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Akosombo Dam spillage could trigger outbreak water-related diseases – Health experts warn

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Health professionals are alerting the public to the possibility of a waterborne disease epidemic as a result of the continuing Akosombo Dam disaster.

The Volta Regional Health Directorate states that immediate action is required in response to the dire circumstances.

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In a media interview, Stella Kumedzro, the Volta Regional Environmental Health Officer, pleaded with well-meaning Ghanaians to lessen the risk.

“Most of the people I saw still use that surface water for cooking, bathing, and other household chores. So the implications for public health are that it will trigger water-related diseases, skin rashes, diarrhoea, typhoid, and so on. And so it is a very terrible situation at hand.”

“I want to appeal to all well-meaning Ghanaians, our wonderful development partners, to come to the aid of residents of Mepe in the North Tongu district,” she said.

Michael Kofi Zigah, the North Tongu District Health Director, also revealed to the media that the district’s ability to provide healthcare is being impacted by the flooding situation.

He claims that they lack access to portable healthcare for their regular needs.

“Currently, a lot of communities have been displaced in the district. Once communities are displaced, they will not have access to the regular facilities they used to have access to. They will not have access to portable water, sanitary facilities, and routine health services,” he said.

“Because it is more or less like a campout. And that is affecting service delivery and the health of the people. But the fortunate thing is that as a district, we managed to operationalize a mobile clinic here,” he added.

The Volta River Authority began a controlled release from the Akosombo and Kpong Dams on September 15, 2023.

This was brought on by the Volta River catchment’s excessive rainfall, which caused the water level at Akosombo Dam to increase quickly.

Therefore, the leak was required to keep the dam from overflowing and to preserve the integrity of the dam.

But by early October, the water level was still rising quickly and had beyond the 276-foot maximum operational level.

As the water level continued to rise due to continuous rainfall, VRA raised the spill rate on October 9, 2023.

As a result, some towns in the Ada East District and the North, South, and Central Tongu Districts experienced an upsurge in floods.

 

 

 

 

 

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