wonder how fellow compatriots would overcome it in this era of austerity and economic malaise,” it said. 

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