A convener of the Arise Ghana movement has joined calls by some civil society groups and Ghanaians for government to relocate victims of the Akosombo Dam spillage to the abandoned Saglemi Housing Project.
Mr. Bernard Mornah says the houses, which are almost completed will serve as better alternatives to the current living conditions of the displaced victims.
Speaking on the JoyNews AM Show, the outspoken politician insists government is fully responsible for the calamity that has befallen the people of the Volta Region and must therefore take extreme measures to mitigate their suffering.
“It is government’s decision to spill and government went around saying they did stakeholder engagement. You are asking people to move and evacuate. They should move to where? Have you made any alternative arrangements? Evidently, the government failed. Now you are telling me that I should relocate, so I should relocate to where?
“Even the chiefs have said we were swept away by the water, give us Saglemi houses so that we can live there. Saglemi housing is over 90 % complete in some of the areas. Those places will even serve as five-star hotels for the people given their current state of living and if you are failing to do that and you are failing to declare a state of emergency one will think that government is deliberately punishing the people for no crime of theirs particularly when the President said they have not been voting for him. So I will conclude that for not voting for the NPP, this is your punishment.”
His assertion follows numerous appeals made by individuals and some organisations for government to consider relocating the victims permanently.
Many had argued that considering the number of people the housing project can accommodate and its proximity, it is the best solution.
However, government is yet to address the request.
Touching on this, the former PNC National Chairman said government is being partisan in its handling of the situation.
“We are being partisan in this particular instance because politics is about the general well-being of our society but in this instance partisanship has taken place, where the President can utter that you have not been voting for me, but I know one day you will vote for me.
“In crisis of this nature the President is thinking about future votes and not thinking about the conditions of our people, then it has moved from being political to the realm of being extremely partisan to inflicting more harm and pain on the suffering people of the Volta Region.”
Bernard Mornah also stressed on the need for government to declare a state of emergency.
“In such circumstances, no one should come and tell you to declare a state of emergency. In declaring a state of emergency, it also brings international attention on you and given the fact that NaDMO in particular is under-resourced then we can use that to launch an international appeal to support our brothers and sisters to overcome their current situation.
“Failing to do that means, that we deliberately did this. We deliberately did the spilling of the water and knew that the volumes will consume our people in the manner that it has and that is why government is not ready to declare a state of emergency,” he added.
This year’s spillage exercise is not the first time VRA has spilled water from the Akosombo Dam.
A similar exercise was carried out in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, and 1991 with the recent one done in 2010.
They were all done to prevent water from overtopping the dam.
Subsequently, on September 15, the Volta River Authority began spilling excess water due to rising levels of the Akosombo and Kpong hydro dams.
Weeks after the spillage began, many residents living along the Lower Volta Basin have lost their homes and farms to the floods caused by the spillage.
Currently, nine districts find themselves reeling under the fury of the racing spillage, their inhabitants caught up in this humanitarian crisis.
Communities such as Battor, Tefle, Mepe, Sogakope, Adidome, and Anlo have been submerged with their existence nearly swallowed by the unrelenting waters.