OccupyGhana calls for Commission of Inquiry to probe Akosombo dam spillage
Occupy Ghana has called on the government to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the Akosombo Dam water spillage to know the precise cause of the catastrophe and whether it was preventable.
The organisation expressed the firm believe that the totality of the matters met the constitutional standard of a matter of public interest and importance that warrant the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry as provided for under Chapter 23 of the Constitution.
A statement released by the organisation yesterday said the establishment of the commission could help identify those responsible and hold them accountable.
“If there are indications of criminal acts or negligence, we expect independent police investigations leading to prosecutions.
And if it was indeed an unforeseeable event, this experience has made it foreseeable and we need to know and understand the measures to be put in place to prevent such a disaster in the future,” it added.
The statement said the call for an independent Commission of Inquiry was rooted in the conviction that the full truth must be uncovered, lessons must be learned to safeguard Ghanaians and the future of the nation.
The pressure group also expressed concerns about the devastating consequences of the disaster and the extensive harm it had caused.
As the aftermath unfold, it said it had followed the official explanations provided for the situation but was, however, not satisfied.
“It strains belief that the rapid increase in water volume at the dam caught us completely off guard, leaving us with no alternative but a massive, destructive spillage.
“The gravity of this situation cannot be overstated and it is also alarming to even consider the scale of devastation that could have occurred had the dam faced complete failure, as tragically witnessed in Derna, Libya, resulting in the reported loss of over 11,000 precious lives,” the statement said.
The organisation said the concerns deepened as it contemplate the risk of similar disasters.
For example, it said almost every year, Burkina Faso opens valves of its Bagre Dam to spill excess water which routinely destroyed farmlands, food crops, livestock and houses in portions of northern part of the country.
The statement said that raised questions about the country’s preparedness and response mechanisms.
It said one critical aspect that demanded immediate attention was how people built along riverbanks in the catchment areas.
“We must acknowledge that settlements will continue to exist in these areas and the manner in which they are developed and constructed must change.
We must adapt to ensure that these communities are not unduly exposed to the risk of devastating floods,” the statement said.
It further expressed its gratitude to all those who had been involved in the mobilisation of emergency relief support for the displaced communities.
“Your dedication to providing aid in these challenging times is commendable and we appreciate your unwavering support,” the statement added.