Akosombo Dam Will Be Spilled Differently If – VRA

By; Gifty Arthur

The Volta River Authority (VRA) has said, if it becomes necessary to spill excess water from the Akosombo Dam again, they will not hesitate to do so, to save the dam from collapse.

The Authority, however, explains that any actions that will be taken, would be informed by lessons from last year’s devastating exercise.

According to management, even though the rains have set in, there is no cause for alarm, because the water level in the dam currently remains low.

Speaking at a training workshop for selected journalists in Accra, Ing Abdul Noor Wajab, who is the Director, Water Resources and Renewable Energy at VRA said, useful lessons have been learnt from last year’s spillage, adding things will be done differently, if it becomes necessary to spill again.

He said after the flood last year, steps were taken to assess the situation with various stakeholders, including the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), and the findings of that engagement, will guide them on how to handle subsequent exercises.

“With respect to this year, what we have done is that, we did what we call an after-action review with NADMO and all the stakeholders…An after-action review is trying to review the event and trying to draw lessons from what happened, see if there were shortfalls that areas can be improved and all that. Now we worked with all the stakeholders, in all the districts that are within the emergency preparedness plan framework of the Volta River Authority”.

“And we identified areas that are required to be improved so our plans for this year are driven by the findings of first of all our after actions review,” he said.

Touching on how the VRA was blamed for not giving prior notices to communities affected during the disaster last year, Ing Abdul Noor Wajab, said having reviewed the disaster wholly with various stakeholders, VRA’s approach in providing information about future spillage, will be done differently.

“So, some of them is the way information has to be disseminated that has to be improved somewhat. So those are some of the things going to guide what we are going to do, that is if there is the need to spill.

But for every time, spill decision is always based on your expectations of what is coming in. And on the basis of that, you are able to determine whether the reservoir or the dam can retain that volumes of water. Then if the dam cannot take that quantity of water, you are able to determine how much we should have that is the standard practice”, he added.

Ing Wahab said even though it is raining and flooding in Accra, the Dam requires no spillage but in the event that the level cannot be contained, a decision will be taken based on the review of last year’s exercise.

He assured the media would be informed when the need arises.

The training programme, second of its kind this year, brought together, key energy sector players, including the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the West Africa Power Company (WAPCo) and the Public Utilities and Regulation Company (PURC).

Last year, around October, the Authority in an unprecedented fashion, spilled large volumes of water, leading to destruction of properties and displacement of thousands of people.

Some 35, 857people, were displaced as a result of the exercise, with many still yet to return to their old homes.

The repercussions of the spillage which affected a number of regions, including the Eastern and Volta Regions, almost a year on, still linger on.

Government, had to allocate GHc220 million funds in this year’s budget, while individuals and companies, helped in diverse ways to assist the affected communities.


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