Politics

VRA must take full responsibility for damage caused by Akosombo Dam spillage – Researcher

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A researcher of Development Studies at the SOAS University of London and author of Living in the Shadows of the Large Dams, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata, has stated that the Volta River Authority (VRA) must take full responsibility for the damage caused by the spillage of the Akosombo Dam.

Professor Tsikata argues that the VRA cannot absolve itself of blame for the damage caused by the dam’s spillage, which has affected many areas within the Lower Volta Basin.

The VRA commenced the controlled water spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong Dams on September 15, 2023, due to a consistent rise in the inflow pattern and water level of the Akosombo reservoir.

Thousands of residents in South Tongu, North Tongu, Central Tongu, Asuogyaman, and several other areas have had their homes submerged due to the spillage.

“Even if people move to higher grounds, they cannot move immovable property. So VRA must take responsibility for all the buildings that have been destroyed because you cannot claim that people should have moved their immovable properties to higher grounds. If our own state agencies give permits to build in these places, it will be very difficult for the VRA and the government to evade legal responsibility for the damage people have suffered,” Professor Tsikata told Bernard Avle on The Point of View on Citi TV.

Prof. Tsikata further added that “dam builders and managers are legally responsible for all the effects of their actions and inactions on the river basin, and the VRA is a state agency, so the government also has a legal responsibility. It is important not to make a false choice between the right to protect a national resource and the right to protect lives and property. You cannot choose between them. The legal position is that you are responsible for the lives and property that are affected in your efforts to protect a national asset that you have placed in a certain neighbourhood. This has to be clearly understood.”

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