Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa — MP for North Tongu
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa — MP for North Tongu

Dams spillage: We need engineering solution, not relocation

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called for an engineering solution to the plight of the people affected by recent flood devastation occasioned by the Akosombo and Kpong Dam spillages, rather than relocating them elsewhere. 

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He said with the level of technology available today, the course of the water can be re-channelled so that anytime there was a spillage, the excess water could reach farmlands through constructed tunnels.

“I get really upset when I hear people on TV and radio saying we should be relocated.

As if we dropped from somewhere.

We were here long before you decided to come and construct these dams, so we are not encroachers. 

We have stakes,” Mr Ablakwa stressed. 

“What we need to do is to put our thinking caps on and find a scientific approach to ensuring this never happens again,” he added.

The North Tongu MP made these statements last Thursday in an interview from Mepe, one of the affected communities.

Mr Ablakwa said that even though close to 70 per cent of the nation’s workforce was engaged in agriculture, the country was not practising mechanised or modernised farming and as such the situation could be taken advantage of to provide the much-needed irrigation.

“Even with their failed One Village, One Dam policy, imagine if they had an engineering solution where excess water from the two dams could go into these smaller dams; that intervention wouldn’t have failed,” he said.

Compensation

Mr Ablakwa said at the appropriate time, he would demand full compensation for all the flood victims, because the Volta River Authority (VRA) could not be allowed to go free, given the havoc their actions had visited on the people situated within the Lower Volta Basin.

“VRA must know that we will not let them get away with this because you can’t make people lose their homes and livelihoods and expect them to cope with it.

We will insist on full compensation and nothing else,” Mr Ablakwa, who has many constituents affected by the floods, said. 

The North Tongu MP, therefore, threatened to personally lead a class action against the VRA if they failed to rightfully and fully compensate affected persons.

Mr Ablakwa noted that the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has already counted about 28,000 displaced people, adding that his outfit was also putting together data on the value of property, farms and fishing ponds that have been lost in the North Tongu constituency.

“We are putting all this together so that when the time comes, they (VRA) can’t have an excuse that they didn’t have the data.

So, full compensation must be presented to our people, we are not going to compromise on that at all,” he stressed. 

He commended the people for their continuous resilience and particularly hailed the youth, saying that they were the sole reason there hadn’t been any casualties so far.

“Our constituents should be assured that we are with them throughout.

We are not going to abandon them in the camps or leave them displaced. 

We are going to stand with them and I want to commend Ghanaians for their solidarity,” Mr Ablakwa added.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called for an engineering solution to the plight of the people affected by recent flood devastation occasioned by the Akosombo and Kpong Dam spillages, rather than relocating them elsewhere.

Advertisement

He said with the level of technology available today, the course of the water can be re-channelled so that anytime there was a spillage, the excess water could reach farmlands through constructed tunnels.

“I get really upset when I hear people on TV and radio saying we should be relocated.

As if we dropped from somewhere.

 We were here long before you decided to come and construct these dams, so we are not encroachers.

We have stakes,” Mr Ablakwa stressed. 

“What we need to do is to put our thinking caps on and find a scientific approach to ensuring this never happens again,” he added.

Advertisement

The North Tongu MP made these statements last Thursday in an interview from Mepe, one of the affected communities.

Mr Ablakwa said that even though close to 70 per cent of the nation’s workforce was engaged in agriculture, the country was not practising mechanised or modernised farming and as such the situation could be taken advantage of to provide the much-needed irrigation.

“Even with their failed One Village, One Dam policy, imagine if they had an engineering solution where excess water from the two dams could go into these smaller dams; that intervention wouldn’t have failed,” he said.

Compensation

Mr Ablakwa said at the appropriate time, he would demand full compensation for all the flood victims, because the Volta River Authority (VRA) could not be allowed to go free, given the havoc their actions had visited on the people situated within the Lower Volta Basin.

Advertisement

“VRA must know that we will not let them get away with this because you can’t make people lose their homes and livelihoods and expect them to cope with it.

We will insist on full compensation and nothing else,” Mr Ablakwa, who has many constituents affected by the floods, said. 

The North Tongu MP, therefore, threatened to personally lead a class action against the VRA if they failed to rightfully and fully compensate affected persons.

Mr Ablakwa noted that the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has already counted about 28,000 displaced people, adding that his outfit was also putting together data on the value of property, farms and fishing ponds that have been lost in the North Tongu constituency.

“We are putting all this together so that when the time comes, they (VRA) can’t have an excuse that they didn’t have the data.

So, full compensation must be presented to our people, we are not going to compromise on that at all,” he stressed. 

He commended the people for their continuous resilience and particularly hailed the youth, saying that they were the sole reason there hadn’t been any casualties so far.

“Our constituents should be assured that we are with them throughout.

We are not going to abandon them in the camps or leave them displaced. 

We are going to stand with them and I want to commend Ghanaians for their solidarity,” Mr Ablakwa added.

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