Ghana’s Severe Flooding Crisis. In the Volta Region of Ghana, a calamity of severe floods has wreak havoc, leaving thousands of victims displace and their lives in turmoil.
Unpredictable Rainfall Patterns
The root of this disaster can be trace to the unpredictable rainfall patterns that have plague Ghana for several months. Scientists attribute these erratic patterns to the ominous effects of climate change.
Controlled Spillage Leads to Unforeseen Catastrophe
In a bid to avert a more catastrophic scenario, the Volta River Authority, the entity responsible for managing the Akosombo and Kpong hydro-electric dams, initiate a “controll spillage” of these dams. The excessive rainfall cause a significant surge in water volume behind the dams, perilously nearing the maximum safe operational level of 277.5 feet.
Impact on Energy Generation
The Akosombo and Kpong Dams play a pivotal role in supplying about one-third of Ghana’s energy. This crucial energy source makes it essential to strike a delicate balance between power generation and averting disaster.
Historical Significance of Akosombo Dam
The Akosombo Dam, constructe in the 1960s during the presidency of Kwame Nkrumah, a landmark project aimed at providing the energy need for Ghana’s industrialization. However, this endeavor led to the flooding of the Volta River Basin and the displacement of around 80,000 people. The outcome the creation of the vast Volta Lake, consider the world’s largest man-made lake in terms of surface area.
Serious Consequences of the Flooding
The National Disaster Management Organisation reports that eight districts have severely affect by these floods. Countless homes have inundate, leaving authorities grappling with the extent of the damage. Basic services like water and electricity are disrupt, raising concerns about potential disease outbreaks due to flood toilet facilities, cemeteries, and refuse dumps.
Impacts on Local Communities
The Mepe community, which we visited, has witnessed a significant portion of its residents suffering from the deluge. Many are struggling to come to terms with the loss of their homes and belongings. Livelihoods have wipe out as farms are submerged, and locals like Brian Foekpa, who depended on a motorcycle taxi business, find themselves without food or essential resources.
Climate Change Blamed for Severe Flooding
The Deputy Director General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (Nadmo), Seji Saji, asserts that the flooding is a direct result of heavy rains linked to climate change. Inflows from the northern region and Burkina Faso, the catchment areas of the Volta dams, have seen a substantial volume of water flowing in. The seriousness of this situation aligns with global warming and climate change.
Challenges in Rescuing and Relocating Affected Communities
Rescue efforts led by the Ghanaian navy have managed to save over 8,000 people thus far. The Volta River Authority warned the communities ahead of the spillage and conducted simulations on handling such a crisis. However, the real impact has staggering, suggesting that preparedness has limitations.
As further rains are anticipated, the dams’ water levels continue to rise, likely displacing more people, with the heart-wrenching reality that lives and livelihoods may be submerged beneath the relentless waters.