Akosombo Dam spillage floods: GMA mobilizes to assist flood victims
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has welcomed the formation of an Inter-ministerial Committee to help address the flooding and related issues following the spillage from the Akosombo Dam and has started mobilizing doctors from all over to assist flood victims.
"The Association is mobilizing our members, logistics and other resources to support relief efforts in the affected communities and will continue to monitor the situation," the GMA said in a press statement, jointly signed and issued on Monday (Oct 16, 2023) by Dr. Frank Serebour, GMA President and Dr. Richard Selormey, Ag. General Secretary.
It said the move was to help with the provision of emergency healthcare and support, prevention of possible outbreaks of water-borne diseases, risk communication and ensuring continuity of essential health services as a fundamental to a response of this nature.
The GMA, however expressed concern about the exclusion of the Minister of Health from the Inter-ministerial Committee even though the Ministry of Health will play a central role in relief efforts.
The association, therefore called for the immediate inclusion of the Minster of Health as a matter of urgency.
Effects of the floods
Tracts of land and communities downstream the Akosombo and Kpong dams have been flooded.
This follows the second-stage spillage of the two dams used to generate about a third of Ghana’s electricity supply.
The Volta River Authority (VRA) started the controlled spillage at the Akosombo and Kpong dams, both in the Eastern Region, from September 15, 2023 following excess water in both reservoirs due to appreciable levels of rainfall.
The spillage has 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, has been inundated with floods, leading to the shutting down of the station.
With the absence of electricity, public installations, including hospitals in Sogakope and Adidome, are bearing the brunt of the flooding, leaving the lives of patients in danger.
High water levels
The maximum level of water in the Akosombo Dam should be 276 feet.
As of Thursday (Oct 12), the water level in the dam was 276.92 feet or 84.405 metres.
Before the spillage, the level was 272.50 feet or 83.058 metres.
Attached below is a copy of the GMA statement
GHANA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (GMA) STATEMENT ON THE FLOODING IN COMMUNITIES INDUCED BY THE SPILLAGE FROM THE AKOSOMBO DAM
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is deeply concerned by the devastating flooding of many communities along the Volta River as a result of the spillage from the Akosombo Dam.
This has led to the displacement of many communities, destruction of property, loss of livelihoods and disruption of healthcare and other critical services.
The National Executive Council of the GMA expresses its deep sympathy and commiserates with the victims of this unfortunate event.
We are grateful to the Medical Doctors and other health workers rendering relief services to the people affected by this disaster.
The GMA welcomes the formation of an Inter-ministerial Committee to address the flooding and related issues.
We have noted the exclusion of the Minister of Health from this Committee even though the Ministry of Health will play a central role in relief efforts.
The provision of emergency healthcare and support, prevention of possible outbreaks of water-borne diseases, risk communication and ensuring continuity of essential health services are fundamental to a response of this nature.
We therefore call on the government to immediately include the Minster of Health as a matter of urgency.
The Association is mobilizing our members, logistics and other resources to support relief efforts in the affected communities and will continue to monitor the situation.
We appeal to Corporate Ghana, Ghanaians and other stakeholders to support ongoing efforts to rescue and resettle the many people displaced by this tragic event.
The GMA calls for better coordination between the Volta River Authority (VRA), National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and other relevant government agencies to
prevent such disasters in the future.