Following the severe impacts of the Akosombo Dam overflow in several communities in the Volta, Eastern, and Oti Regions, Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has warned illegal squatters surrounding the Weija Dam to learn some lessons.
According to the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), the over-a-week-old continuous leak has displaced over 26,000 people across four districts.
Many valuable homes have also been damaged as a result of various communities being swamped in floodwaters.
In response to what some have called a national calamity, the EPA’s Executive Director recognized that the predicament of those impacted is terrible and pitiful.
He did, however, emphasize that there are several lessons to be drawn from the sad situation.
The EPA chief noted that dam leakage around the country has become a necessary evil since the country cannot withstand the consequences if these dams fail.
He consequently recommended illegal squatters living in the Weija Dam’s waterways to learn from the Akosombo debacle and voluntarily evacuate in order to avoid a similar calamity in the case of spillage or natural disaster.
“This goes beyond environmental concerns. It is a national issue. Life and properties are at risk. It is a very sad situation. But we must take cues from these things and adhere to advise and then comply with regulations,” Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu noted.
He continued, “Just recently, we had the opportunity to undertake a field trip to Weija Dam where the reservoir for the Ghana Water Company is located.
“People have encroached so much and so close to the facility. The moment the reservoir overruns, it will cause a huge havoc. People will lose their lives they will lose their properties and all that. But what is happening currently at Akosombo is a great lesson for all of us to look at.”
“Gear yourselves us and voluntarily vacate those places. For state institutions like EPA or any other to come in with full-force demolition does not augur well. Nobody wants to see anybody suffering.
“But if we are not careful, even if we are unable to do it, nature may do it,” he told JoyNews’ Kwasi Addai Kwarteng in an interview.
Meanwhile, the Volta River Authority (VRA) said the leakage from the Akosombo and Kpong hydro dams would continue for at least a week to prevent the dams from collapsing.