President Akufo-Addo and his cabinet, beginning today, Friday, October 20, will hold a three-day retreat to discuss appropriate measures that would help to revive the Ghanaian economy.
The meeting will focus on the measures the government needs to undertake to secure the second tranche of the $600 million balance of payment support for Ghana after reaching a staff agreement with the IMF and assistance to the flood victims as a result of the Akosombo Dam spillage.
The Volta River Authority commenced the spillage exercise on September 15, 2023.
At a press conference at the Akosombo Generation Station on Thursday, October 12, the Deputy Chief Executive of VRA in charge of Engineering and Operations, Edward Obeng Kenzo, explained that the spillage was necessitated by high inflows into the Akosombo reservoir, resulting in the water level exceeding its upper level.
He said the spillage was to prevent the water from overtopping and compromising the integrity of the dam.
This is not the first time VRA has spilled water from the Akosombo Dam. The last was in 2010, having spilled water from the dam in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974 and 1991.
The spillage began at a low rate for about one and a half weeks with no impact on downstream communities.
However, the inflow into the reservoir continues to increase at a higher rate, leading to the displacement of about 26,000 residents, according to a report by the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).
The management of the Volta River Authority (VRA) has assured that affected residents will be evacuated to safe places with adequate support.
“Whether dredging or no dredging, it is an emergency. The volume of water that is coming into the lake right now which we have to throw out, it means that we need to evacuate people from wherever they are to ensure they are safe until the inflows recede,” the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa noted in an interview with the media.
President Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo Addo has also set up a 13-member inter-ministerial committee to coordinate the government’s efforts in assisting and providing relief to those affected by the flooding.
The committee is chaired by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare.
Other ministers in the committee are National Security, Interior, Defence, Energy, Finance, Local Government, Works and Housing, Roads and Highways, Environment, Sanitation, Lands and Natural Resources, and Information.
Corporate social organizations, political parties, and philanthropists have donated some relief items to the affected persons in the North Tongu, Central Tongu, and South Tongu districts in the Volta Region.