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Fishermen Council urge early restoration of livelihoods of spillage victims

The National Inland Canoe Fishermen Council (NICFC), has called for the restoration of the economic livelihood of victims of the Akosombo Dam spillage in the shortest time possible.

The Council said was important to ensure that the living conditions of the people and their dependants were not worsened, especially at a time that the country is going through economic crisis.

“In our struggle against poverty and deprivation, and the quest for sustainable fisheries, food security and social justice for all fishers – men and women, we must work closely to restore their economic livelihood immediately,” said, Mr Jacob Kabore Tetteh, President of the Council.

He noted that with a membership of over 120,000 fishers, processors, traders, and other ancillary service providers in 38 districts and 1,600 communities in the country, the impact of the Dam spillage could not be underestimated.

“Therefore, let’s work together to build back better and stronger,” Mr Ageke said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, 25 October 2023.
“We wish to affirm our unwavering solidarity and support to all our members and their families who have been affected by the recent Akosombo Dam spillage disaster,” he added.

While lauding government, individuals and organisations for providing relief support to victims, he said bringing back economic activities, especially, fisherfolks, could not be delayed.

He explained a conversation with some victims showed that they had loss their main sources of livelihood – fishing and farming, as well as their fishing gear – canoes, cages, coupled with lack of access to market and loss of valuable properties.

“We are fully aware that for some of you, even moving to higher grounds remain a challenge as you will require premix-fuel, which you have complained it has become scarce or sold at exorbitant prices on the black market,” Mr Ageke said.
The Council’s president, therefore, called for an all-encompassing effective stakeholder collaboration to address the situation.

“It is our firm conviction that even in the face of the unfolding socio-economic livelihood consequences of the Akosombo Dam spillage, the Council, together with the Volta River Authority (VRA).

We can achieve more to ameliorate the plight of affected communities when we consult and engage with each other than on our own individual and institutional capacities,” he said.

About 36,000 people have so far had their homes and livelihoods swept away by floodwater, gusting out of the spillways of the Akosombo and the Kpong dams in the Eastern region.

The “controlled spillage” was done by the Volta River Authority (VRA) at both dams from September 15, 2023, following rising water levels in both reservoirs.
Since then, a number of donations from individuals and organisations, have been sent to victims.

Mr Kenneth Arthur, Deputy Chief Executive in Charge of Services, VRA, on Monday, said that the Authority had supplied of food items to the people on regular basis.
It includes rice, maize, beans, gari, sugar, mackerel, cooking oil, palm oil, tomato paste, groundnut, biscuits, fruit juice, powdered milk and drinking water.

Other non-food relief items were, mosquito repellent creams, mosquito nets, blankets, mattresses, solar-powered lanterns with telephone charging features and sanitary items.

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