Senior Research fellow at the Institute For Environment And Sanitation Studies (IESS) Dr. Daniel Nukpezah has suggested the enforcement of buffer zone policies to halt constructions around water bodies.
He highlighted some strategies that can be adopted to prevent future tragedies similar to recent happenings in various areas affected by the floods in the Volta region.
This in reference to the recent Akosombo and Kpong dam spillage which has left about 26,000 residents displaced and sources of livelihood lost. The dam was spilled due to high inflows which is beyond the dam’s holding capacity.
Dr. Nukpezah pointed out that the necessary actions can be taken when problems are identified swiftly and plans aimed to curb these issues are made more deliberate.
“With increased precipitation, we can look at using the water upstream since downstream communities have irrigation facilities. Also, the buffer zone policy must be enforced and prevent people from building around these dams and flood-prone areas.”
He recounted that in 2017, IESS worked on a project aimed at providing possible solutions and management strategies to reduce the effects of the dam spillage on the livelihood of the people living in downstream communities.
The strategies, he lamented, have not been implemented due to some technical challenges he believes the Volta River Authority might have experienced.
Dr Nukpezah also appealed to stakeholders to put in the appropriate management frameworks in anticipation of prospective situations similar to the dam spillage incidence to reduce its adverse effects.
“I will appeal to all stakeholders especially the VRA to consider seriously management frameworks that are anticipatory rather than reactionary when it comes to situations like these to avert possible negative consequences to downstream communities.”
Story by: Michelle Lartey | univers.ug.edu.gh