October 11, 2023
The Ghana Institution of Engineering, Ghana Institute of Architects and Ghana Institute of Planners have paid a visit to some of the impacted communities of the Akosombo Dam Spillage on Tuesday, 24th October, 2023.
The Group, referred to as the Built Environment, with exception of the Institute of Surveyors, who could not make the trip, visited Battor and Mepe in the North Tongu District of the Volta region to observe the extent of damage the spillage has caused the people in the area, and proffers appropriate strategy to Government and other stakeholders to curtail future occurrences.
The team visited the Mankralo of Mepe, presented some food items, water, drinks and cash support to the displaced persons in the community.
They also donated similar items and cash to the Paramount Chief of Battor Traditional Area, as well as the North Tongu District Assembly, at three separate presentations.
Immediately after the presentations, the group mounted some of the Military canoes to see some of the buildings that have been submerged in the water for weeks now.
The Mankralo of Mepe Traditional Area, Torgbe Kwasi Nego VI was of the view that the problem at hand was a man-made disaster not natural disaster because the VRA could have done the spillage in small volumes at the right times but they waited and spilled large volumes when they saw the Dam was under pressure.
Responding to the Mankralo of Mepe’s man-made disaster issue, Ing. Ludwig Hesse, President-Elect of the Ghana Institution of Engineering said, Volta River Authority (VRA) has very experienced Engineers managing the Akosombo Dam, so the Ghana Institution of Engineering will meet with them to find out the actual reason that necessitated the spillage in that large volumes which has brought untold hardship to the people in the catchment area.
Ing. Ludwig added that the team would come back again when the level of the water recedes, to measure the structural integrity of the buildings to ascertain if they are fit for people to stay in them. He assured them that when those technical examinations are done, appropriate recommendation would be made to the Government for implementation.
The President of the Institute of Architects, Forster Osae-Akonnor said they would collect date on the buildings, locations, social and environmental health after the water levels has come down, put together a master-plan, which will involve the Chiefs and people in the area. He added that similar large volumes spillage occurred over 60 years ago, so they would need their full cooperation so that they would do the right thing to avoid future occurrence.
A member of the Ghana Institute of Planners, Kofi Kekeli Amadjo shared similar views with his colleagues and called on planners in the various Assemblies to follow the laid down rules in respect of re-development in the affected communities.
The Paramount Chief of Battor Traditional Area, Togbega Panatia Dzekley VII thanked the 3 Institutions for their kind gesture and count on them to assist rebuild the communities again with Engineering, Planning and Architectural designs that will resist this perennial catastrophe.
The team met the MP for the area, Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwah during their presentation to the North Tongu District Coordinating Director. The MP thanked the Engineers, Planners and Architects for their visit and donations to the affected persons. He said, as professionals, they are surely the point of call when the water levels come down to assist in professional advice to rebuild the communities.
Present at the presentation was the Vice President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering, Ing. Sophia Abena Tijani, Ing. Darlington Ahuble, Chair of Mechanical and Marine Technical Division and the Chair of the Civil Technical Division of the GhIE, Ing. Michael Konadu.
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