VRA spends GH¢9m on flood victims
The Volta River Authority (VRA) has so far spent GH¢9 million to mitigate the plight of the 36,000 people who were displaced by floods following the recent spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong dams.
The amount was part of the GH¢ 20 million voted by the authority to help improve the lives of the flood victims.
Addressing the press in Accra yesterday, the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Services at the VRA, Ken Arthur, said the authority had since intensified efforts to alleviate the pain and discomfort of the affected people.
He said it was gratifying to note that no life had been lost under the situation.
“Acknowledging the many challenges facing the affected communities, VRA and the entire relief team are engaged in regular supply of food items such as rice, maize, beans, gari, sugar, mackerel, cooking oil, palm oil, tomato paste, groundnuts, biscuits, fruit juice, powdered milk and drinking water.
“Other non-food relief items include mosquito repellent creams, mosquito nets, blankets, mattresses, solar-powered lanterns with telephone charging features, sanitary items and many more,” he said.
The VRA, Mr Arthur said, had also carried out a number of humanitarian efforts, including the deployment of water tankers to consistently make water available to the affected people and the provision of medical items and personnel to screen and administer medical treatment to emerging health issues.
He said the authority provided buses, trucks and pick-up vehicles to assist in the internal transportation of both goods and affected people, restored the damaged community water supply pumps in Aveyime, installed a potable water treatment system at the St. Kizito School, a safe haven in Mepe, and with the support of the Ministry of Energy distributed 5,000 solar lamps to the various camps.
Together with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Mr Arthur noted that power supply had been reconnected to the St. Kizito safe haven in Mepe.
“Zoomlion has been contracted to provide mobile toilets, service them and also provide sanitation services at the safe havens.
An access road has been created in Mepe to the St. Kizito centre to avoid accessing by boat.”
Again, he said there had been the clearance of weeds from the Sogakope bridge to facilitate the flow of the river into the ocean.
“We wish to assure the public that VRA will continue to monitor the situation and provide the needed support, together with National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the other relevant agencies, to ensure the well-being of the affected communities.
“The authority reiterates that no one will be left behind in this emergency situation,” he emphasised.
The VRA, Mr Arthur said, empathised with all the affected persons and was unwavering in its commitment to work with NADMO and all relevant agencies to bring relief and assistance to the victims.
When the issue started, he said the VRA deployed an all-hands-on-deck approach and, in collaboration with NADMO, the various district assemblies and other related security and emergency services, worked round the clock to ensure the protection of lives and livelihoods in those affected areas through the evacuation of victims to designated safe havens.
“Under the leadership of our Chief Executive, Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, we have deployed our Emergency Preparedness Unit, the Community Relations Unit, the Environment and Sustainable Development Team, the VRA Hospital 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 firsthand and provide real-time support,” he revealed.
The VRA, he said, was compelled to commence controlled spillage of 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.
He said on October 9, 2023, the spill rate was increased to phase two due to persistent rainfall which resulted in continuous rise of the water level in the Akosombo Dam.
“This event, which was unforeseeable and unavoidable, was carried out in accordance with statutes and all regulatory requirements,” he said.
The flooding has affected several communities within parts of the Volta, Greater Accra and Eastern regions.
The districts affected include North Tongu, Central Tongu, South Tongu, Anlo and the Keta Municipality in the Volta Region.
The rest are Asuogyaman and Lower Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region, and Shai Osudoku and Ada East in the Greater Accra Region, with Mepe in the North Tongu District being the worst hit community.
Responding to a question on the current state of the spillage, he said, “there are clear signs that the water is receding”.
Throwing more light on what the authority was currently doing, the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Finance, Dr Ebenezer Tagoe, said GH¢ 9 million had been spent on the procurement of food items, among other things, so far.
For his part, the Public Relations Officer of NADMO, George Ayisi, said the organisation was grateful to the authority for its collaborative efforts to support the victims of the flooding.