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NADMO, VRA to improve Ghana’s preparedness, response mechanisms for future events

Mr Seji Saji Amedonu, the Deputy Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), says the Volta River Authority (VRA), NADMO and its stakeholders will work to improve Ghana’s preparedness and response mechanisms for future disasters.

He said the stakeholders would rely on the lessons learnt from the joint response to the spillage of the Akosombo dam to deal with any such occurrences in the future.

The spillage of the dam affected a number of communities downstream, and negatively impacted the lives and livelihoods of about 39,000 people of which about 48 per cent of those affected downstream were children.

Mr Amedonu said the flood incidence arising from the dam spillage became very dire, forcing all actions to be directed to responding to and providing relief to the affected populations.

‘Recent events of disasters across many parts of the country call for us to harmonise our efforts in managing all forms of shocks,’ he added.

The Deputy Director-General said this during the
After-Action Review of Response to Flooding Following Spillage of Excess Water from the Akosombo Dam organised at Battor, in the Volta region.

He said heavy rains, coupled with the opening of the Bagre and Kompienga Dams in Burkina Faso, which had become a perennial affair also had some impact on water levels affecting several communities along the tributaries of the Volta River within the same period.

Mr Amedonu said although the flood resulting from the spillage of the dam affected heavily, various livelihoods and infrastructure, the preparedness actions taken by NADMO and VRA together with other stakeholders accounted for the zero record of loss of human life.

‘While we celebrate some of these successes, we must be quick to evaluate our response efforts to identify areas of challenge so as to adopt strategies that will enable us to manage more efficiently, tomorrow’s events to avoid extensive devastation,’ he stressed.

He thanked various stakeholders, especially the VRA, for their enormous support duri
ng the preparedness and response phase of the emergency.

The Deputy Director-General said stakeholders’ support of NADMO towards the simulation, sensitisation and awareness creation in some of the communities on resilience practices had been very useful.

‘We will continue to count on you all as we work to build the capacity of NADMO to better respond to future emergencies,’ he added.

Mr Edward Obeng-Kenzo, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, VRA in charge of Engineering and Operations, said one key aspect of the After-Action Review was to examine the effectiveness of emergency response protocols and procedures.

‘Were there any challenges or bottlenecks that hindered our ability to mobilise resources and coordinate the response efforts, what worked well, and what areas require improvement, these are questions that we must address with honesty and a commitment to change,’ he added.

The Deputy CEO of VRA said there was a need to carefully assess the communication strategies employed during the event to know whe
ther messages were effectively disseminated to the affected communities, the gaps in information sharing and how to enhance the channels.

Mr Obeng-Kenzo said the VRA had reviewed the event countless times with the aim of identifying all areas where improvements could be made, adding that a number of initiatives had been put in place to improve models with the finest technologies.

He said the VRA was collaborating with the Hydrological Services Authority to increase the number of their gauging stations to help improve hydrological databases to enhance analysis.

‘We are also enhancing our collaboration with the Ghana Meteorological Authority to also improve their input into our operations. All these efforts demonstrate our resolve to continue to stay on top of our work and keep ourselves up to date with the advancement in our industry,’ he added.

‘By learning from the past, we can fortify our resilience and ensure the safety and well-being of all those who may be affected by future events,’ he added.

ce: Ghana News Agency