Freda Prempeh’s comments on Akosombo dam spillage “ill-informed” – Mepe Dev’t Association
The Mepe Development Association (MDA) has condemned comments made by the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Freda Prempeh, in which she blamed the indigenes of Mepe and other downstream communities along the Volta River for not heeding warnings to evacuate before the Akosombo Dam spillage.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the MDA said the Minister’s comments were “ill-informed, uneducated” and disrespectful to the people of Mepe, who have suffered greatly from the devastating floods. The MDA also challenged the Minister’s claims that the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) had conducted simulation exercises in Mepe to prepare residents for the spillage.
“We wish to make it clear that the Mepe Traditional Council, Mepe Development Association, opinion leaders, and all key stakeholders were not engaged in any simulation exercise or post-simulation exercise as claimed by the Minister,” the statement said.
Freda Prempeh speaking at a forum organized by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and its customers in Accra on Monday, blamed the extent of damage caused by the Akosombo dam spillage on the refusal of residents living along the dam to evacuate.
She noted that “the Akosombo dam spillage, even though Volta River Authority, National Disaster Management Organisation, the Water Resources Commission, came together to educate the people in the community and did simulation exercises with them even at Mepe, yet, they refused to leave. They did not want to be evacuated, and they stayed there till the end when we started spilling.”
“Unfortunately, look at what is happening, and the government has to spend millions of money on relief items, and education. The water in the whole area is contaminated and the Ghana Water Company and Water Resources Commission will have to spend millions of money to treat the water before we can pass it through our pipes.”