Displaced Weija residents count their losses … one week after dam spillage

Residents of Weija and its environs in the Weija/Gbawe Constituency are counting their losses a week after the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) begun spillage of the Weija Dam.

The GWCL last Monday began spilling excess water to prevent a collapse of the dam as the water levels continue to exceed its capacity.

A visit to some areas mostly affected by the spillage over the weekend saw properties, including farmlands, and pathways submerged in flood waters.

Some residents badly affected by the flood waters had relocated as others who could not, are conveyed in canoes or walk through the water to access the damage it has caused to their homes.

Farmers and fisherfolks whose livelihood has been affected by the spillage are either redundant or have taken to other menial jobs to cater for their families.

In an interview, Adbul Majeed a vegetable farmer at Away, a surrounding community which often bears the brunt of spillage, lamented the destruction of his four acre farmland to the spillage.

“We grow cabbages, ‘ayoyo’ leaves, spring onions and others, but the flood water has destroyed them, even before we could harvest,” he complained.

Forty-five-year-old Richard Gameli, who had been in the fishing business for the last 15 years, noted that with the floods, fishing activities could not go on as catch was low.

“At this time, we cannot fish, when you throw the net you won’t catch anything, so we use this time to mend our torn nets or broken canoes and resort to crossing people over to make ends meet.”

Speaking on anonymity, a property owner whose self-contained building had been almost surrounded by the water admitted that unlike previous years where she could relocate, the outbreak of COVID-19 made it impossible to do so this time.

Explaining why she built in such an area, she said, “when they sell the land to you, you do not see that it is water logged. I have been here for the last three years, when you come here in the dry season you will not suspect the place could ever turn this way.”

Public Relations Officer of the Company, Mr Stanley Martey had told the Ghanaian Times in an earlier interview that water level of the Weija Dam had risen to 48.3ft from its safe operating level of 47ft, prompting a spillage.

According to him, as at Monday, June 1, two out of the dam’s five gates had been opened at 12 inches wide and “as the levels rise, due to the rainfall pattern, we may have to add more gates and open more to spill the excess water.”


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