VRA holds workshop on emergency preparedness

Ada, (Tema), The Volta River Authority (VRA) has organized a day’s sensitization workshop on Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) in Ada East. The programme was geared to identify, prevent, and limit casualties during dam failures at the Kpong and Akosombo.

Mr Kwame Osei Darkwah, Emergency Preparedness Plan Coordinator of the VRA said the EPP was a plan that identified potential emergency conditions and specified pre-planned activities to be followed to minimize property damage and loss of life.

It also specified the roles and responsibilities of parties during those failures.

Mr Darkwah said spillage from the Akosombo Dam was considered an emergency because it was a storage dam with huge water holding capacity and second to Lake Victoria in terms of surface area, “but spillage from the Kpong dam is not considered an emergency because it is part of the operations of the dam”.

He said activities outlined for the EPP included; monitoring the safety of the dams to detect any anomaly that could affect the integrity of the dam structure as well as hydromet monitoring involving detection of any situation leading to operational spill.

Mr Darkwah said the classification of emergencies, notification, responsibility and warning potentially to be affected people were all activities outlined in the Emergency Preparedness Plan.

Madam Rhoda Arthur, VRA Principal Community Relation Officer said the 1961 (Act 46) of the Volta River Authority and the 1994 (Act 490) of the Environmental Protection Act mandated the managers of the EMP to put measures for the welfare of the impacted.

She said some activities the EMP had undertaken to curtail the impact of their operations included; planting of 600 species of trees by VRA staff during the greening Ghana initiative, and Authority had an afforestation programme to protect the lake, with a bamboo project along the lake.

She added that there was regular clearing of the weeds at the Dams so that it does not affect the operations of generating electricity.

She said recycling of paper and plastic objects into reusable items, sponsoring education of needy, but brilliant students among others were some activities the VRA was undertaking to mitigate the impact of their operations.

The VRA team launched an inundation map as part of the training.

Madam Sarah Dugbakie Pobee, Ada East District Chief Executive (DCE), explained that the event was organized to ascertain the level of understanding of the Emergency Preparedness Plan and the Environmental Management Plan developed by the VRA in 2011 and “the objective of the was to brainstorm on checking procedures, accurate records, checking internal organization response time to emergencies at the Kpong and Akosombo dams.

Madam Pobee said the workshop, organized annually in the 10 potentially affected areas in case of emergency also served as an opportunity to deliberate on issues concerning the VRA’s EMP.

She said since the implementation of the EPP and EMP, the Ada East District had benefitted immensely with measures put in place for potentially affected persons in case there was an emergency and the initiative also equipped National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and other stakeholders in the district.

The DCE commended the VRA for their support to the Ada East in the form educational scholarship, provision of solar power water system among others.


Source: Ghana News Agency

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