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10.06.2005 General News

Construction of Akosombo dam brought hardships -MP

Ghanaian Chronicle

The Member of Parliament for Shai Osudoku constituency, David Tetteh, has indicated that the construction of the Akosombo and Kpong hydro-electric dams have brought great economic and social hardship to the people along the lower Volta basin.

He noted that prior to the construction of these two national assets, life in Osudoku and the other areas was meaningful due to the economic activities of the people.

According to him, prior to the construction of those dams, oyster was in abundance and served as a major source of income for residents of the area and even beyond but soon after the construction of the Kpong hydro-electric dam, oyster deposits vanished from these areas and could now be found in only Ada and its surrounding areas.

The lower Volta basin, he says, includes people in Asuogyaman, Lower Manya, Osudoku in Dangme West District as well as areas in North Tongu, Central and South Tongu and the Dangme East District.

He made this statement in Parliament to represent the concerns of his constituents who he says are now striving to eke out a living.

Mr. Tetteh says the situation has brought poverty to all the families, creating mal-nutrition among children as the once nutritious and main source of protein could no longer be found.

According to him, the people of Osudoku had been largely affected due to their location immediately below the Kpong dam.

This, he says affects other communities including Natriku, Amedeka, Etsavanya, Domeliam, Asutuare, Kewum, Volivo and other surrounding areas.

He says prior to the construction of the dams, the Volta River overflowed its banks periodically to occupy large tracks of land which became arable soon after the floods had subsided.

Farming, he says, followed and then within a time frame of six months, crops like cassava, maize and other vegetables were ready for both domestic consumption and sale, indicating that parents could then send their children to school and afford medical bills.

Mr. Tettey says however says this trend has changed with the construction of these dams because the river has become isolated ponds overgrowing with weeds and no longer making fishing a lucrative job.

Also, he says the river had become a mosquito breeding area, resulting in the upsurge of malaria cases and other river-borne diseases.

Life in the lower Volta basin, he says, has therefore become miserable as the youth continue migrating to the cities of Ashaiman, Tema and Accra with health workers, teachers and other important service providers refusing postings to these areas.

He therefore called on government to implement the findings of the Lower Volta Basin Project (LVBP) by the University of Ghana, disburse property rate accrued to the Dangme West District Assembly for development and to compensate the people of the affected areas.

Also, he recommended the provision of free medical services, electricity and potable water to the affected communities.

Members contributed to the statement.

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