Akosombo, Kpong Dams spillage impact farmers livelihoods, companies
Mr Mark Achel, the Corporate Affairs and Administration Manager of Golden Exotics Limited, said most of the farms and roads leading to these farms were now submerged.
Mr Achel told the GNA that the most affected were the fish, rice, mango, and banana farms located along the Volta river.
The VRA spilled excess water from the Akosombo and Kpong Dams, leading to the Volta River overflowing its banks downstream.
“One commercial farm heavily affected by this spillage is Golden Exotics Limited, Ghana’s leading producer of banana and exports over 90 per cent of bananas produced in the country,” he added.
Golden Exotics Limited (a Freezone Enterprise) cultivates over 2000 hectares of banana and has one of the biggest organic banana farms in the world.
He said the company employed almost 4000 permanent workers on their plantation and the spillage has had a devastating effect on their production.
He said their estimated cost so far was over 500,000 euros.
The Corporate Affairs and Administration Manager said apart from having portions of the farm submerged, they also had to deal with destroyed infrastructure such as dykes, culverts, electrical installations at the pumping stations, packing stations and the farm road networks, which the company had built at huge cost.
He said it was important to note that October was normally their peak period for harvesting with over 2000 tonnes of fruit per week.
He said they had already lost over 200 tons of banana last week and waters were still rising and lapping at the entrance to packhouses.
Mr Achel asked how many more hundreds or thousands of tonnes would be lost, with water still being spilled for the next coming weeks.
“About 40 acres of their farms are submerged and workers cannot access the fruits,” he added.
He said villages where some workers come from such as Alabonu and its environs were inaccessible hence they were unable to come to work.
The water level which during the rainy seasons rises to a maximum of 5 metres is currently at 8.5 metres.
He said farms like Golden Exotics were going to have huge losses both production wise and financially for the year 2023 and these were bound to affect Ghana’s drive to increase exports and foreign exchange earnings.
He said if adequate information on the volumes of water spilled was made known to farmers around the area, and the communication made it clear that this event would be much more significant than usual, efforts could have been made to reduce the impact of the losses.