FLASHBACK: Dam builders, managers legally responsible for Akosombo, Kpong dams spillage – Prof. Tsikata


A Researcher of Development Studies at the SOAS University of London, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata in October 2023 accused the managers and builders of Akosombo and Kpong dams for the spillage that damaged several properties.

Speaking on Citi TV’s The Point of View programme, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata said the ‘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.”

Read the full story originally published on October 19, 2023 by www.ghanaweb.com.

A Researcher of Development Studies at the SOAS University of London, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata, has said builders of the Akosombo and Kpong dams are to be blamed for the damage caused by the spillage of the dams on the Volta river basin.

She further said the Volta River Authority (VRA) must also take responsibility for all the buildings that have been submerged under water and destroyed.

Speaking on Citi TV’s The Point of
View programme, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata asserted 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,’ she added.

Professor Dzodzi Tsikata further explained that, ‘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 i
n these places, it will be very difficult for the VRA and the government to evade legal responsibility for the damage people have suffered.’

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.

Several communities in the Volta region have been left flooded due to the spillage of excess water from the Akosombo dam by the Volta River Authority.

While the current inflow to the reservoir is pegged at 400,000 cubic feet of water per second, the authority says it is spilling just about 183,000 cubic feet of water.

They, however, cannot ascertain when the spilling exercise will be over.

Source: Ghana Web