VRA, NADMO Flood Simulation Exercise Ends

Dignitaries and participants in a pose at the closing ceremony

ALARGE-SCLAE simulation exercise by the Volta River Authority (VRA), and the National Disaster Management Organization (NaDMO), in preparation for the unlikely event of spillage from the Akosombo Dam and the Kpong Hydropower Dam ended on a high note.

Dubbed, “Da Wo Ho So 2023”, to wit “Be vigilant”, the exercise formed part of the Authority’s emergency preparedness plan (EPP), in assessing and improving the VRA’s and other stakeholders’ emergency response plans, procedures, and capabilities.

It also aimed attesting the readiness of stakeholders to deal with emergencies that cause the release of large quantities of water from the Akosombo and Kpong Dams.

The exercise was held in three potentially affected districts namely:Asuogyaman in the Eastern Region, Ada East in the Greater Accra Region and North Tongu in the Volta Region.

Participating in the exercise were officers from the Ghana Fire Service, Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Navy, the Ghana National Ambulance Service, and the Ghana Armed Forces, among others. Also part of the exercise were representatives from the North Dakota National Guard, as observers, who were full of kind words and admiration for the organizers.

Speaking at the closing ceremony in Akosombo,Ing. Edward Obeng Kenzo, Deputy Chief Executive, Engineering andOperations at VRA, described the exercise as a “resounding success” while intimating that he and his team had “learnt a lot from the exercise and identified areas where we can improve our preparedness to dam-related floods.”

The exercise, he added, also enabled them to identify gaps in the procedures and methods involved in handling flood-related incidents as well as ways to address them.

He emphasized the Authority’s commitmentto a safe and resilient environment for their neighbouring communities, assuring that they would continueto work together in ensuringthat flood-related incidents are reduced to the barest  minimum.

Seth Kwame Acheampong, the Eastern Regional Minister, on his partsaid it was “commendable” that VRA, in collaborationwith NADMO and other security agencies, had taken such a bold step to test its emergency preparedness plan through the simulation exercise.

He underscored that government “attaches great importance to issues of climate change” as is evidenced by the various international conventions aimed attacklingclimate change that Ghana has signed on to.

Additionally, Ghana has drafted a national program which enjoins all state institutions to take action in tackling climate change effectively.

Continuous sensitization workshops on environmental emergency preparedness plan, he stressed, was very necessary and urged that “the collaboration between VRA and NADMO is worth commending and must be emulated by all state agencies, especially those in the energy sector, to be able to test their preparedness towards disaster management.”

Seji Saji, Deputy Director General, NADMO in a speech on behalf of the NADMO Director General, Nana Agyemang Prempeh, said: “It is good to have emergency preparedness plan; but it is not enough when the preparedness planis not tested.”

He therefore commended the VRA for their thoughtfulness, describing theexercise as “largely successful” while congratulating the planning committee and all participating agencies for their cooperation.

He expressed NADMO’s readiness to work with other power producing agencies in developing emergency plans, saying: “We pledge our support to all state institutions and private sector to prepare such plans and facilitate the exercise.”

BY Nii Adjei Mensahfio