Akosombo Dam spillage: Golden Exotic Limited loses half a million dollars
A total of 45 hectors of farmlands and an estimated 44,528 bunches of bananas have been submerged by the ravaging floods.
Mr Benedict Rich, the Managing Director, Golden Exotics Limited, told the Ghana News Agency that the spillage had affected their supply chain.
“We have about 4000 workers, many of whom find it difficult to get to work. The roads are flooded, which means we cannot harvest,” he said.
“This is our peak harvesting season and we expected to export more than 2000 tonnes every week. The spillage has resulted in heavy floods resulting in the destruction of our plantations.”
In the interim, Mr Rich said the company had begun building a blockage along the river to prevent the water from entering parts of the farmlands, while also pumping some to enable the workers to salvage what they could.
Since its inception, the plantation had not witnessed a flooding situation of that magnitude, he said, noting that management had no prior notice of the spillage to adequately prepare.
“The release of water is something that happens every other year from the dams, normally going up about two to three meters from the normal level. This year it has gone about five meters.”
“These are new farms and we have lost almost 45 hectares to the flood,” he said, adding that banana could not survive in water after 72 hours.
Mr Mark Achel, the Corporate Affairs and Administration Manager of the company, said management was aware of the difficulties community members were going through and had supported them with relief items.
The VRA started the controlled spillage at the Akosombo and Kpong dams in the Eastern Region from September 15, 2023, following excess water in both reservoirs.
As of 17th October 2023, an estimated 26,000 persons had been displaced as a result of the spillage. This is the highest magnitude of displacement and volume since the establishment of the Akosombo Dam, that takes its source from six different tributaries.
This is not the first time the VRA is spilling water from the Dam. It did spill in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1991, with the more recent one being 2010.
Data from the Ghana Meteorology Agency (GMet) shows that the Saharan countries are receiving above normal rainfall distribution.
The other event contributing to the high volumes of water inflow is the above normal rainfall that occurred at the north-eastern part of the country, which flows into the White Volta.