General News of Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Hundreds of homes at Weija have been flooded following the spillage of the Weija Dam by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in the Ga South Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region.
Victims of the spillage have been asked to relocate to safety, as the water level in the dam has reached 14.63 metres of which the GWCL intends to spill more water till the level reaches the safe operational level of 13.7metres.
Communities mostly affected by the spillage include Glefe, Bortianor, Away, Oblogo, Tetegu, Pambros Salt, Old Barrier and Ada Kokpe.
The GWCL every year, as part of the measures to ensure the safety of Accra’s only treatment plant, spills excess water from the dam to the sea to bring the water level to its desired limit.
So far, all the four spillways of the dam have been opened to allow excess water to flow to the sea, a situation which has flooded homes around the low lying areas in the municipality.
A visit by the Daily Graphic at some of the affected communities last Monday, revealed that houses, including a church identified as ‘Mediator of the New Covenant Ministry’, were inundated with water.
While some places were virtually inaccessible, making life a hell for workers and schoolchildren who had to wade through the water which was at knee level, some occupants were seen busily scooping water from their rooms.
Drinking spots and chop bars located at the dam site were also not spared by the spillage, as they were displaced and their owners could not trace them.
A resident, Mubarak Osmanu, told the Daily Graphic that for some days now, the spilled water from the dam had rendered many people homeless, adding that his house had been badly affected.
A company’s driver, Mr Mensah Agyemang, whose car was almost swept away by the floods, said his two children were kept in a room for almost two days, as they could not swim their way out.
“It took the help of my colleagues to bring out my wife and children. We are pleading with the government to come to our aid and do something about the dam for us”, he pleaded.
Another resident, Mr Freeman Tetteh, whose room was completely flooded, blamed the authorities for not fencing the dam, adding that, “the Odawna River at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange had been fenced preventing it from spilling over.”
The Weija/Gbawe Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Patrick Kwesi Brako Kumor, told the Daily Graphic that the assembly and officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the NPP Member of Parliament, Mrs Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah, had visited all the affected communities in the municipality to access the situation on the ground and sympathised with the victims.
He said though it was a very sad situation, the assembly was still pleading with residents at the downstream areas to relocate to a safer place to safeguard their lives.
He said the assembly was still taking measures to open up the estuary at Tsokomey in the Ga South municipality to allow the excess water from the dam to flow directly to the sea to prevent flooding in the catchment areas.
Meanwhile, the Station Manager at the Weija Dam, Mr Augustine Atigbire, explained to that developers were not allowed to build along the waterways, adding “the dam sites are dangerous for people to dwell.”
He said the GWCL had consistently spoken on the matter, stressing that there was nothing the company could do for the residents living downstream since the safety of the dam was also paramount.
“The dam is man-made and it can break at any time. And if that dam is to collapse now, it will wipe all those communities close to the dam within seconds and Greater Accra will be without water for close to five years,” he warned.
In 2014, many homes at Glefe and Opetekwei were flooded, following the spillage of the Weija Dam and the enormity of the situation compelled residents to pack their belongings to safety.
Similarly, in June 2016, communities such as Tetegu, Oblogo, Pambros Salt, Lower McCarthy Hill, Weija, Bojo Beach and Ada Kokpe were inundated.