The Former President, John Dramani Mahama has supported the call for a bipartisan parliamentary enquiry into the Akosombo Dam spillage which had displaced about 12,000 people in parts of the Volta Region in September, last year.
According to him, an enquiry to ascertain the cause of the man-made disaster would serve as a guide to forestall such spillages in the future.
Speaking at the commissioning of the second phase of the Alternative Housing Project for the displaced victims on Saturday at Battor in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region, Mr Mahama urged the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin to expedite the setting up of a committee to hold a televised public enquiry to avoid such disasters in the future.
He therefore appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to be responsive and sensitive to the plight of the victims of the dam spillage and immediately commence work on the resettlement project for the affected people.
Five months after the disaster, Mr Mahama expected the government to empathise with the victims and work towards providing a decent resettlements for the people who were sacrificed for the entire country for a sustainable hydroelectric power.
Mr Mahama expressed disappointment at the VRA knowing it (VRA) has the capacity to measure the inflow of water into the lake and also able to annually project the releases that come from the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso into the Akosombo Dam.
“So it should have been possible to know that with the excessive rainfall that took place in the northern part of the country including the volumes that were expected from the Bagre Dam, releases should have started much earlier than it did to avoid the disaster,” Mr Mahama said.
Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa reminded President Akufo Addo and Vice President, Dr Bawumia of their oath of office which enjoins them to be fair to all manner of persons and treat the resettlement of the people who had been in tents for the past five months, with the urgency it deserves.
Mr Ablakwa wondered government’s sluggish approach in using proceeds of the contingency fund and the $220 million allocation in the 2024 budget for the spillage victims to ameliorate the plight of the affected citizens.
Until now, a total of only 600 victims has been resettled with the first being the resettlement of the first 300 in November, last year, through the intervention of First Sky Group of Companies and the second phase also by a number of donors.
The second phase, by courtesy of the National Chief Imam and a list of other donors, could only accommodate additional 300 families with a whopping 12,000 affected victims wallowing in distress.
Mr Ablakwa expected and looked forward to the parliamentary enquiry with no prejudice and hoped that his colleagues in Parliament would expedite action on the enquiry.
FROM KEN AFEDZI, BATTOR