The Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Ing Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, has stressed that the organisation will not leave the people affected by the flooding due to the spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong dams to their fate.
The Authority, he said, together with the government will use all of its resources to ensure that all the affected persons are restored to their normal lives.
This he has assured the people of the various communities he has visited so far, further promising that the VRA will see to it that they are properly resettled.
Empathising with the people on his and the institution’s behalf, he said many of the VRA’s staff are from the affected areas in the various districts including the North, Central and South Tongu, Ada East, and Shai Osudoku, among others. Therefore, any mishap that befalls the people of those communities ultimately affects the institution as well. Speaking during a presentation to the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) at its premises in Accra, Ing Antwi-Darkwa said “We empathise with those who have found themselves in the situation,” and noted that as some of the community members are also part of the organisation, the VRA feels the impact too.
“So, when something happens to the people of Mepe, it is just like it is happening to us and so in terms of empathy, no one feels it more than us. We really empathise with them,” he emphasised.
According to him, he has had the opportunity to go to almost all the safe havens or holding areas, and for him, for anyone to move from their house and relocate to these centres, however short the period, is traumatic. “We can understand the public outcry, we can understand how people feel,” he noted.
He, however, noted that when it comes to managing a dam, there is always a balance that a dam manager must maintain, that is protecting the people downstream and keeping the integrity of the dam intact.
This, he said, is something they have to struggle with, especially as they have to be careful between maintaining the integrity of the dam and the consequences of what they do when they protect the dam. He, therefore, noted that they did everything that needed to be done. Ing Antwi-Darkwa further indicated that spilling is something the Volta River Authority takes seriously; it is therefore not what they do on a regular basis.
The Chief Executive also mentioned that the year 2010 was the last time the VRA had a spill, 13 years ago. Prior to that, there had been some spills which were few and far between.
“It’s something we don’t do often but in line with industry practice, a prudent utility always knows we would spill one day because we don’t control the weather, rainfall is a natural event,” he explained.
Source: Joy Business